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Title: Thermal energy grid storage using multi-junction photovoltaics

Abstract

As the cost of renewable energy falls below fossil fuels, the key barrier to widespread sustainable electricity has become availability on demand. Energy storage can enable renewables to provide this availability, but there is no clear technology that can meet the low cost needed. Thus, we introduce a concept termed thermal energy grid storage, which in this embodiment uses multi-junction photovoltaics as a heat engine. We report promising initial experimental results that suggest it is feasible and could meet the low cost required to reach full penetration of renewables. The approach exploits an important tradeoff between the realization of an extremely low cost per unit energy stored, by storing heat instead of electricity directly, and paying the penalty of a lower round trip efficiency. To understand why this tradeoff is advantageous, we first introduce a general framework for evaluating storage technologies that treats round trip efficiency, as well as cost per unit energy and power, as variables.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  4. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1484812
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1505078
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-72337
Journal ID: ISSN 1754-5692; EESNBY
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Energy & Environmental Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1754-5692
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 25 ENERGY STORAGE; energy storage; thermophotovoltaics; high temperature thermal storage

Citation Formats

Amy, Caleb, Seyf, Hamid Reza, Steiner, Myles A., Friedman, Daniel J., and Henry, Asegun. Thermal energy grid storage using multi-junction photovoltaics. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1039/C8EE02341G.
Amy, Caleb, Seyf, Hamid Reza, Steiner, Myles A., Friedman, Daniel J., & Henry, Asegun. Thermal energy grid storage using multi-junction photovoltaics. United States. doi:10.1039/C8EE02341G.
Amy, Caleb, Seyf, Hamid Reza, Steiner, Myles A., Friedman, Daniel J., and Henry, Asegun. Mon . "Thermal energy grid storage using multi-junction photovoltaics". United States. doi:10.1039/C8EE02341G.
@article{osti_1484812,
title = {Thermal energy grid storage using multi-junction photovoltaics},
author = {Amy, Caleb and Seyf, Hamid Reza and Steiner, Myles A. and Friedman, Daniel J. and Henry, Asegun},
abstractNote = {As the cost of renewable energy falls below fossil fuels, the key barrier to widespread sustainable electricity has become availability on demand. Energy storage can enable renewables to provide this availability, but there is no clear technology that can meet the low cost needed. Thus, we introduce a concept termed thermal energy grid storage, which in this embodiment uses multi-junction photovoltaics as a heat engine. We report promising initial experimental results that suggest it is feasible and could meet the low cost required to reach full penetration of renewables. The approach exploits an important tradeoff between the realization of an extremely low cost per unit energy stored, by storing heat instead of electricity directly, and paying the penalty of a lower round trip efficiency. To understand why this tradeoff is advantageous, we first introduce a general framework for evaluating storage technologies that treats round trip efficiency, as well as cost per unit energy and power, as variables.},
doi = {10.1039/C8EE02341G},
journal = {Energy & Environmental Science},
number = 1,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1039/C8EE02341G

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 4 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Three parameter analysis of energy storage value: CPE, CPP, and RTE. (A) Value of arbitrage as a function of RTE. (B) Value comparison of leading energy storage technologies (* indicates not shown in C, because off the chart). (C) CPE and CPP (white shapes) of three competitive energymore » storage technologies. Arrows and black shapes indicate maximum CPP to break even. Arrow direction and length indicate NPV. The colored contour represents the RTE to break even, assuming 10% IRR, a 30 year system, and 10 hours of storage.« less

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    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.