Amidst all the batteries, fuel cells, flywheels and other technologies trying to bring energy storage to the building scale, there’s one technology that’s as simple — well, almost as simple — as an icebox.
Thermal energy storage is its name, and the basic idea has been around since the 1920s. Put a device on your roof that makes ice at night when power’s cheap, then uses that ice during hot days to augment air conditioning operations, and avoid buying expensive peak power.
This form of storage can’t do everything that batteries can do: it can’t pump power into the grid, for instance…. Read more