What are the progress and development of thermal energy storage technology?

Utilities Edison International (Edison International) and thermal energy storage solutions provider VikingEnergy Solutions have collaborated to validate a thermal energy storage solution that achieved 100% of the thermal energy storage solution developed by the two teams. round-trip efficiency, and reached an acquisition involving multiple intellectual property patents, which is a positive advancement for thermal energy storage technology.

The thermal energy storage technology developed by Viking Cold Solutions has been validated after a two-year evaluation study by environmental consultancy D+R International.

April 28, 2022

The company says its solution stores cold energy 25 percent more efficiently than traditional cold storage. The company said the evaluation study recommends incorporating Viking Cold Solutions' thermal energy storage technology into Southern California Edison Utilities' (SCE) project portfolio to improve energy efficiency and demand response at cold storage facilities.

Viking Cold Solutions said the research and testing, conducted at a food service distributor in Southern California, demonstrated the commercial benefits of thermal energy storage technology in improving grid stability and reducing electricity usage. And cooling is the third largest energy use category in California.

The evaluation study states that "phase-change materials combined with intelligent control can significantly improve the energy efficiency and demand management capabilities of thermal energy storage facilities." Specifically, Viking Cold Solutions' thermal energy storage technology combines Efficiency is increased by 25% and peak load requirements are significantly reduced while better maintaining the temperature required by the product.

The company hopes this will kickstart the adoption of its technology by food manufacturers, distributors and food retailers across the United States. Adopting existing incentive programs for temperature-controlled facility operators to reduce energy use will help achieve this goal, and Viking Cold Solutions says the success of the evaluation will help roll out its thermal energy storage technology into these programs.

Meanwhile, Israel-based thermal energy storage battery producer Nostromo Energy announced a technical partnership with commercial cooling system manufacturer Smardt Chiller Group.

The company said the partnership will seek to introduce energy storage systems with the highest round-trip efficiency (RTE), even as high as 100 percent. (Note: In terms of stored energy, round-trip efficiency refers to the portion of stored energy that can be recovered.)

Nostromo Energy's core product is its IceBrick, a modular, packaged, consumer-side energy storage system that enables rapid freezing. Its main use is to replace building cooling. It cools water into ice during off-peak electricity demand and uses it to cool the building's circulating water during peak hours.

The company claims 86% to 92% thermal round-trip efficiency, a four-hour cycle depth of discharge of 94%, and a degradation rate of less than 1% over 20 years.

The two companies plan to collaborate on a laboratory to optimize the performance of each other's products.

Meanwhile, Norway-based molten salt battery developer Kyoto Group AS has acquired Spain-based Mercury Energy, which owns several intellectual property rights (IPRs) related to thermal energy storage development. Mercury Energy changed its name to Kyoto Technology Spain.

The announcement did not provide additional information about Mercury Energy. Kyoto Group AS said the seller was Andres Barros Borrero, with which Kyoto Group AS had a partnership in developing its Heatcube product.

Heatcube is a molten salt based battery energy storage system, which can be configured with energy storage capacity from 4MWh to over 100MWh and installed capacity up to 25MW. Mercury Energy launched a pilot battery energy storage project with an installed capacity of 1MW in February 2020.

Mercury Energy, which listed on Euronext in March last year, claims to be 90% energy efficient.

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