September 22, 2008

DOE, EPSRC fund heat storage research

The US Department of Energy has awarded seven companies and six universities up to $35 million over four years to develop heat storage technologies for concentrating solar power systems.

The awards are aimed at spurring development of heat transfer fluids and thermal energy storage systems. Thermal storage allows solar power plants that generate electricity from heat to operate temporarily without sunlight and to vary electricity generation to match demand.

The companies are Abengoa, Acciona, General Atomics, Infinia Corporation, Symyx, Terrafore and US Solar Holdings. The universities are City University of New York, Lehigh University, Texas A&M University, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas and University of Connecticut.

Separately, the UK government's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded 712,779 (about $1.3 million) to Chang-Ying Zhao, Robert Chritoph and Philip Eames of the University of Warwick to study using metal foam to improve the heat transfer of phase change materials used to store heat for solar power plants.

Phase change materials store heat as they change from solid to liquid and release heat as they change from liquid to solid. Phase change materials don't conduct heat very well, which makes it hard to transfer heat into and out of the materials quickly. The researchers hope to change that by packing the phase change materials into highly porous metal foam.

The work is in collaboration with Xi'an Jiaotong University in China.

Back to ERN September 22/29, 2008



News  | Blog

E-mail headlines

Energy-related books and products from

Home   Archive   Eric on Energy   Researchers   Links   About   Contact
© Copyright Technology Research News 2008-2010. All rights reserved.