Argonne and Capstone Receive Funding to Accelerate Thermal Energy Storage

Dept. of Energy

Argonne and Capstone Turbine Corp. plan to refine Argonne’s system to capture and store waste heat. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory)

Thermal energy storage systems to capture and store waste heat for later use when operating a manufacturing facility or large building could reduce costs for combined heat and power systems.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Capstone Turbine Corporation have received $380,000 from the DOE Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) to refine Argonne’s high-efficiency, fast-charging/discharging latent heat thermal energy storage system (TESS) for use in building applications and process/manufacturing industries.

The TESS is a  “thermal battery” developed originally for storing heat in concentrated solar power applications, funded by DOE’s Solar Energy Technology Office. Argonne’s TESS incorporates a phase change material in a high thermal conductivity porous preform, resulting in a composite material system that has enhanced thermal performance. One of the TESS’s most valuable features is its tunability for specific applications through the selection of appropriate phase change material. Additionally, TESS’s high thermal energy density results in a small footprint.

Capstone Turbine Corporation manufactures combined heat and power (CHP) systems used in environments that can support the reuse of process-related waste heat to improve system performance efficiencies and reduce operational costs. This project focuses on integrating Argonne’s TESS into a Capstone C200CHP system, specifically, using thermal modeling and simulations to optimize system design; fabricating and integrating the TESS to the C200 system; testing the performance of the integrated TESS-C200 system; and conducting a techno-economic analysis to establish performance/cost benefits of the integrated system.

According to Argonne Principal Investigator Dileep Singh,  “Storing thermal energy and using it during periods of high electricity pricing can result in significant cost savings. This is particularly important for process/manufacturing industries and building applications, as it reduces costs and increases energy efficiency.”

Argonne has made it a core mission to develop advanced manufacturing technologies, such as materials with advanced properties and manufacturing processes that are more energy-efficient.

The award is one of 12 Argonne projects funded in 2018 through the TCF, which is managed by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions. Argonne’s work to develop the TESS is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Advanced Manufacturing Office.

EERE ’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s EERE office supports early-stage research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that make energy more affordable and strengthen the reliability, resilience, and security of the U.S. electric grid.

To view the original news article on Argonne’s website, visit:

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