DISTRIBUTED SOLAR THERMAL: INNOVATIONS IN THERMAL STORAGE
Joshua A. Quinnell
Distributed solar thermal systems convert solar radiation to heat at temperatures of 150° C or less for use in residential and commercial buildings, industry, and agriculture. Systems to heat domestic water are highly efficient, providing annual efficiencies of 35%, and are commercially available worldwide. The most significant opportunity for advancement is to extend the implementation of distributed solar thermal to space heating through development of compact, long-term thermal storage materials and systems. In this paper, innovations and characterization of sensible, latent and thermochemical storage options are described. The emphasis is thermochemical sorption storage, which promises a two to tenfold improvement in energy density compared to sensibly heated water.
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