Building energy efficiency, HVAC
Vehicle heating and cooling
Medical device heating and cooling
With more than 120 million buildings in the US, utilization of the building envelope to provide thermal energy storage (TES) is a large untapped potential for energy efficiency savings. Current state of the art thermal energy storage for buildings use ice-based energy storage and standard cooling equipment, shifting all or a portion of a building’s cooling needs to off-peak, night time hours. However, these systems undergo solid to liquid phase transition at a set point, are not energy efficient, and require encapsulation to prevent the liquid from leaking. In addition, their inability to adapt to the variable environmental conditions limit their use to only a few months in a year.
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a new solid-state thermal energy storage material that are able to store or release energy for a variety of applications. Such a material could be used in all seasons in the year to proactively control the charging and discharging of the energy. When integrated in building envelopes such as walls, roofs, or floors, the material can be used as a heating system in winter and a cooling system in summer.
This thermal storage material can be applied to surfaces of a building, as well as to vehicles to reduce energy consumption. In addition, the material may also be applied in large electronics; it may help warm instruments that have been exposed to the elements to help avoid condensation on sensitive components upon transfer to warmer temperatures.
- Energy storage for heating and cooling
- Usable throughout the year
- Variety of applications, from buildings to vehicles to devices
Berkeley Lab principal investigator: Sumanjeet Kaur
Development stage: Proof of concept
IP Status: Patent application in consideration
Opportunity: Available for licensing/available for collaborative research