Publication Detail

Solar Energy Storage Methods

UCD-ITS-RP-11-81

Reprint

Energy Efficiency Center

Available online at: dx.doi.org/10.1021/ie2003413

Suggested Citation:
Hou, Yu, Ruxandra Vidu, Pieter Stroeve (2011) Solar Energy Storage Methods. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 50 (15), 8954 - 9864

Solar energy can provide an abundant source of renewable energy (electrical and thermal). However, because of its unsteady nature, the storage of solar energy will become critical when a significant portion of the total energy will be provided by solar energy. In this paper, current solar energy storage technologies are reviewed. Storage methods can be classified into categories according to capacity and discharge time. New developments in solar energy storage require advances in chemical engineering and materials science. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an important tool to evaluate energy consumption and environmental impact of renewable energy processes. LCAs of some of the storage methods are reviewed. It is important to note that, while using renewable energy sources such as solar power, storage methods based on nonrecyclable materials or methods that consume significant amounts of energy may undermine the effort to reduce energy consumption.