Solar energy increases its popularity in many fields, from buildings, food productions to power plants and other industries, due to the clean and renewable properties. To eliminate its intermittence feature, thermal energy storage is vital for efficient and stable operation of solar energy utilization systems. It is an effective way of decoupling the energy demand and generation, while plays an important role on smoothing their fluctuations. In this chapter, various types of thermal energy storage technologies are summarized and compared, including the latest studies on the thermal energy storage materials and heat transfer enhancements. Then, the most up-to-date developments and applications of various thermal energy storage options in solar energy systems are summarized, with an emphasis on the material selections, system integrations, operational characteristics, performance assessments and technological comparisons. The emerging and future trends are finally outlined. This chapter will be a useful resource for relevant researchers, engineers, policy-makers, technology users, and engineering students in the field.
Part of the book: Renewable Energy