Thermal management is a key factor in energy storage systems, especially in battery energy storage systems (BESSs) and thermal energy storage systems (TESSs). Its role is vital in determining the performance, longevity, safety, and efficiency of these systems.
In BESSs, maintaining optimal temperature and uniformity is crucial. It directly impacts the battery’s performance, durability, and safety. Effective thermal management, through tools like isothermal battery calorimeters and computer-aided engineering software, can enhance battery performance and lifespan. This technology is used by organizations like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to refine battery thermal management strategies. Additionally, proper thermal management is necessary to meet battery manufacturers’ warranty conditions, prevent costly downtimes, and mitigate the risk of overheating and thermal runaway, which can lead to significant damage or catastrophic failure.
In the context of TESSs, the storage and conversion of thermal energy are central to sustainable energy systems. They allow for the efficient and cost-effective storage and utilization of heat energy. However, challenges such as low conversion efficiencies, high costs, and potential environmental impacts need to be addressed. A major goal in thermal engineering is to efficiently store excess energy from renewable sources like wind and solar as heat and then convert it back to electricity as needed. Thermal energy storage is particularly promising for large-scale energy production due to its potential for low-cost implementation at scale.
In summary, thermal management is a critical component of integrated energy storage systems, ensuring their safe and efficient operation. This contributes significantly to the reliability and economic viability of renewable energy projects.