News Brief

Energy Storage in Buildings Due to Increase

By Evan DickEnergy storage in commercial buildings promises to play a critical role in the changing power grid that utilities are increasingly relying on to increase efficiencies.

A new report released by Pike Research covers the current state of energy storage in commercial buildings and predicts major growth for this technology. The report focuses on the two most common ways of storing energy in buildings today: uninterrupted power supplies (UPS), and thermal energy storage (TES—see “Buildings on Ice: Making the Case for Thermal Energy Storage,”

EBN July 2009). The authors differentiate between the time-shifting function of TES—using off-peak power to store thermal energy for use during peak hours—and the backup power function of UPS.

They predict that improvements and cost reductions in batteries will lead to increased use of time-shifting to charge UPS systems. Utilities will be driving demand for this type of storage technology, but utility customers would also have more incentive to drive change if they were charged real-time prices.

Published July 1, 2011

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