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posted by martyb on Thursday September 07 2017, @09:07AM   Printer-friendly
from the by-degree dept. covers why we need Thermal energy progress and adoption, and the barriers to said adoption..

A vital technology for securing deep greenhouse gas reductions exists and works well, but still hasn't achieved widespread deployment.

[...] Thermal storage has been around longer than advanced battery storage, but it has never broken out of a niche segment. Only a handful of companies install this in the U.S., compared to the dozens now chasing the battery storage market.

Cultural predilections play a role here, Ice Energy's Hopkins said. Battery storage only became popular in the last few years, in large part thanks to Elon Musk's knack for capturing the public imagination. That newfound awareness could be transferable.

"Because they know about lithium, when you talk about other forms of storage, it's not so foreign," he said.

Thermal storage, though, lacks a celebrity evangelist, and it can't charge a sexy sports car.

"The thing about thermal storage is it's invisible to the occupants," said Calmac CEO Mark MacCracken. "The people who go into these commercial buildings expect the building to be cool. They have zero understanding of how it's being cooled."

Companies seeking to displace conventional heating and cooling have to reach customers when they need that equipment, because it's not an everyday purchase.

New-build homes could be a promising market, but for existing homes, the time to buy a new AC unit typically comes as soon as the old one breaks. At that point, the customer has strong incentive to go with what's fastest and easiest, which probably isn't a wonky cooling technology they've never heard of.

Setting aside the consumer awareness challenge, there are technical limitations to be conquered.

One is getting into the design workflow for major building projects. Typically, MacCracken said, the architect designs a building and asks the engineers to cool it. They look at the peak cooling power needed to cover the hottest day of the year, add a margin for safety and call it a day.

Thermal storage requires a different kind of analysis and carries a perception of risk, even if it ultimately costs the same and delivers the same safety factor, MacCracken said. It takes time to break into that industrial workflow on a broader scale.

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 07 2017, @09:13AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 07 2017, @09:13AM (#564490)

    Does anyone else think that "Dick Nigg-ers" is aristarchus gone round the bend? At least he is not posting that disgusting "No Comment" stuff!

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 07 2017, @09:31AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 07 2017, @09:31AM (#564495)

    No. I think it's fucking hilarious that "dick n!ggers" is a banned meme now.

    Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
    Filter error: Please rephrase your comment.

    I memed a meme! I want to thank Migos, and Lil Uzi Vert, and niggers with dicks everywhere.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 07 2017, @10:17AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 07 2017, @10:17AM (#564502)

      Today you are a man!