Storing heat and cold separately from the water

The other day I calculated how much water would be required to store a day's worth gasoline sales as heat. A typical gas station sells gasoline at an average rate of 3 megawatts (a watt is a rate of energy use).

Anyway, it is not necessary to use water to store the heat. It seems that much better materials exist, for example, salt. So the idea of storing energy as heat in an insulated box of salt is not new and is known to work. Obviously, you can also store "cold" too.

It is a lot easier to keep salt in a box than to keep water in a tank. Salt doesn't readily leak out small cracks, although you don't want any water getting in because it could dissolve the salt and then it will leak out. But keeping water out is still easier than keeping water in.

My drawing of the TrombePump is coming along. Recall that gravity feed heat pipes carry heat only upward. The drawing shows a cold reservoir above the cold water flowing out of the CCHEX, with heat pipes carrying heat up from the water into the cold reservoir, and separate heat pipes carrying heat out of the cold reservoir into a heat sink which radiates heat at night or whenever it is cold. The drawing also shows a hot reservoir below the hot water flowing out of the CCHEX with heat pipes carrying heat from the hot reservoir up into the water. It also shows a hot heat source below the heat reservoir with heat pipes carrying heat up into the reservoir. The hot heat source would probably be heated by a solar collector. On days when the sun shines, the heat reservoir temperature could get much higher than 300K. It would be advisable to make the heat reservoir large enough that the temperature would never approach 373K (100 °C).


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