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An Evaluation of Thermal Storage at Two Industrial Plants
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Thermal storage offers substantial energy cost savings potential in situations with favorable electrical rates and significant cooling demand. Full storage is usually restricted to facilities occupied only part of the day, but two industrial plants were recently encountered which offered the potential for full storage. The first plant, a textile weaving operation, has over 5,000 tons of installed chiller capacity used for strict control of temperature and humidity. Measurements of peak load indicated the units were less than 50 percent loaded. Because of the excess chiller capacity, summer demand can be met by operating the units fully loaded during off-peak hours and storing unneeded chilled water in a storage tank for daytime usage. The second plant is a single shift poultry processing operation that uses large amounts of ice to preserve the product during shipping. In this case, ice making during off-peak times for use during production was analyzed. Despite the fact that both options offered significant savings, the paybacks were higher than acceptable due to the significant investment required. While the projects are not economically feasible at the present time, the analysis verifies the technical feasibility of thermal storage. Future changes in electricity cost could make the concept more attractive economically.
Brown, M. L.; Gurta, M. E. (1991). An Evaluation of Thermal Storage at Two Industrial Plants. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.eslwin.tamu.edu). Available electronically from