-- This project is inactive --

Terrafore, under the Thermal Storage FOA, is developing an economically feasible thermal energy storage (TES) system based on phase change materials (PCMs), for CSP plants.


The PCM-based TES uses the latent heat of fusion of inorganic salt mixtures for storing thermal energy. The concepts being applied by Terrfaore make the PCM thermal storage more economical than the state-of-the-art, two-tank sensible heat storage technology or the dual-media (solid and fluid) heat storage technology by reducing the amount of storage media and corresponding container size 37%–56%.

This diagram shows how Terrafore is using a molten salt slurry to improve the energy storage capacity of a thermocline.


Terrafore is using a slurry to capture both sensible and latent heat. This drives the project to discover a new heat exchanger "coating" that can inhibit nucleation of the solid on the heat exchange surface, thereby avoiding a heat transfer penalty. The project expects to result in a novel PCM/sensible heat system with the potential to reach $15 per kilowatt-hour thermal.

Learn about other concentrating solar power research.