How much energy1. Energy is the potential of a physical system to perform work. (A common unit of work is foot-pound—the amount of energy needed to lift one pound up a distance of one foot.) Energy exists in several forms such as electromagnetic radiation ... is stored in a coffee thermos? How about in a tray of ice cubes? Thermal energy storage technologies allow us to temporarily reserve energy produced in the form of heat or cold for use at a different time.

Take for example modern solar thermal powerThe rate at which energy is generated, converted, transmitted, distributed or delivered. plants, which produce all of their energy when the sun is shining during the day. The excess energy produced during peak sunlight is often stored in these facilities - in the form of molten salt or other materials - and can be used into the evening to generate steam to drive a turbine to produce electricity. Alternatively, a facility can use 'off-peak' electricity rates which are lower at night to produce ice, which can be incorporated into a building's cooling system to lower demand1. The rate at which electricAn adjective meaning “needing electricity to operate” such as electric motor or wire. IEEE: Containing, producing , arising from, actuated by or carrying electricity. energy is delivered to or by a system or part of a system, generally expressed in kilowatts or megawatts, at a given instant or averaged over any designated interval of time. 2. The rate at which energy is being used by... for energy during the day.

A well designed thermos or cooler can store energy effectively throughout the day, in the same way thermal energy storage is an effective resource at capturing and storing energy on a temporary basis to be used at a later time.

You can learn more about thermal energy storage technologies by viewing any of the links on the right-hand side of this page.