Thermal energy storage (TES) is a technology that stocks thermal energy by heating or cooling a storage medium so that the stored energy can be used at a later time for heating and cooling applications and power generation. TES systems are used particularly in buildings and in industrial processes. This paper is focused on TES technologies that provide a way of valorizing solar heat and reducing the energy demand of buildings. The principles of several energy storage methods and calculation of storage capacities are described. Sensible heat storage technologies, including water tank, underground, and packed-bed storage methods, are briefly reviewed. Additionally, latent-heat storage systems associated with phase-change materials for use in solar heating/cooling of buildings, solar water heating, heat-pump systems, and concentrating solar power plants as well as thermo-chemical storage are discussed. Finally, cool thermal energy storage is also briefly reviewed and outstanding information on the performance and costs of TES systems are included.
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