Embedded Energy Storage

Electrical energy cannot be practically stored – it must be consumed when it is generated, or transformed into a form of energy that can be stored. Technology in this area is evolving, but for now, there are three main forms of electricity storage considered practical for home consumers.

  1. Electrical Storage heaters- these are electrical home appliances which store thermal energy at night when electricity is available at lower cost, and releases the heat during the day as required. The heat is stored within the heater within clay bricks or other ceramic material. Sometimes water is used within the heating system to store the heat.
  2. Heat pumps work by “pumping up’ heat from a low temperature source, for example the ground under a lawn and release it at a higher temperature into your central heating system or water tank. Heat pumps have the benefit that for every unit of electricity consumed they can deliver 3 units of heat energy. Storage heaters can only deliver one unit of heat energy for every unit of electrical energy.
  3. Domestic Hot Water. Using electricity to heat water either directly or through the use of a heat pump (see above) is another way of turning electrical energy into thermal energy for later use.

Additional information on this topic can be found at SEAI explanation of heat pumps


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