The Energy Matrix
A Science Ebook e-zine  Fall 2008 Edition
 ( Winter 2007 SubWeb)

Heat Storage

This e-zine will examine all alternative energy technology and new energy conservation systems.

See all our free science publications and Free Physics & Electronics School, Click Here!

Go to Home Page ...............................

Water Falls

Two large ducts carry some of the water from this river to a generating plant near base of fall.  When the river is near flood stage most of the water goes over the fall and the energy is dissipated.  Some estimate that the United States is only exploiting a fraction of its potential hydro-electric 
Continue Center Column

Elimination of the burning of Diesel and Propane for heating could result as part expanded Natural Gas Network.

Mr. Pickens and some natural gas suppliers have suggested that utilities stop burning natural gas and substitute green solar and wind power for electricity production.  The gas could then  be compressed and used to fuel trucks and cars.  Thank God someone with capital is developing a serious green energy policy.

Natural gas vehicles will require an expanded nationwide gas distribution system. The US already has an extensive natural gas pipeline.  One of my first memories from my childhood in New York City was that we got gas for our refrigerator and stove from a Texas pipeline. We used coal for hot water and heat.  My point is that the technology to ship gas long distances existed over sixty years ago.  So expanding the current pipeline grid to reach every corner of the country, so that their are no dead zones where natural gas powered vehicles will find themselves without gas, is possible.  However, the expansion of gas pipelines will be a major national project. 

I feel that the this expansion should should include service to those who are presently using diesel or propane to heat their homes.  This would free up diesel and propane for use by vehicles that already exist.  Many gas stations already provide propane service.



Cheap Oil, Oct.19,2008 

Bad news for clean alternative energy, Oil drops to about $70 a barrel. If your trying to sell or develop alternative energy, cheap oil is bad news, because it undercuts alternative products.
Continue Center Column


Cogeneration growing. 

Central heating systems date back to the days of DC power generation in lower Manhattan during the Edison/Telsa Era. High Pressure Steam Plants provided steam
   Continue Center Column


Heat Storage 

Heat storage are an important  element of solar power systems.  Power plants that use concentrated solar heat to generate steam to drive turbine driven electric generators, require heat storage to maintain steady power output. See reference article, Click here Heat stored in super heated water can provide steam to meet sudden changes in load.   
Continue Center Column



Index for all Editions


Combined Heat & Power (CHP) 

DC Power Grid

District Cooling

Ethanol Viability

Hybrid Cars

Ice made with Coal

Ice Energy Density versus Battery

Heat Storage


Nuclear Energy

Solar Heat Storage in CO2

Solar Heat Storage in Water

Storing Carbon Dioxide

Stoves - Corn Burning

Stoves - Wood Pellet Burning

Stoves - Coal Burning

Tar Sand Oil


Yucca Mountain










Heat Storage (Continued)

Large tanks of water are heated with excess steam generated by solar heaters during peak daylight hours. When power grid requires a sudden surge of power, steam can be bleed of super heated water in these storage tanks. Water is used both as the working medium and heat storage medium resulting in short reaction times in response to turbine demand.  The greater the drop in turbine steam pressure, the faster the the superheated water will boil.  These system are are referred to as buffer system.  Superheated water is unstable and boils over rapidly  when pressure is reduced.  It can also be extremely dangerous in the event of tank rupture.  In case of rupture water at 200 degrees centigrade will transform into water at 100 centigrade and a large volume of steam at one atmosphere of pressure.  This transformation is so rapid that boiler explosions have frequently resulted in the the destruction of large buildings.

Charging water buffer units is also a rapid process.  When steam bubbles are injected in relatively cool water, the steam condenses at vapor liquid boundary causing bubbles to collapse.  The initial velocity and rapid collapse of steam bubbles makes the process very turbulent.  This results in rapid vapor condensation and heating of water. 

Medium term storage systems are used to provide power for periods of several hours.  Oils with high boiling points are frequently used to store high sensible heat.   Salts with high melting points can be us for both sensible and latent heat storage.

Heat transfer is relatively slow in medium storage system.  Since working fluid (water) must be kept separate from storage fluid ( oil or molten salt), the heat transfer is accomplished by conduction through tubes or plates.  Efficient conductive heat transfer requires large metal surface areas between mediums.  This makes these heat exchangers expensive.  Of course steam water systems require expensive tanks to safely contain high pressure steam.

I see no reason why these heat storage system should be limited to alternative energy systems.  They could be distributed throughout major energy grids in order to prevent brownouts.  They could be heated by electricity during non-peak load periods and used to provide power to an over loaded power grid during peak periods.  

 Solid-media storage and latent-heat storage systems give more capacity and . pressurized vessels are limited in size.  Water pressure increases exponentially with temperature; therefore, the size of pressurized vessels is limited.


Other Editions

Spring 2007 Ed.

  Summer 2007 Ed

  Fall 2007 Ed.

 Winter 2008 Ed.

  Spring 2008 Ed.

  Summer 2008 Ed



What is the Matrix?

I am beginning this e-zine with a list of alternative energy technologies. These will create the vertical axis of the matrix.  It will be become apparent that most of these technologies can be combined to form various energy systems. For example solar energy could be combined with heat storage technology, or it could be combined with battery technology. Thus must technologies must also be listed on a horizontal axis if all possible energy systems are to be included in the array.  The reason so many systems need to be defined and eventually computer modeled is so that only the best can be selected.  Eventually our energy department will have to calculate the best approach to deal with our future energy needs.

In the future we will consider questions such as "Is corn a better solar collector than silicon?"


Nuclear Energy and HVDC

The safety of nuclear energy is hotly contested in the US.  High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission will not effect nuclear plant safety.  It could make worst case scenario nuclear accidents economic impact less severe. HVDC 
Continue Reading


Practical Electric Cars  by 2010

By 2010,Japan will have electric cars  with 50 mile range and capability of being recharged in 15 minutes.  The cars will use lithium battery packs that will last 
Continue Reading












Copyright or other proprietary statement goes here.
For problems or questions regarding this web contact

Last updated: January 24, 2012.