Task 42
SHC Task 42

Compact Thermal Energy Storage




Task 42 is a joint Task with the IEA Energy Conservation through Energy Storage (ECES) Programme Task 29.

Thermal energy storage is an important technology for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency. By improving the effectiveness of thermal storage, the effectiveness of all renewable energy technologies that supply heat can be improved.

Particularly for solar thermal systems, thermal energy storage is essential. To reach high solar fractions, it is necessary to store heat (or cold) efficiently for longer periods of time. Until now, no cost-effective compact storage technologies are available to do this. For high solar fraction systems, hot water stores are expensive and require very large volumes of space. Alternative storage technologies, such as phase change materials (PCMs) and thermochemical materials (TCMs) are available on a laboratory scale. However, more research and development is needed before these technologies can be developed into commercial solutions.

In several IEA Annexes , it was concluded that materials are the main bottleneck for finding effective solutions for compact thermal energy storage, and that there is a need for new storage materials with a higher specific energy storage density and lower material cost.

Around the world, several groups are working on either thermal energy storage materials or applications. However, these activities are not sufficiently linked. The current activities are either limited to specific applications, or to specific materials. What is needed, and what can be provided by this task, is a way to bring the ongoing work on materials and applications together.

The Task 42/29 started officially January 1, 2009. The planned end date is December 31, 2015. 

Please refer to this website for more information.

If you need more information or if you have other questions about Task4229, please contact one of the Operating Agents.

Task Information

January 2009December 2015

Prof. Matthias Rommel
+41 55 222 4822

What's New
  • IEA SHC Task 42: Latent Heat Storage Has Huge Potential in the Long Run - In their position paper published in August 2015, the scientists of IEA SHC Task 42 (Compact Thermal Energy Storage) summed up the key results of their work between 2009 and 2015. Operating agent Matthias Rommel sees huge potential for latent heat and sorption materials in the long run – in seasonal solar heat storage for small and medium applications, as well as in the building sector. (Posted: 2015-10-03)
  • SHC 2014 Conference Proceedings Available Online - Energy Procedia has published our SHC 2014 conference proceedings. Download for free over 90 papers. (Posted: 2015-06-11)
  • IEA SHC Solar Heat Worldwide - 2015 Edition! - Annual collector yield of all systems in operation by the end of 2013 was 314 TWh (= 1,129 PJ). This equals an energy savings equivalent of 33.7 million tons of oil and 109 million tons of CO2... (Posted: 2015-06-04)