Berkeley Lab Group Targets Energy Storage

Consortium’s goal is to deploy thermal energy storage technologies and speed commercialization and use for buildings.   December 2, 2022

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor

Stor4Build is a new consortium on energy storage for buildings that will accelerate the growth, optimization, and deployment of storage technologies. The consortium will be co-led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

Cost-effective energy storage is necessary for the large-scale deployment of renewable electricity, electrification, and decarbonization, and it is essential for meeting clean energy goals. As much as 50 percent of electricity consumption in buildings in the United States goes toward meeting thermal loads. Thermal energy storage shows promise as a cost-effective energy storage alternative. 

“A major goal of the consortium is to develop and deploy thermal energy storage technologies for all communities while accelerating their commercialization and utilization for building applications,” says Sumanjeet Kaur, Stor4Build’s Berkeley Lab co-director. “Thermal energy storage is a natural solution for buildings that can complement other energy storage technologies. In fact, proper system sizing and controls of these hybrid systems that combine on-site electrochemical and thermal energy storage could result in better overall performance than either system alone.” 

There are four research areas identified as foundational to consortium activities: 

  • materials optimization and manufacturing 
  • modeling and analysis 
  • system optimization and integration 
  • market, policy, and equity. 

The consortium will also include active participants from diverse stakeholder groups, representing industry, utilities, non-profit organizations, communities, building owners, academia, government, and other research institutions. The team will address the need of developing equitable solutions to ensure benefits of storage technologies are clear for all communities, including those historically disadvantaged. 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facility market. He has more than 25 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 


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