Thermal Energy Grid Storage (TEGS) Using Multi-Junction Photovoltaics (MPV)
MIT will develop critical components for a new, cost-effective, high efficiency power storage system to store renewable energy at grid scale and discharge it on demand. The system combines low-cost, very high-temperature energy storage with high-efficiency, innovative semiconductor converters used to transform heat into electricity. MIT’s technology would store heat at temperatures above 2000°C (3600°F) and convert it to electricity using specialized photovoltaic cells designed to remain efficient under the intense infrared heat a high-temperature emitter radiates. MIT will also develop several infrastructure components that will enable stable operations for long periods without any discernable loss in conversion efficiency.
The project aims to develop a grid level electricity storage system that can be used to buffer excess electricity on the grid from any source, and discharge it on demand at a later time.
Because CO2 emissions associated with electricity generation comprise 28% of total emissions in the U.S., increased grid-scale storage could reduce emissions by 28%, as it would enable greater use of renewables.
MIT’s system could create a levelized storage cost that is half the price of pumped hydroelectricity—currently the cheapest storage technology available—and without geographic limitations.