Thermal Storage Results
GSK plans to generate its own energy on-site using a mix of generation options including wind turbines, which are stochastic in nature. Not only is the generation of energy dynamic but so is the demand, which needs to be met at all times or there lies a risk of losing a batch. Due to the large current energy demand from the grid, power outages have occurred in the past which have resulted in losses worth millions of pounds. Hence to increase security of supply and to conserve energy as much as possible a number of different technologies were investigated including Compressed Air Energy Storage for electricity storage and Steam accumulators/Molten Salt for thermal storage.
This roughly translates to around 50,000 m3 of volume which will cost around $35million (£24million) for supplying half a day (12hrs) worth of steam. This cost does not include operational and maintenance costs and cost of heat exchangers needed for molten salt. Most importantly, this cost does not include the cost of land required for storing such an enormous volume. The uptake of such a costly and unproven technology requires extensive risk and cost-benefit analysis. Also consultation is required from experts, to validate this project, including experts who have worked on thermal storage for concentrated solar power projects before.