The key to the decarbonisation of the energy sector is new compact storage technology: It will require much R&D to develop market-ready products based on new storage designs with phase change and thermochemical materials (PCMs and TCMs). One strategy is to combine resources within international research programmes – to create platforms unhindered by national borders or scientific disciplines, such as the joint task Material and Component Development for Thermal Energy Storage planned within the IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes. Its two future operating agents, Wim van Helden (left) from Austrian AEE INTEC for the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme and Andreas Hauer from the German Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE Bayern) for the IEA Energy Conservation through Energy Storage (ECES) programme, invite all interested researchers to Vienna, Austria, to attend the second Task Definition Meeting on 15 and 16 September 2016.
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. So-called smart grids will also require more heat storage units when devices such as heat pumps and co-generation plants are based on electricity grid requirements. Rommel views the definition of measurement standards for PCM materials as one of the task’s big achievements, which will help in material development. Furthermore, a research group from German research institute ZAE Bayern has performed a first cost estimate of compact heat storage technologies.
Since January 2014, companies have been able to receive grants for their thermal-driven sorption cooling systems with a cooling power between 5 kW and 500 kW from the programme for commercial cooling technology in Germany. Until 2013, the minimum cooling power for the programme had been 50 kW. The Federal Environment Ministry published the amendment on 16 December 2013 (see the attached document). The programme supports solar thermal cooling, but also cooling systems driven by other green heat sources, such as industrial waste heat, cogeneration plants and district heating. The subsidy is 25% of the net investment for the cooling system, including installation and consulting costs. Source: Green Chiller
The vacuum super insulation (VSI) by German manufacturer Hummelsberger ensures minimum heat losses when storing solar heat over long periods. This is especially interesting to solar space heating and domestic hot water with a high solar fraction, but also to industrial process heat at higher temperatures. At the SMEThermal 2013 conference in Berlin, Jürgen Melzer, CEO of Hummelsberger, and Manfred Reuß, Group Manager Solar Thermal at the Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research, ZAE Bayern, explained the design, working principle and possibilities of vacuum-insulated solar storage tanks (see the attached document).
Photo: Hummelsberger Schlosserei GmbH