Thermal battery – storing and reusing excess energy

A new high-performance thermal battery stores excess energy and waste heat for later use, offering an energy efficient, carbon neutral and renewable solution.

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Thermal Battery at the Energy Decentral 2014 trade fair. © Thermal Battery Thermal Battery at the Energy Decentral 2014 trade fair. © Thermal Battery

" Our Thermal Battery is supposed to be a significantly optimised heat storage system for your home. For example, you can make use of lost heat from a home power plant like a block power station or of excess electricity of the electricity network. The system is regulated by the company but it always covers the need of warm water and heating at home by replaces the old heating system, which in most cases uses fossil energy sources. "

Oliver Opel, Research Associate, Thermal Battery

Energy for heating makes up the major part of energy consumption in Germany, with heating for homes and buildings alone accounting for some 80 % of the greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of the “Thermal Battery” project was to develop a compact, high-performance storage system, pooling surplus electricity on the electricity market and storing it for the later heating of buildings and water.

Energy savings

Consisting of a thermochemical heat pump that uses chemical reactions for heat storage, the thermal battery stores approximately 80 kilowatt hours of energy – three to four times as much as a traditional hot water tank. The technology can provide heat for heating and hot water in buildings which is renewable, carbon neutral and efficient – and which can generate significant savings of final energy and greenhouse gases compared to a fossil fuel-based heating. Only reusable and environmentally friendly materials were used for its production.

The concept was based on an analysis of 245 different thermochemical heat storage materials, methods and applications. The project has also identified further areas for research, such as mobile heat storage, transportation and the use of combined heat and power, waste heat generation and power management and cooling.

Local economic benefits

A main objective of the project was to create economic benefits and spin offs, commercialising the battery as well as related research and development results. To this end, companies and knowledge transfer applications have been set up, and the project partners have applied for, and received, an EU patent.

Involving local companies and networks, the project also had a positive impact on the regional economy. Moreover, a number of related fields that will be subject to further research have been identified (mobile heat storage, transportation and the use of combined heat and power etc.).

The project and its pioneering technology has received significant public recognition – featuring in no less than 21 publications and nominated to several distinguished awards.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Thermal Battery” is EUR 2 193 046, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 629 433 from the Regional Operational Programme for Lüneburg (Lower Saxony) for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date