World première for compact seasonal storage
AEE INTEC has developed a real size storage system, which makes solar thermal energy stored in the summer available in winter, with virtually no thermal losses. The storage is based on the principle of adsorption in conjunction with the material pair of zeolite and water. This allows energy densities of 180 kWh/m³ to be achieved, which is three times the thermal capacity of water and sets a new world record.
The Austrian research institute AEE INTEC has succeeded in storing summer solar thermal energy for winter use, without losing heat. As part of the EU COMTES (Combined Development of Compact Thermal Energy Storage Technologies) research project, carried out with the support of the Climate and Energy Fund and the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit), a real size pilot plant has been set up in the laboratory of AEE INTEC at Gleisdorf, which typically meets the needs of a family household. The plant was opened today by Theresia Vogel, director of the Climate and Energy Fund.
Details of the project
Storage is based on the principle of adsorption in conjunction with the material pair of zeolite and water. Experts anticipate it will have about three times the thermal capacity of water, which is currently the heat storage medium most frequently used. At the same time it is possible to store thermal energy, virtually free of losses, in the 1.5 tonne capacity zeolite test storage over very long periods, in this case from summer to winter.
The aim of the test facility and the extensive testing operation, is to prove out the behaviour and the efficiency of storage and the entire system under real operation, and to analyse results and detect potential for improvement. At the same time the interaction of all the system components will be improved by an optimisation of the control design. This has been accomplished in the first phase of the testing operation, with a world record thermal storage density for storage material of 180 kWh/m³ already being achieved.
Based on the findings of the testing operation, a further stage is intended to take the next steps toward industrial commercialisation of the storage concept. A key partner of AEE INTEC in commercialisation, going forward, is the building heating systems supplier Vaillant.