Press Release

ENERGY STORAGE EUROPE: Trade fair and conferences showcase new thermal storage technology

Düsseldorf, 12 August 2020. Innovative materials and components for latent and chemical storage systems are creating new momentum in the field of thermal storage. These new types of technology tap into fields of application that have, as yet, been little explored. The high-temperature sector, which is especially important for industrial applications, is one of these.

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Innovations in thermal storage technology take centre stage at the ENERGY STORAGE EUROPE conferences and the IRES sessions with top-class participants that will take place in Düsseldorf from 16–18 March 2021. At the accompanying trade fair, which is held in parallel, established companies and international technology start-ups will exhibit their solutions and products in a special area created specially in order to respond to demand. ENERGY STORAGE EUROPE offers users a comprehensive overview of the latest storage solutions that are making production processes more efficient.

“There are a range of remarkable innovations in technology for thermal energy storage. For example, using vacuum super insulation technology enables thickness to be reduced by over 90 percent at temperatures above 300°C. This innovation boost also stimulates the market: In the past two years alone, the number of thermal storage companies in the Federal Association for Energy Storage Units (Bundesverband Energiespeicher, BVES) has doubled,” says Dr Andreas Hauer, Head of the Energy Storage Division at the Bavarian Centre for Applied Energy Research (Bayerisches Zentrum für Angewandte Energieforschung e.V., ZAE).

New materials and chemical reactions

Current fields of research and development also include new composite and sorption materials such as metal-organic frameworks as well as chemical reactions such as magnesium oxide/water or strontium bromide/water reactions at temperatures between 200 and 400°C and 30 to 90°C. These are investigated with respect to their workability and new suitable applications for them.

In the phase change material sector, R&D activity is focusing on new categories such as sugar alcohols, polymers and fatty acids in addition to paraffins and salt hydrates in order to cover application-oriented temperature ranges.

Latent thermal storage methods such as these can also help to optimise electricity storage: In a lithium-ion storage container, they prevent premature ageing processes caused by the battery overheating. Here, the melting temperature of the storage material dictates the temperature inside the container. In cooperation with the Bavarian Centre for Applied Energy Research, the Technical University of Munich has launched a project which is already implementing this technology.

New component designs

New areas of application such as industrial waste heat recovery or flexible sector coupling require new temperature ranges in order to operate thermal energy storage solutions. For instance, the use of renewable electricity offers the option of generating and storing very high temperatures, right up to 1000°C. This requires new storage materials and components as the usual solutions are not suitable for these high temperature ranges. In this context, power-to-heat-to-power systems, also known as Carnot batteries, are proving to be an additional application for thermal energy storage units.

From an industrial perspective, high-temperature thermal storage units can be used in foundries to improve energy efficiency. For example, in an ongoing project, the waste heat from a cupola is stored at temperatures above 200°C. It is subsequently used for the drying and preheating processes, which take place when the cupola is not in operation. Low-cost rock and thermal oil are used as storage media, and the latter also functions as a convector fluid that transports heat from the furnace to the storage unit.

About ENERGY STORAGE EUROPE 2021 | Messe Düsseldorf

ENERGY STORAGE EUROPE is the leading trade fair for the global energy storage industry with a focus on energy storage system applications and industrial decarbonisation. The concurrent international conferences provide the world’s largest conference programme on all energy storage technologies. They include the 9th ENERGY STORAGE EUROPE Conference (ESE) by Messe Düsseldorf and the 14th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES) by EUROSOLAR e.V. The focal points are economics and finances (ESE) as well as science and research (IRES).

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