With thermal storage, surpluses of heat or cold are stored to be used when necessary. In other words, the supply of heat or cold is disconnected from the demand. This solves the daily imbalance between the heat demand at household level and the supply of heat from renewable sources (such as solar collectors or PV-coupled heat pumps). EnergyVille conducts research into the development, demonstration and implementation of intelligent control systems for energy storage systems. In addition, intelligent charge status determination of storage, integrated storage concepts and compact thermal energy storage can be counted among the research topics.

Thermal
Erik De Schutter

Contact

Erik De Schutter

Business Developer Thermal Energy Systems at EnergyVille/VITO
Johan Van Bael

Contact

Johan Van Bael

Project Manager Energy Technology at EnergyVille/VITO

Thermal storage

EnergyVille also focuses on thermal energy storage technologies. With thermal storage, surpluses of heat or cold are stored to be used when necessary. In other words, the supply of heat or cold is disconnected from the demand. This solves the daily imbalance between the heat demand at household level and the supply of heat from renewable sources (such as solar collectors or PV-coupled heat pumps). Various techniques can be used to store heat or cold, from water tanks to the more exotic sounding PCM (Phase Change Material) and thermochemical storage. The increasing use of renewable energy sources and residual heat from businesses and buildings are driving forces behind the use of energy storage. Furthermore, storage can also add operational flexibility and it contributes to increasing the efficiency of the energy system.

Thermal energy storage systems are mainly used in industrial processes and buildings. In these applications about half of the energy is used in the form of thermal energy. Thermal energy storage systems can help to keep the energy demand and supply in balance in different time frames. For example, a water buffer for domestic hot water stores heat for several hours or days, while underground borehole energy storage can store heat for an entire season.

Thermal storage can also play an important role in connecting thermal and electrical grids. To connect thermal energy storage to an electrical grid, conversion systems such as heat pumps or ORCs are required. With thermal grids, storage can play a balancing role between energy production, conversion systems and users, both on short (day-night) and long-term (winter-summer). EnergyVille conducts research into the development, demonstration and implementation of intelligent control systems for energy storage systems. In addition, intelligent charge status determination of storage, integrated storage concepts and compact thermal energy storage can be counted among the research topics.