The heat storage facility contains nearly 1,000 tonnes of volcanic rock as an energy storage medium
Spanish wind turbine-maker Siemens Gamesa has begun operations of its new electric thermal energy storage system (ETES) in Hamburg-Altenwerder, Germany.
As per Siemens Gamesa, the new facility helps in storing large quantities of energy cost-effectively.
The heat storage facility contains nearly 1,000 tonnes of volcanic rock as an energy storage medium. It is fed with electrical energy converted into hot air by means of a resistance heater and a blower that heats the rock to 750°C. The technology is claimed to reduce costs for larger storage capacities to a fraction of the usual level for battery storage.
The ETES pilot plant can store up to 130MWh of thermal energy
During peak demand hours, the ETES will use a steam turbine to re-electrify the stored energy. The pilot project is claimed to store up to 130MWh of thermal energy for a week. Additionally, the storage capacity of the system will remain constant throughout the charging cycles.
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy CEO Markus Tacke said: “With the commissioning of our ETES pilot plant, we have reached an important milestone on the way to introducing high-performance energy storage systems. Our technology makes it possible to store electricity for many thousands of households at low cost. We are thus presenting an elementary building block for the further expansion of renewable energy and the success of the energy transition.”
Siemens Gamesa aims to deliver system evidence of this kind of storage on the grid and to extensively test the heat storage system. The next step will see the company using this storage technology in commercial project and will scale up the storage capacity and power.
The Institute for Engineering Thermodynamics at Hamburg University of Technology and the local utility company Hamburg Energie are partners in the innovative Future Energy Solutions project.
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy within the “6. Energieforschungsprogramm” research programme.
Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy State Secretary Andreas Feicht while attending the inauguration ceremony, said: “Decoupling generation and consumption of fluctuating renewable energy via storage is an essential contribution to implementing the energy system transformation. We therefore need cost-effective, efficient and scalable energy storage systems.”