Ecological evaluation of selected storage materials and concepts for heating and cooling applications
Compact thermal storage systems are being developed, with the research focus on thermal and technical characteristics as well as cost aspects. A holistic ecological approach that considers the primary energy used for the manufacturing, operation and disposal in relationship to the potential energy savings is not currently available for new storage concepts under development. The project “Speicher LCA” shall now close that gap for building applications: its objective is to provide the user a scientifically sound assistance for selecting and/or evaluating thermal storage concepts considering ecological and energetic aspects.
As part of the energy system transformation, a large amount of energy storage systems are required to adjust the fluctuating energy supply from renewable energy sources to the energy demand. In the area of thermal storage, research focuses, in particular, on creating low-loss and compact storage systems with high capacity.
During development, not only the technical and thermal properties of storage systems but also the cost factors are considered. Yet up to now, a holistic ecological development approach that considers the primary energy used for the manufacturing, operation and disposal in relationship to the potential energy savings does not exist for storage concepts.
The project “Speicher LCA” shall now close that gap by creating a software tool for decision makers. These tools shall provide scientific support in the selection of suitable thermal storage methods and materials for each application on the basis of life cycle analyses (LCA).
Comprehensive ecological balances on the materials and the systems used to store thermal energy for building applications form the basis of the software tool. Sensible, latent and thermochemical storage concepts will be worked out and the energetic performance figures will be determined by system simulations. In this context also the influence of external equipment such as heat exchangers, containments or reactors, which are required for the operation, on the total ecological balance will be considered.