Most of the final energy in buildings is consumed as heat or cold. Marked fluctuations in the demand occur on a daily, weekly and even seasonal scale, which can lead to load peaks that are too high to be met by the heating or cooling systems. Additionally, the demand profile often does not match the availability of the renewable energy supply. Such mismatches often are compensated with an over-dimensioned supply system and thus inefficient operation. On the other hand, the share of renewables in the supply remains low.
With the use of thermal storage systems, cold and heat provision can be shifted through time thus decoupling the time of supply and demand. Storage systems are an important component when dimensioning supply systems which use renewable energy.
At Fraunhofer ISE we develop and optimize chillers and cooling systems for buildings and industrial applications. Our work extends from the development of new materials and of storage media with higher energy capacity through to optimizing storage efficiency and the operating efficiency of storage systems.