District Storage Systems

© Fraunhofer ISE

District Storage Systems are used as decentralized battery storage systems in settlements, residential areas or urban quarters. They act mainly as intermediate storage for locally generated electrical energy - mostly from PV systems, but also from combined heat and power plants (CHP). From a technical point of view, they represent an alternative to home storage. In Germany, only a limited number of district storage systems have been currently installed, but regulatory initiatives at the EU level are expected to increase the use of these storage solutions in the future. 

Space- and Resource-Saving Energy Storage in the Neighborhood

Housed in buildings or in containers, district storage is either connected to the public grid or operated in a self-managed grid infrastructure within a shared-energy community. District storage helps increase self-consumption of renewable energy in a local service area, saving space and resources compared to the use of individual home storage. Furthermore, compared to individual storage solutions, district storage can be more easily used for multi-use purposes. These include business models such as providing grid services, local peak shaving, arbitrage, and flexible charging structures for e-vehicles. 

R&D Services

Our services for distribution system operators and local energy suppliers as well as for project developers, system integrators and system manufacturers comprise

  • development of optimized battery systems
  • development of highly efficient and functional power electronics
  • development of intelligent energy management systems
  • development and analysis of business models for community storage systems
  • holistic quality assurance

Quick-Facts:District Storage Systems

  • Installed capacity and expansion demand
    • Only a limited number of district storage systems installed in Germany
    • International: Growing market in the area of island grids
    • Increasing use of these storage solutions expected due to regulatory initiatives at EU level
  • Technologies:
    • Lithium-ion batteries 
    • Redox-flow batteries 
    •  Sodium-sulfur batteries and sodium-nickel-chloride batteries (e.g. in larger island grids) 
    • Future Technologies such as: Zinc-ion
  • Advantages:
    • Economic:
      Low specific storage cost, higher cost efficiency, higher energy efficiency.
    • Environmental:
      Increase in self-consumption of locally generated PV electricity, resource and space saving, contribution to energy transition even without own generation, reduction of grid expansion needs at distribution grid level.

Selected Research Projects


Electromobility in Apartment Buildings with Intelligent Charging Stations and Second-Life Batteries


Innovative Photovoltaic DC Charging Infrastructure with Buffer Storage


Decentralized Energy Management from the Smart Home to the Urban Quarter


Energy and Economic Efficiency for Smart Communities through Integrated Multi Storage Technologies


Renewable Energy for Self-Sustainable Island Communities

Further Information on this Research Topic:


Urban District and Neighborhood Management


Applied Storage Systems


Center for Electrical Energy Storage


Center for Power Electronics and Sustainable Grids


TestLab Power Electronics