The Eindhoven University of Technology and Dutch research organisation, TNO, have received a €7 million subsidy. This is for the further development of their heat battery.
This battery uses only two ingredients – water vapour and salt. It uses these in a process that releases and recaptures heat. This stable battery does not lose energy when it is being used. According to the TU/e website, if correctly used, it can last 20 years.
Project leader, Olaf Adan, works for TU/e and TNO. He says the system is both ingenious and simple. “The European grant will enable us to speed up the development of the heat battery into a commercial product that fully answers to end-user demands,” he says on the TU/e site.
A hot shower for two weeks
“The cost price will be below that of state of the art electric storage systems, with better performance. With a refrigerator-sized battery, a typical modern family can take a hot shower for two weeks.”
The plan is to develop the heat battery into a compact form that is suitable for home use. The device can easily be connected to various energy systems. These include not only the conventional electricity grid but also solar panels.
The device must be user-friendly. According to the website, this is a crucial point for the developers. So, home users will have direct input in the development process. Eindhoven, Gdansk in Poland, and Nice in France should kick off several pilot projects in existing homes within the next two years.
The development group is not made up only of the TNO and TU/e. There is also Caldic, which is producing the materials. The housing corporation, Trudo, is also involved.
Then there is the HEAT-INSYDE consortium. This group consists of international partners from Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Poland. The EU Horizon programme granted the subsidy.