The issue of energy storage systems also plays an important role in research and technology development at the international level. The Energy Storage Technology Programme (ES TCP) of the International Energy Agency (IEA), in which Austrian experts are actively involved, aims to promote international networking. The technology programme supports the research, development, implementation and integration of new energy storage technologies. These are intended to help optimise the energy efficiency of energy systems and accelerate the expansion of renewable energy technologies. As energy storage is an interdisciplinary topic, expertise from all areas of energy supply (energy production, final consumption and distribution) must be pooled centrally. Research into the development, prevalence and market launch of storage systems is being conducted and numerous coordination activities are being organised as part of the ES TCP. The focus is on innovations from a technical, economic and legal aspect. The research topics include the reduction of investment costs, ensuring a longer service life and higher efficiency, a compact design and the safety of energy storage systems. Regulatory framework conditions and suitable business models are also covered in the programme.
Material and component development for thermal energy storage systems
In this project, which was completed in 2020, experts from the fields of materials development, component development and system integration worked together on the efficient development of materials and components for new compact thermal energy storage systems. These storage systems play an important role in integrating renewable heat sources into the energy system – from building applications to district heating and industrial applications as well as for sector coupling. The focus was on phase change materials (PCM energy storage systems) and thermochemical heat accumulators (TCM). The project included material development, characterisation and testing under various application conditions.
Large thermal energy accumulators for district heating
This project is led by Austrian experts (AEE INTEC) and deals with the integration of large-scale heat accumulators into district heating systems. All of the important aspects for the planning, design and implementation of these types of projects are dealt with, taking into account the different locations and system configurations. Among other aspects, representative application scenarios are defined, techno-economic evaluations of already implemented best practice examples are carried out and new material test procedures are developed.
Flexible sector coupling through the use of energy storage systems
The potential of different storage technologies and configurations for the application for sector coupling of the areas of electricity, heat and mobility is being investigated within the framework of Task 35. Existing and future storage technologies are being analysed and evaluated under this aspect. The results of the analyses are processed for politics, research and industry.