Siemens Gamesa to install wind-heat storage system

GERMANY: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) is to begin construction of a new energy storage system that converts wind power output to heat and then stores the surplus energy in stones.

A diagram showing how Siemens Gamesa's heat-storage system would capture wind energy (pic credit: Siemens Gamesa)
A diagram showing how Siemens Gamesa's heat-storage system would capture wind energy (pic credit: Siemens Gamesa)

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This story was first published on 30 November 2017. It was updated on 8 February 2018.

Work on the manufacturer’s test at the Trimet aluminium smelter in Altenwerder, southwest of Hamburg, is due to start next month, and follows three years of research and development.

The project will convert wind power into heat and then store the energy in approximately 1,000 tonnes of rock fill.

The rock fill acts as a battery, and will be capable of providing 30MWh of electric energy at temperatures of 600C.

Excess wind power can then be stored and will be protected with an insulated cover, Siemens Gamesa (SGRE) stated.

Heat energy stored in the rock fill can also be converted back into electricity by a steam turbine, the company added.

The end-result of the real-scale project will comprise a 1.5MW generator capable of producing energy for up to 24 hours.

Commissioning of the project is expected in spring 2019. It will be jointly operated with utility Hamburg Energie after "comprehensive testing", SGRE stated.

The manufacturer explained that storage systems "can help to act as a buffer between times of overload and weak production periods", and that its heat-storage system "offers a highly economic approach in storing energy".

SGRE will "test the commercial opportunities of the storage technology in the energy markets".

Industrial services provider Bilfinger announced in February 2018 that it had secured a contract from Siemens Gamesa to develop and deliver the water-steam cycle for the project as well as provide plant engineering.

Siemens Gamesa, meanwhile, will provide the heat storage, boiler and wind turbines for the project.

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