October 24th, 2017
The Swedish companies Vattenfall and SaltX Technology have partnered up to trial a novel take on power-to-heat energy storage in Germany. The pilot project, which is being carried out at the Reuter power station in north-west Berlin, will investigate how well excess wind and solar power can be stored as heat in salt.
SaltX’s patented “EnerStore” technology stores heat in salt in a repeatable process that, according to the company, is cost-effective and can be installed almost anywhere. A Vattenfall representative said the system can hold energy without loss for weeks or months until it is needed.
The technology has proven its worth so far in laboratory tests. The next step is to examine the process on a larger scale. The pilot plant is set to supply energy to a local Berlin district heating grid.
The project manager at Vattenfall emphasized that a number of questions still need to be answered before a large-scale project can become reality. One such question is how large quantities of salt can be dried efficiently in a large container. The first phase of the Berlin project is scheduled to last for around 18 months.
Vattenfall: Press release (in German)