Thermal Energy Storage

Acting Manager: Dr. Stefan Zunft




The research area aims to develop high temperature thermal energy storages for solar and conventional thermal power plants and for industrial process heat applications. Currently, storage systems for operating temperatures ranging from 200°C to 600°C are being developed. Water/steam is of outstanding importance as a heat transfer fluid in this system.

Thus, one focus is on the development of latent heat storages for evaporator systems. New material concepts as well as new approaches for an improved design and system integration are being pursued. Further attention is paid to the superheating section between 300°C and 600°C, required for achieving high overall system efficiencies. Again, new material concepts and adapted approaches for the system integration are being developed.

For applications where large temperature differences exist, sensible thermal storages are being designed and tested. Within joint projects with industrial partners, a market ready concrete storage has been developed. In addition to this, innovative aspects of molten salt storage systems have been identified as a further research topic.

Research Areas and Current Projects:

  • Storage development for direct steam generation in solar thermal power plants
  • Latent heat storages for industrial and solar process heat
  • Molten salt storage systems
  • Development of sensible and latent storage materials Material analysis and determination of thermo-physical material properties
  • Storage integration and system analysis
  • Regenerative solid media storages for solar thermal power plants
  • Design, construction and operation of storage prototypes and the accompanying infrastructure

Dr. Stefan Zunft
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics
, Thermal Process Technology
Tel: +49 711 6862-601

Fax: +49 711 6862-747

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