Heat management and heat storage technologies

Heat management and heat storage technologies
© Fraunhofer IBP / Christian Hass
Heat management and heat storage technologies.

The cost-effective supply of energy calls for the efficient generation of heat and optimum use of the heat produced. These goals can be met using innovative energy management systems. Such systems make particular sense when biomass boilers are used as the primary source to supply energy in buildings. According to the Federal Environment Agency, these meet about 35 percent of the total final energy requirements and cause about 30 percent of the CO2 emissions in Germany. Any increase in energy efficiency, however small, leads to a significant reduction in overall CO2 emissions.

In this research area, we develop and research into hydraulic and control concepts and systems for the following tasks:

  • efficient and low-emission operation of all heating systems in buildings (biomass boilers, solar systems, heat pumps, etc.),
  • demand-oriented heat production, taking into account all influencing factors.

The Fraunhofer IBP concept for supplying heat efficiently with biomass boilers is based on the principle that heat should to be generated according to a building’s predicted and actual requirement at that moment. The building’s heat requirement is automatically determined by an energy balance based on DIN V 18599, DIN V 4108-6 and DIN V 4701-1. It is important to take the type of building into account as a fixed specification (such as old building without thermal insulation, renovated old building with or new building without thermal insulation, new building with standard thermal insulation, new building insulated according to EnEV (German energy-saving regulation). The conditions of use (hotel, school, old people's home, residential quarter, private building etc.) and outside conditions (temperature, solar radiation, etc.) must also be considered. These factors result in a variable heat requirement. A heat balance that is carried out automatically results in a heat production profile. This is then used to operate the heating systems, enabling them to function more efficiently and regulate their thermal output accordingly.

Our team has outstanding know-how in the field of heat production, especially when it comes to renewable energy sources, as well as heat management and decentralized heat storage. The latter forms an elementary part of an economic and ecological heat supply, particularly regarding the operation of biomass boilers. We also have extensive expertise in the area of water and high-temperature storage tanks for various uses and applications, such as burner technology. Here, we use high-temperature storage modules for thermal oxidation processes, which we design or construct explicitly for this purpose.

Research projects

  • Intelligent combustion and energy management system with low pollutant emissions for the efficient supply and use of heat from biomass boilers
  • “MagnesiaHSM”, a new ecological fireclay substitute, development of a practical, exothermic hardening heat storage material based on magnesium hydroxide