Research project “Wind-powered heating 2.0: long-term storage”

Building with wind-powered heating 2.0 - solutions
© Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt
Possible solutions for using a building with wind-powered heating 2.0 with a large hot water storage tank (A), building component activation (B) and a central high-temperature stone storage tank (C).

Wind energy now accounts for the largest percentage of electricity generated by renewable energies in Germany. Especially during periods with high winds in winter, the German electricity grid provides an oversupply of electricity that results in very low or even negative prices on the electricity exchange. In some regions, wind farms must be throttled or even temporarily shut down completely to ensure grid stability. With their large thermal storage masses, buildings in Germany offer enormous potential for heat storage. Since wind power will play an important role in the electricity grid of the future and is available in excess - especially during periods with high winds in winter - the time coincides closely when highly efficient buildings need to be heated and when surplus power is available. In the future, buildings with wind-powered heating 2.0 will be able to meet their energy needs in an environmentally and system-compatible manner by generating heat from renewable surplus electricity. At the same time, they will be able to contribute to the successful implementation of the energy turnaround. For the electricity grid, system compatibility also results from the fact that buildings with wind-powered heating 2.0 can do without electricity for heating purposes during longer phases of high grid utilization (one to two weeks).

Project goals

In the project "Wind-powered heating 2.0: long term storage", different storage technologies, high temperature rock bed storage (HTRS), water storage and building components with integrated long term storage (BCS) are developed, which enable surplus wind power to be used to heat a building. To do this, the storage size must be adapted to the heating requirements of the high-efficiency building for one to two weeks, and appropriate charging and discharging control systems must be devised. To develop suitable solution strategies, extensive analyses are first carried out using building simulation software (WUFI® Plus). This is followed by measurements on prototypes at the Fraunhofer IBP outdoor test site in Holzkirchen, in twin houses (two identical single-family houses, HTRS and retrofitted with BCS) and a concrete CUBE (newly built with BCS) to validate the respective concepts. The various solutions developed are based on the criteria of economic efficiency, wind power coverage, user comfort and environmental impact - considered over the entire life cycle. To support the later market launch of the wind-powered heating 2.0 system, a planning tool for specialist planners will be provided.

Project status

Initial results from preliminary studies show that buildings with wind-powered heating 2.0 can cut their non-renewable primary energy demand by between 55 and 85 percent over their life cycle. The savings here relate to a comparative building in accordance with the German energy saving ordinance EnEV 2014 with reference technology, taking into account the evaluation of the operating phase and the additional construction work required for the wind-powered heating 2.0 standard.

After successful development and construction of the storage systems, measurements are currently being carried out in the twin houses and on the concrete CUBE to validate the respective concepts, including the predictive control system, which determines the heat demand for the coming weeks based on the weather forecast.

Following completion of the research project at the end of 2021, plans are underway to test the various storage technologies in real-life demonstration buildings. A corresponding research proposal is currently being prepared.

Project partners

  • Center for Innovative Energy Systems at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf (ZIES)
  • Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy (StMWi)
  • Bavarian State Office for the Environment (LfU)
  • CONCRETE Rudolph GmbH
  • Klimatop GmbH
  • Rath GmbH
  • Bundesverband Kalksandsteinindustrie e. V.
  • Klöpper-Therm GmbH & Co. KG
  • tekmar control systems GmbH
  • TenneT TSO GmbH
  • LEW Verteilnetz GmbH, Lechwerke AG