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Thermal energy storage is of high strategic relevance for a sustainable energy system. The development of next generation storage systems like thermochemical solutions is accompanied by major scientific challenges. Due to the complexity of the considered storage systems and the exceptional efforts for the development of storage materials as well as for the implementation of large-scale experiments, modeling and numerical simulation are of outstanding importance for the prediction of the operational behavior and the optimization of thermochemical heat storage systems. The 6th Energy Research Program of the Federal Government identified the deployment of necessary simulation tools as one of the key actions for further research in the area of thermal energy storage systems.

The focus of the NUMTHECHSTORE project, funded by the Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund, is on the analysis of the relevance of various physical and chemical processes for the operation of the considered storage options, and the development of a modeling platform leading to the realization of appropriate software components for the numerical optimization of the design and operation of thermochemical heat storage systems. Thus, the project contributes fundamentally to the assessment of potentials, risks and impacts of sustainable storage options including economical and ecological aspects via the development of appropriate modeling and simulation tools.

The aim of the project is the development of models, methods and tools for the numerical analysis of coupled cyclic THMC processes in different heat storage facilities for an optimum material and process design in terms of safety, efficiency and sustainability. In particular, sorption storage systems and storage facilities based on reversible chemical bonds will be considered. The need for optimization exists, e.g., regarding the choice of highly efficient and stable materials for the constituents of the heat storage systems, the design of storage units in order to achieve a high level of efficiency, and the mitigation of aging processes as well as capacity losses.

At the Department of Environmental Informatics, research for this project is being conducted by the workgroup Computational Energy Systems.

This research is also part of the OpenGeoSys initiative (

Project running dates: 04/13 - 03/16

Project partners:
• Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Leipzig
• German Aerospace Center (DLR)