Processes to be observed during the loading of a thermochemical heat storage reactor (Thomas Nagel, TUBAF)

Project title: Numerical modelling of thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical coupled processes in thermochemical heat storage systems of current and future generations

Short project description:
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, modelling and numerical simulation are of outstanding importance for the prediction of the operational behaviour and the optimisation of thermochemical heat storage systems.

The focus of the NUMTHECHSTORE project was 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 modelling platform leading to the realisation of appropriate software components for the numerical optimisation of the design and operation of thermochemical heat storage systems. Thus, the project contributed fundamentally to the assessment of potentials, risks and impacts of sustainable storage options including economic and ecological aspects via the development of appropriate modelling and simulation tools.

The aim of the project was the development of models, methods and tools for the numerical analysis of coupled cyclic thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical coupled 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 have been considered. The need for optimisation 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 ageing processes as well as capacity losses.

Project duration: 04/13 – 03/16

Funding organisation: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers (Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund)

Project partners:

  • German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ – coordinator
  • Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Leipzig

At the Department of Environmental Informatics, research for this project was conducted at the workgroup Computational Energy Systems.

Project website: not available

This research was also part of the OpenGeoSys initiative (

Final report: not publicly available (for more details see: Nagel T, Beckert S, Lehmann C et al (2016) Multi-physical continuum models of thermochemical heat storage and transformation in porous media and powder beds – a review. App Energy 178:323-345)