Via EUREC Member DLR
The German Aerospace Center (DLR), the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are planning the joint construction of the NADINE (National Demonstrator for Isentropic Energy Storage) research facility. Their aim is to develop storage facilities on a power plant scale that are able to absorb and then release large quantities of electrical energy.
The development of storage systems that are able to absorb and then release large quantities of electrical energy is of vital importance to the integration of renewables in a sustainable energy system. But until now, location-independent and cost-effective storage systems on a power plant scale have not been available. The project aims to change this situation. On 8 October 2018, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) agreed on the joint construction of the NADINE (National Demonstrator for Isentropic Energy Storage) research facility at the locations in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe for the development of cost-effective and virtually loss-less energy storage systems.
"The Energy Transition is one of the most pressing challenges faced by society. With the development of storage systems as part of its energy research, DLR is working on solutions to one of the key issues in this field. Efficient storage systems can ensure a reliable energy supply with an ever-increasing share of renewable energies. Furthermore, large heat storage systems can also help to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants by converting them into power plants with heat storage systems,” said Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board
At the heart of the research activities are Carnot batteries, also known as power-to-heat-to-power storage. Here, power is converted into heat by high-temperature heat pumps, whereby the heat is stored economically and can be reconverted into electricity through a thermal power process if required. Through their research, the scientists involved in NADINE want to demonstrate in the long term that Carnot batteries can store electricity with an efficiency of up to 70 percent. Heat pump and heat storage technology can also play a role in converting coal-fired power plants into power plants with thermal storage systems, as set out in the German Federal Government’s coalition agreement on climate protection.
Energy storage on a gigawatt-hour scale using pump storage power plants and battery storage systems is currently already possible in principle. However, their construction is hardly possible, as efficient battery storage systems are too expensive and not durable enough. With NADINE, the aim is to develop flexible and virtually loss-free energy storage known as isentropic storage systems. A process is described as isentropic if it takes places in a closed system in which there is no exchange of heat or matter with the environment.