EU-funded PUSH-IT research initiative aims to develop heat storage systems

Reichstag, German parliament, Berlin – site of an underground thermal energy storage system in an aquifer (source: flickr/ Audrius Juralevicius, creative commons)

The PUSH-IT consortium, composed of 19 members, aims to test, develop and deploy thermal energy storage solutions in geothermal reservoirs using different technologies.

The Piloting Underground Seasonal Heat Storage In geothermal reservoirs (PUSH-IT) is a consortium that aims to develop large-scale heat storage solutions to make solar and geothermal heating available year-round. The consortium, led by the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and made up of 19 partners, received a Horizon Europe grant of €20 million.

The PUSH-IT initiative aims to demonstrate the large-scale application of seasonal heat storage using three different technologies: Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES), Borehole Thermal Energy Storage (BTES) and thermal energy storage in mines (MTES). These three technologies will be demonstrated at six different sites across Europe:

  • ATES in Delft and Berlin
  • BTES in Darmstadt and Litomerice (Czech Republic)
  • MTES in Bochum and United Downs (Cornwall)

“Among other things, we will reduce environmental impact and improve performance by simulating and monitoring heat losses in the basement and optimizing design and operations accordingly to limit these losses.” explained Assistant Professor Martin Bloemendal of TU Delft.

“In addition, we will optimize storage integration through demand-side management with machine learning control technologies. Additionally, citizen engagement, analysis of motivations and perceptions of heat storage, and study of governance policies and business models that engage citizens in decision-making regarding district heating systems, including storage, are non-technical, but very important parts of the project,” Bloemendal added.

TU Delft offers a unique setting in that it has a local aquifer about 200 meters deep and a planned geothermal well that can provide the heat. This combination and the associated research that can be carried out in these facilities makes TU Delft stand out internationally. We previously reported the signing of a letter of intent between Geothermie Delft and Huisman for the delivery of a drilling rig to TU Delft with a target drilling start by November 2022.

The PUSH-IT consortium will develop, deploy and test heat storage technologies for different heat sources, technologies, geological conditions, distribution systems, stakeholder populations and market and legal conditions. With the results of these operational projects, the consortium aims to develop relevant generic solutions and practices across Europe.

Source: Technical University of Delft

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