The rising cylindrical energy storage in Heidelberg, Germany, is a true eye-catcher on the skyline. Design competition winner LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) planned this 55 meters high heat storage building in a way that it has optically nothing to do with common storage towers.
Energy Storage in Heidelberg Offers Impressive Event Location With Rooftop Bar
After its planned completion in 2019, Heidelberg’s energy storage will be able to store 12,800 cubic meters of hot water at up to 115°C. The new corner pillar for a clean energy future, which was launched with the groundbreaking on 17 Juli 2017, is an essential component of the energy turnaround. Energy storage systems are indispensable to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix as the fluctuating supply of renewables can be stored until the time of demand. The commissioning of the 10 million Euro project is expected for end of 2019.
With two elevators, waiting in the entrance area, the energy storage is accessible to all visitors. An observation platform in form of a roof terrace and a restaurant on the top of the building convince with a panoramic view over Heidelberg. But the design too should not hide itself at any time. The tower’s non-static facade counts approximately 11,000 blue shimmering plates with the shape of diamonds which are able to move in the wind by up to 45 degrees. They possibly represent the flexible and dynamic energy supply with its fluctuating renewables. In this way, the storage tower harmonizes with a modern cityscape instead of spoiling it.
Less Use of Climate-Damaging Coal and Gas in District Heat Production With Heidelberg’s New Energy Storage
After the commissioning, the local municipal utility company Stadtwerke Heidelberg will be able to accumulate excess heat from cogeneration during a high demand for electricity. At times of low demand for electricity, it is not needed to generate heat energy with the cogeneration plant by burning oil or gas as the new heat storage is now able to supply Heidelberg’s consumer. Slightly simplified, the heat storage tower works like an oversized thermos flask – hot water can be stored and taken so long as the storage capacity allows.
Storing Water Above 100°C?
At atmospheric pressure, hot water above 100°C normally vaporizes. A pressure above the atmosphere is needed to store water at a temperature up to 115°C. Due to this physical law, the 12,800 cubic meters of hot water are stored in a lower zone. In order to increase the pressure, cold water will be stored in a second layer above the hot water.