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Highly efficient hybrid storage solutions for power and heat in residential buildings and district areas, balancing the supply and demand conditions
Deadline: Jan 19, 2017  

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Renewable Energy
 Waste Management
 Urban Development
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:
  • The storage of thermal or electric energy needs optimised operational technical solutions in order to better manage and synchronise the overall supply and demand (at residential, district and urban level). Good management of the peak loads, especially stemming from an increase of renewable energy production, would reduce the overall energy consumption and the cost of operation of the installations.
  • Hybrid solutions are needed, inherently addressing the seamless conversion and integration of renewable electricity and heat, as to anticipate the future energy grid that will fully allow an exchange of different energy carriers. Such hybrid solutions form a next step in the electrification of the heat supply market.
  • To go beyond current state of the art on thermal storage (i.e. compact systems) for residential buildings, it is necessary to bring research activities in this field closer to pre-commercial stage, to demonstrate their technical and economic viability, and to optimise the operation of such hybrid solutions in view of combining them with the surplus of renewable electricity with low temperature heat and cooling demand.
  • In the EU, there are nowadays just a few examples of operationally integrated solutions for the optimal interaction in district networks, combining both electricity and heat/cooling energy supply and storage.
  • Efficient use of renewable energy in hybrid systems for the storage and generation of energy needs to be achieved.

Proposals should develop advanced innovative high-density hybrid energy storage devices, targeting the efficient use and further increase of renewable energy in the built environment, and demonstrating its value in terms of flexibility in the energy systems. They should address both electrical and thermal applications and able to reach a rapid release.

Such hybrid approaches encompass different aspects, which may be addressed separately or coherently:

  • high efficiency conversion and storage of surplus renewable electricity into heat;
  • multifunctional use in both heating and cooling applications at different temperature grades;
  • different time scales, e.g. in seasonal storage of high temperature solar heat and peak-shaving in lower temperature heat–pump applications.

Research and innovation activities should address:

  • electricity applications, where the technologies covered may include batteries, flywheels and capacitors suitable for applications in the power range of several tens of KW to 1 MW as well as other technologies related to storage of large-scale power needed for district areas.
  • thermal applications, where these hybrid solutions should develop the high efficiency conversion and storage of surplus renewable electricity into heat. The hybrid system should take into account the optimal ²integration of various potential heat storage media. Therefore, preference will be given to systems that exploit chemisorption or physisorption technologies (solid/ liquid) and/or latent heat (PCM). The innovation part of the project should include the possibility that energy systems may be connected, and of merging energy from different sources, e.g. renewable electricity combined preferably with electric storage and heat, industrial waste heat, heat grids, ground systems.

Proposals are expected to cover the various aspects of the overall system, such as design, storage materials, interfaces with various components and auxiliaries (heat exchangers, reactor etc) and include monitoring and control of the overall technologies/ components (BEMS).

Proposals should preferably include demonstration pilots for both residential and district connected buildings in at least two different climatic regions. They also need to integrate strategies for optimal interaction with the energy grid, and assess the value of this integration in view of flexibility in the energy system.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 4 to 6.

A significant participation of SMEs with R&D capacities is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requiring other amounts.

Expected Impact:

For residential buildings which are not connected to District Heating and Cooling

  • Demonstration of the economic viability of the overall storage systems when operating in real conditions in residential buildings with a return of investment period of 9-10 years and proof of the potential for market penetration.
  • Technologies which are reliable and ensure a minimum of 20 years life time
  • Solutions compatible with existing building configurations – with compact systems using limited spaces in existing building (volume of storage limited to 3 m3).
  • Demonstration of an overall net energy reduction by 20 %.
  • Validated contribution to energy system flexibility


For residential buildings connected to District Heating and Cooling

  • Demonstration of the economic viability of the overall storage systems with return of investment of less than 20 years and proof of the potential for market penetration.
  • Technologies which are reliable and operating for a minimum of 30 years.
  • Provide compact systems (volume of storage limited to 1 m3).
  • Overall net energy gain of minimum 30%.

Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.

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