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High-capacity and high-performance Thermal energy storage Capsule for low-carbon and energy efficient heating and cooling systems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Hi-ThermCap (High-capacity and high-performance Thermal energy storage Capsule for low-carbon and energyefficient heating and cooling systems)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2019-07-31

Company ESDA has developed HeatSel®, the first viable macro-encapsulation solution functioning with phase change materials (PCM) for latent thermal energy storage in heating and cooling systems. Accounting for 50% of the EU's annual energy consumption, heating and cooling is the sector with the biggest energy-saving potential in Europe, and urgently needs to become more sustainable. In the low temperature range (5 to +100°C), most thermal energy amounts are required and then discarded worldwide. PCM are key materials to save these huge energy and – at the same time – CO2 amounts.
They can run through a reproducible phase-change at a substance-specific temperature, during which the thermal energy is either stored in very large amounts or returned at a constant temperature. Since decades, an adequate method is being sought to transfer PCM into a user-friendly form. Both existing micro- and macro-encapsulation solutions for PCM storage have until now revealed industrially, technically and economically inappropriate. Sensible heat storage with large water storage tanks has very low energy density and storage capacity. ESDA is specialist in the technical extrusion of blow-moulded parts and has in the past 6 years acquired expert knowledge in PCM and thermal storage technology. HeatSel® is a PCM-filled capsule for use in aqueous systems as a heat transfer medium.

The goals of the Hi-ThermCap innovation project are:
1) to offer for the first time an adequate solution for the extrinsic macro-encapsulation of PCM for use in aqueous systems as a heat transfer medium, respectively as components that work in composite systems through direct heat conduction;
2) to enable our target users, who are in the first place manufacturers of storage tanks and containers for the heating industry, and in the second place manufacturers of heating systems (e.g. heat pumps and solar thermal installations), to boost the energy efficiency of their products and thereby to improve their competitiveness;
3) to add value to the heating and cooling market in Europe by introducing an until now unique solution for thermal energy storage for heating and cooling systems that will improve their energy efficiency and reduce thermal waste;
4) to enable ESDA to gain a leading position in providing PCM thermal storage solutions for the European heating and cooling market – with an easy, simple and affordable solution that can be used in all types of heat exchangers, both older and modern systems, combinable with all types of energy sources (including renewables).

The conclusion of the action is positive. Within the Hi-ThermCap project, ESDA has contributed in a concrete manner to all originally set objectives. Some specific objectives have even been exceeded.
The first year of the project served to adapt technical criteria of the HeatSel® technology for industrial readiness at ESDA Technologie GmbH, including the optimization of PCM and the encapsulation, as well as to prepare the upscaling activities for the second year. The technical optimisation activities were all successful completed on schedule. In addition, several tests of the HeatSel® technology under operating conditions have been launched in various application fields at diverse OEMs (heating and cooling system manufacturers) and are still ongoing in concrete applications.

Within the first year, the commercialisation strategy was further developed and many communication and dissemination activities were successfully carried out. Numerous sales partnerships for commercialisation in European countries have been acquired and set up, other promising negotiations are still under preparation.

In the second year of the project, ESDA has concentrated its efforts on the successful upscaling and automation of production process. Also, the tests for validation and proof in operational environment have been successfully completed. As it is an indispensable requirement for the market introduction, various system certifications were performed. There, the achievement of the PCM-RAL certificate and Quality Mark revealed to be essential. In parallel, a customer service concept was elaborated successfully.

Within the second year, the updated commercialisation strategy was implemented, and many customer acquisition, communication and dissemination activities were successfully carried out. Also, ESDA has broadly extended its network of distributing partners.
The project management has provided for the efficient and successful performance of the project and has taken over all the important tasks such as project monitoring (schedule and budget), management of administrative, contractual and legal aspects as well as communication with the EASME representatives.

All project activities have been reached successfully and on schedule.
Most unique selling points of the solution are: universal applicability with diverse (even older) heat exchangers; high energy efficiency through the re-use of waste energy (4 times more efficient than water heat storage) and boosting of renewable energy such as solar thermal technology. Primary target market is the high-volume heating and cooling market in residential buildings in Europe, secondary market is industrial process heat/cooling. ESDA foresees a large impact for HeatSel® in combination with solar thermal and heat pump systems, with a total turnover of €34.1 M and 70 employees by 2024.
HeatSel product in use
HeatStixx product
HeatSel product