Sweden-based energy company Vattenfall is currently building what it claims to be Europe's largest heat storage tank. Located at the 600 MW Reuter-West coal-fired power station in Berlin, the facility is scheduled to come online in April 2023.
“We actually have an optimal fossil free and future-proof way of providing heat for our Berlin customers,” the company said. “When there is a surplus of wind energy available this surplus can be converted via the power-to-heat plant on site and then stored in the buffer.”
The plant is 45 m high and has a capacity of 56 million liters. It will store district heating water at a temperature of 98 C and, according to Vattenfall, will use renewable electricity coming from the grid.
A 400 m pipeline will link the storage tank to four pumps ensuring that hot water reaches the tank. “If hot water is added at the top, the same amount of cold water is taken out at the bottom,” the utility said on its website. “So only the quantity ratio between hot and cooler water in the storage facility changes but not the total amount of water.”
At the beginning of July, Vattenfall began filling the tank for the first time and used partially desalinated and degassed water to reduce wear and tear in the Berlin city heating network. Filling operations should last approximately two months.
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