According to a report by the Associated Press News, a large steel tower in Berlin, Germany, will serve a purpose this approaching winter that is analogous to that of a coffee thermos flask.
A process that is analogous to that utilized by thermos flasks will be utilized by the tower, which will be situated on an industrial site close to the banks of the Spree River in Berlin. It has a height of around 14.8 million gallons (56 million liters) of hot water and is approximately 45 meters (150 feet) tall.
This week, on Thursday, June 30, the new facility was presented to the public at the Reuter power station, which is owned and operated by Vattenfall. After it is finished being constructed by the end of this year, it will be the largest heat storage facility in Europe. It is important to point out that the Netherlands already has plans in place to build a significantly larger version.
The new thermos tower in Berlin is designed to keep water warm for up to 13 hours.
Even if Russia decides to cut off gas supplies to Berlin this winter as a result of western sanctions imposed after it invades Ukraine, the utility company Vattenfall, which developed the tower, claims that it will still be able to heat households in Berlin.
“It’s a giant thermos that helps us store the heat when we don’t need it,” said Tanja Wielgoss, who heads the heating unit in Germany for the company that is located in Sweden. “It’s a huge thermos that helps us store the heat when we don’t need it.” After that, we will be able to let it go whenever we have a purpose for it.
She proceeded by saying, “Sometimes you have an abundance of electricity in the grids that you cannot utilize anymore, and when that happens, you need to switch off the wind turbines.” “From where we are standing, it is possible for us to absorb this electricity.”
The project will have a thermal capacity of 200 megawatts and cost taxpayers a total of 50 million euros ($52 million). The tank can insulate water for up to 13 hours and can satisfy the majority of Berlin’s requirements for hot water throughout the summer. However, during the winter months, it will be able to fulfill approximately 10% of Berlin’s need for hot water.
The new Berlin tower will help Germany become less reliant on imported goods and fossil fuels.
The Berlin tower will have the dual benefit of lessening the dependency on the Russian gas supply and cutting down on the pollutants produced by the heating of water in emergencies. The facility stores water that has been heated to an almost-boiling temperature by the electricity generated by wind and solar power facilities in Germany. When the supply of renewable energy is greater than the demand, it can be used to heat the tower.
In an interview with AP News, Berlin’s top climate official, Bettina Jarasch, stated that the Berlin region is even more dependent on Russian fossil fuels than other parts of Germany. “Due to its geographic location, the Berlin region is even more dependent on Russian fossil fuels than other parts of Germany,” Jarasch stated. “Because of this, we have to move rather quickly here. Both the conflict in Ukraine and the energy crisis have shown us the importance of increasing our speed. First and foremost, to stop contributing to global warming and secondly, to stop depending on outside sources for energy supplies.”
District heating systems that are primarily fueled by coal and gas consume as much fossil fuel as is necessary for them to fulfill their targets, which contributes to the carbon emissions that are driving climate change. Other businesses are developing smaller technologies for storing renewable energy using phase-changing materials, but Berlin’s new heat tower and the Netherlands’ version that is in the works might help reduce emissions on a vast scale if they are successful.