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Berlin Builds a Giant Thermos to Help Heat Homes This Winter

Monday July 4, 2022. 03:34 AM , from Slashdot
The Associated Press reports on a massive new 150-foot (45-meter) tower going up in Berlin — just to hold 56 million liters (14.8 million gallons) of hot water that 'will help heat Berlin homes this winter even if Russian gas supplies dry up...'

'[T]he new facility unveiled Thursday at Vattenfall's Reuter power station will hold water brought to almost boiling temperature using electricity from solar and wind power plants across Germany. During periods when renewable energy exceeds demand the facility effectively acts as a giant battery, though instead of storing electricity it stores heat...'

'It's a huge thermos that helps us to store the heat when we don't need it,' said Tanja Wielgoss, who heads the Sweden-based company's heat unit in Germany. 'And then we can release it when we need to use it.... Sometimes you have an abundance of electricity in the grids that you cannot use anymore, and then you need to turn off the wind turbines,' said Wielgoss. 'Where we are standing we can take in this electricity.'

The 50-million-euro ($52 million) facility will have a thermal capacity of 200 Megawatts — enough to meet much of Berlin's hot water needs during the summer and about 10% of what it requires in the winter. The vast, insulated tank can keep water hot for up to 13 hours, helping bridge short periods when there's little wind or sun....

Berlin's top climate official, Bettina Jarasch, said the faster such heat storage systems are built, the better. 'Due to its geographic location the Berlin region is even more dependent on Russian fossil fuels than other parts of Germany,' she told The Associated Press. 'That's why we're really in a hurry here.'
'While it will be Europe's biggest heat storage facility when it's completed at the end of this year, an even bigger one is already being planned in the Netherlands.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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