Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) began operations of its electric thermal energy storage system (ETES) in Germany, company announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The new pilot thermal storage plant in Hamburg-Altenwerder can store 130 megawatts of hour (MWh) of energy for up to one week.
The innovative storage technology makes it possible to store large quantities of energy cost-effectively and thus decouple electricity generation and use, according to the company.
The heat storage facility contains around 1,000 tonnes of volcanic rock as an energy storage medium.
It is fed with electrical energy converted into hot air by means of a resistance heater and a blower that heats the rocks to 750 celcius degree. When demand peaks, ETES uses a steam turbine for the re-electrification of the stored energy.
"The storage capacity of the system remains constant throughout the charging cycles," SGRE stated.
Siemens Gamesa plans to use its storage technology in commercial projects and scale up the storage capacity and power.
"The goal is to store energy in the range of several gigawatt hours (GWh) in the near future. One gigawatt hour is the equivalent to the daily electricity consumption of around 50,000 households," the company said.
By Gulsen Cagatay