Giga-scale thermal energy storage
for renewable districts
Information about the webinar available here
Publishable report available here

Photo Credit: Arcon-Sunmark

District heating systems fully based on renewable energies require very large storages that allow seasonal storage of large amounts of renewable heat or waste heat respectively. Additionally these large storages are able to raise flexibility of the district heating networks.

Compared to currently installed heat storages the storage volume has to be increased tenfold and at the same time it is necessary to place the required huge volume subsurface. This is quite challenging in respect of materials and construction of these giga-scale storages.

The Austrian lead project giga_TES aims at developing giga-scale storage concepts for urban districts with integrating large shares of renewables focusing on Austrian implementations.

Project lead

Dr. Wim van Helden

AEE  INTEC, Austria
Project lead

Maria Moser

SOLID Solar Energy Systems GmbH, Austria
Work package leader WP2

Christoph Muser

CEO Ingenieurbüro ste.p
ZT GmbH, Wien, Austria
Work package leader WP3

Prof. Dr. Gernot Wallner

JKU Linz, Austria
Work package leader WP4

Dr.-Ing. Fabian Ochs

Universität Innsbruck, Austria
Work package leader WP5

Dr. Ingo Leusbrock

AEE  INTEC, Austria
Work package leader WP6


WP2 is a preparatory work package gathering and evaluating the broad range of relevant boundary conditions and key performance indicators in regard to the development of a giga-scale thermal energy storage (TES). Furthermore, different application scenarios for giga-scale TES including their boundary conditions will be evaluated and a selection of representative Austrian sites and scenarios will be elaborated in order to facilitate detailed assessment in other work packages.


Constructions for deep storage pits are developed, using construction methods from special ground engineering. Storage volumes of up to 2 million m³, with as little heat loss as possible and a usable floating cover during the operating phase are investigated.


Development of tailor-made and durable materials for large-scale thermal energy storages is in the focus of work package 4.


In order to assess and optimize large-scale underground thermal energy storage (TES) on district heating system level detailed dynamic models are required. TES component (e.g. hygrothermal model), TES stand-alone and TES models for system integration are developed and tested in WP 5 considering boundary conditions and the impact on e.g. ground water temperature.


Work package 6 focusses on the possible integration of large-scale thermal energy storage (giga_TES) solutions in district heating systems. Based on simulation studies, analysis and evaluation of ecological, economical and technical aspects for selected application scenarios will be performed. A list of recommendations for operation and management of giga_TES-based concepts will be a further result of work package 6.


The final webinar highlights the project results.


The publications developed in the project

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