The term sector coupling has become an established feature of energy policy debate and refers to the interconnection of efficient, flexible, coordinated energy systems through the use of clean energy for the purpose of decarbonisation – both in generation and in consumption. This means that electricity as an energy source will be used for the provision of heat, cold and transportation as part of the electrification of numerous applications. A significant share of the primary energy consumption today (more than 30%) is attributable to heating and cooling buildings and to the heating of drinking water. If this field does not undergo decarbonisation, the long-term climate objectives cannot be achieved. However, energy needs and the volatile generation of electricity from renewable sources using wind turbines and solar generators are often different to reconcile in their timing.
In this case, it is advisable to convert any renewable energy that is generated directly into heat or cold, and to store it for later use. Thanks to the large storage capacity and in particular the constant temperature level, the Axiotherm PCM hybrid storage facilities with HeatSel and HeatStixx is ideal for this purpose, as shown for example by the power-to-heat system (PV-Heat) presented recently at the EM Power by our partners klara energy systems GmbH, Varista GmbH and Gebrüder Tuxhorn GmbH und Co. KG. This complete system, comprising a phase change material storage facility, an electrothermal station, a fresh water station and a smart control system, enables thermal storage of solar power for the purpose of optimising in-house consumption. The control system controls the output of the electric heater depending on the surplus from the solar generator in order to avoid feed-in. This modulation of output makes it possible use the entire solar generation surplus for heat production despite the volatility of solar power generation and of electricity needs in the household. Even low surpluses can be converted to usable heat with a constant temperature, suppressing conventional fossil night heating. Thanks to the modularity and scalability of the system, it is also possible to easily integrate other generators such as heat pumps, which for instance could also allow for the efficient heating of public and commercial buildings as well as accommodation.
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