Technical Constraints for Establishing Energy Storages

We examined challenges to install energy efficient energy storages in historic settings across Europe. Focusing on the countries where STORE4HUC piloting activities take place (Slovenia, Italy, Austria and Croatia), findings show a good potential to learn from common findings.

The technical constraints are strongly varying between the pilots, because they are using completely different technologies. In Slovenia for example, where a paraffin-based latent heat storage is used, finding a suitable product on the market as well as finding a suitable investment construction works contractor was challenging. In Italy, where an electrical storage in combination with a photovoltaic system will be installed, there was no problem finding suitable products on the market, but it was complicated to study for their application to the pilot due to the peculiarity of the plant itself (slope elevator) and its location. In Croatia, a carport PV solution combined with an in-house battery fulfilling the fire safety regulation have been identified and will serve as good practice example. The both pilots in Austria and Slovenia, which are connected to the district heating system have to deal with specifications based on this but also between these two pilots there are major differences related to the used storage type, the location of the storage and so on.

However, it can be stated, that storage technologies which need less space are basically advantageous for the integration in a HUC from the technical perspective, as space is often limited in historical buildings and any construction work often needs special permits. If the storage is located outside, as it is the case in Weiz, there can be some restrictions regarding to the landscape image. Smaller storage sizes would be beneficial from the technical perspective, but the economic consequences have to be also considered accordingly.

Moreover, the installation of photovoltaic systems is much more complicated in HUC. In Croatia for example the biggest technical constraint was to find a solution on how and where to install the photovoltaic power plant, since it must not be mounted on the roof of the building. The only possible solution for the construction of a photovoltaic power plant due to conservation requirements is the construction of a canopy in the parking lot whose roof will be used to accommodate the photovoltaic modules. In Austria, the situation is similar if the building is listed. Modern photovoltaic technologies, which looks like roof tiles and allows different colours could be an alternative in the future. In Germany for example there are already some good practice examples implemented. However, in many countries the law does not differ between different types of photovoltaic systems yet.

To learn more on details on single national specifics, please contact Robert Pratter from the Store4HUC project team.