It's too hot in summer and too cold in winter. Primeo Energie uses thermal batteries to store the excess heat of the summer so that it can be used for heating in the winter. Read about how it works in this article.
Energy storage made easy: A thermal battery can store waste heat in the ground during the summer months and reuse it in the colder seasons by means of heat pumps. This is precisely the application that used in the BaseLink project in Allschwil.
The ground beneath the BaseLink site has 225 geothermal probes that regulate heat and cold. A geothermal probe is a tube extending some 280 meters into the ground with a diameter of about 16 centimetres. On the inside there are four smaller pipes. Water flows down in two of them and comes back up in the other two.
The circulating water in these four pipes exchanges the heat and cold. The tubes extend 280 meters into the ground.
Martin Dietler, Head of the Heating Projects Department at Primeo Energie, explains in an interview why the BaseLink project is unique and how thermal batteries have lots of potential for the future.
Mr Dietler, what's so special about this project?
With around 70 kilometres of geothermal probes, it is the largest field of geothermal probes in the region and makes a strong impression. In addition, it was fascinating for me to develop a site from scratch and without any conditions, using existing buildings: Only a few years ago, we had a meadow here. Added to this, the BaseLink construction site is incredibly large. The project is also a very good fit for Primeo Energie, as the focus is on ecology.
Why is Primeo Wärme AG currently constructing the thermal batteries for BaseLink?
Primeo Energie for many years has had close relations with Burckhard + Partner, the architects of BaseLink, and the Bürgerspital Basel, which owns the property. That's why cooperation was also offered here.
What are the next steps?
We will be installing the first heat pumps and cooling units in September 2020. By spring 2021, we will be piping the power units and connecting them to the grid. In addition, the pipelines to the first buildings are being laid. We will be supplying energy from 1 April 2021.
Delivery of a heat pump for use during the cold season to produce heat.
Are thermal batteries the power plants of the future?
Climate change is forcing us to improve our cooling systems in buildings in the summer. Added to this, more and more technology is being used in buildings. The combination of heat pumps and geothermal probes is therefore a logical step. Cooling is not very complex, and we need to return the heat we extract from the earth during warm periods. I therefore strongly expect this concept to become established in the future.