Giga-Scale Thermal Energy Storage for Renewable Districts


  • Storage
  • Solar thermal energy
  • Energy supply
  • District heating
  • Energy concept


  • Consulting
  • Technology transfer
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Development
  • Research


  • Public funds


01/2018 – 12/2020 (3 years)


3.3 m. EUR


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


Austrian Climate and Energy Fund


  • AEE INTEC – Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien (AT) (Koordinator)
  • Steinbeis Research Institute Solites (DE)
  • S.O.L.I.D. Gesellschaft für Solarinstallation und Design mbH (AT)
  • Johannes Kepler Universität – Institute of Polymeric Materials and Testing (AT)
  • Universität Innsbruck – Institut für Konstruktion und Materialwissenschaften, AT
  • Ingenieurbüro ste.p ZT-GmbH (AT)
  • AGRU Kunststofftechnik GmbH (AT)
  • Metawell GmbH (DE)
  • Bilfinger VAM Anlagentechnik GmbH (AT)
  • Geologie und Grundwasser GmbH (AT)
  • PORR Bau GmbH Tiefbau (AT)
  • Lenzing Plastics GmbH (AT)
  • PlanEnergi (DK)
  • Gabriel-Chemie Gesellschaft mbH (AT)
  • Smart Minerals GmbH (AT)
  • Wien Energie GmbH (AT)
  • Salzburg AG (AT)
  • GVT Verfahrenstechnik GmbH (AT)


  • Comprehensive overview of requirements and challenges for application and installation of giga-scale heat storages
  • Development of innovative and optimal construction methods for giga-scale heat storages
  • Elaboration of economically viable solutions for critical storage components such as base plate, liner and cover
  • Development of novel polymeric and anorganic materials for the construction of large-scale heat storages
  • Development of simulation models considering different modelling depths, validation and application of the models for optimising the construction in respect to relevant boundary conditions
  • Assessment of the additional benefit and importance of large-scale storages in respect to existing and future district heating networks


The project is structured in the following major workpackages:
  • Development of components and technologies
  • Materials development and testing
  • Computer aided storage optimisation
  • System integration and storage management
Three Austrian sites will be investigated with respect to the main challenges like construction, geology and geophysics, materials, district heating system and its operating characteristics, economic aspects, public acceptance etc. The three sites will be used as demonstration systems throughout the project.
Solites contributes with experiences from realised projects with large-scale thermal energy storage in Germany and supports the simulation based optimisations and questions of system integration.


  • Categorized and prioritized requirements, challenges and benefits of giga-scale heat storages for at least three Austrian locations representing possible archetypes.
  • Technology concepts for large & deep storage pits within five typical construction grounds (rock/soils, with/without ground water), designs and process technologies for multilayer structures for the bottom, the wall and the cover of giga-scale TES.
  • Novel liner, concrete and metal-sandwich materials with improved temperature capability and lifetime as well as optimized multi-functional property profiles according to the component specific requirements.
  • Detailed 3D TES model accounting for different ground layers, ground water flow, complex geometries, and moisture transport and convection in multi-layer structures at the bottom, the wall or the cover.
  • Simulation framework, application scenarios and operating windows for district heating systems with integrated giga-scale TES.

Downloads and links

Thomas Schmidt

This project has received funding from

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