Holtec Energy Storage System for District Heating

Holtec HI-HEAT District Heater System could store surplus electricity generated by nuclear, solar or wind. It will be a two modules called the Preservator and the Steam Chest. The Preservator preserves stored heat, while the Steam Chest maintains an inventory of steam to stabilise the supply system. With no moving parts or “life-limiting constituents”, the HI-HEAT system will work for decades.

The largest factory-manufactured system envisaged is the HI-HEAT 100, a 29.3 MWh system that can deliver cycle steam at the desired rate of flow to a district heating grid. “If adequately replenished with intermittent surplus electric power from the grid, the HI-HEAT systems can be sized to deliver heating steam continuously and indefinitely. Because there is no limit on the number of systems that can be deployed in parallel at any site, there is no limit on the supply of steam available for district heating or any other application,” the company said.

Holtec said it expects to manufacture the systems near to where they will be used, using mostly locally sourced materials, although as it draws surplus energy from the grid, the district heating system may be “hundreds of miles away” from where the electricity is generated. In most cases, the company said, the system “will simply retire and replace” existing gas boilers used for district heating.

The HI-HEAT district heating systems would also work with existing nuclear plants in the near term and by the Holtec SMR-160 advanced light water reactors in the next decade.

China is heating the 600,000 person city of Haiyang with district heating from a nuclear power plants.

5 thoughts on “Holtec Energy Storage System for District Heating”

  1. So a big steam plant for heating, but run on electricity at 60% efficiency, rather than 90+% with a modern boiler. Other than ‘green’ kickbacks to whoever installs this in their town, what’s the actual advantage?

    And the fluff about “surplus energy”, ask Texas where their surplus energy was when the grid froze? Which would be when district heating is the most needed, sure the reserve tank will keep you going for a while, but the system is built to lose thermal energy to warm buildings.

  2. 1414 Degrees does basically the same thing but at higher temperature with molten silicon.

    Sunamp does the basically the same thing but at residential scale and temperature.

    Rural parts of the US have used even simpler thermal energy storage systems for decades. Large tank water heaters that only charge at night and Steffes thermal brick space heaters.

    Singapore and Phoenix have district cooling systems that do the same thing will big tanks of ice or chilled glycol solution.

    Thermal energy storage is pretty cheap and easy. They run forever and cost a small fraction of what batteries cost. The downside is that they are application -specific and sometimes require site integration work. Batteries are a more general solution.

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