March 27, 2023

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Solar heat storage system can keep old houses nice and warm in winter

Solar heat storage system can keep old houses nice and warm in winter

About Green Spirit Techniques

  • Founders: Dr. Bernard Koenig
  • Founded: 2021
  • employees: –
  • Fundraising: tech2b Inkubator, grant from Oberösterreich
  • The ultimate goal: to promote independent and emission-free heating technology

Bernhard König wants to store summer heat from the sun with a self-developed thermal storage system for use in winter. Spirit It is able to store energy from solar panels and solar thermal systems without loss and in the long term – and can cover heating needs without significant operating costs. This can eventually make homeowners independent of energy suppliers. In this episode of start today He tells Koenig about his innovation and the challenges of starting his company, Green Soul.

Wärmespeicher, Green Soul GreenHeat, Wärmespeicher Thermochemistry
Bernard Koenig (c) The Green Spirit

How are we supposed to imagine this SoulHeat system?

“In principle, you can save your own heat with a one-time investment in this system. This eliminates your monthly energy costs. Except for some power for the circulation pumps. You can choose the capacity of the SoulHeat system yourself. This ranges from less than a hundred kilowatt-hours to several tens of thousands of kWh of storage capacity The device can be buried in the garden or installed in the basement It only takes a few tubes One-time investment for heat storage is between 7-16 euros per kWh of storage The price decreases with the size of the device Compared with electricity storage, which costs between 400 and 1,000 euros per kWh, we offer a huge price advantage.”

What problem are you solving and why is it important?

“With our solution, we harness energy from PV and solar heat systems – and make their owners independent of energy suppliers. In addition, our solution is emission-free and requires very little energy. Low operating costs allow it to be used by many and make an important contribution to energy supplies. Environmentally friendly energy. Reduced demand for electricity can also lead to a easing of power grids. This is important because the phase-out of fossil fuels is accompanied by massive electricity consumption.”

Was there ever a moment when you wanted to stop?

Startups face the challenge of making efforts in many areas. This starts with the technology itself. There is no such thing as a perfect solution. A compromise must always be found between different factors. And if you have achieved this, then the first financial problems will appear. We are very pleased to have access to a very good network of financing options in Austria. But as a hardware-intensive startup, searching for the right investors will likely require a lot of us. Sure, there are always setbacks in all areas of the business, but that’s what makes it exciting. So far, we have not considered giving up and are looking to the future with confidence.”

Wärmespeicher, Green Soul, GreenHeat, Wärmespeicher Thermochemistry,
Dr. Bernard Koenig (c) The Green Spirit

What are you particularly proud of?

“Since becoming a technician, a successful lab-scale proof of concept has been one of my happiest moments so far. You’ve been working on an idea for so long without knowing exactly if you’ve thought of everything and if it really works. But it’s also motivating That many potential clients come forward and show interest in the project.”

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How did the financing go?

“At first I financed the company with savings. Then I got external financing, first from the tech2b incubator and then from the federal state of Oberösterreich. Applications take a long time, but you are not alone.”

Where do you want to be with Green Soul in five years?

“In five years, we want to make zero-emission heating possible for the many people who own their homes. We also want to offer SoulHeat to local heating networks, such as apartment block heating.”

What distinguishes this heat storage from other systems?

The current market presentation of heat storage mainly focuses on water and soil based systems and systems where biogas is converted into electricity. The latter is often still in the research stage. Our solution is based on a reversible thermochemical process. As a result, our system performs better than storing solar heat in hot water tanks. This high temperature level, combined with SoulHeat’s modular design, makes it possible to provide environmentally clean heating energy for older, hard-to-heat buildings.

Complete system reversal means it can be charged and discharged over and over again without loss of performance. So SoulHeat is a one-time investment that will last for decades. In addition to being a complete heating system, SoulHeat can also be combined with air source heat pumps.

The most important sales parameter in the fast-growing air source heat pump market is the annual performance factor, that is, the efficiency value calculated over a year. However, air source heat pumps have been found to be ineffective in the cold season. SoulHeat’s small tank can greatly increase the efficiency of the air source heat pump.”