sp.ICE Thermal Ice Storage - Storage Technology for the Energy Transition


By 2030, 80% of Germany's energy needs are to be covered by renewable energies. This was decided by the German government in the amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), which came into force on 01 January 2023.1 This means a doubling of electricity generation from renewable energies in the remaining 7 years. A major shortcoming of wind and solar energy compared to electricity generation from fossil fuels is that they are not available in constant quantities. Large fluctuations in energy generation are the rule.

Without a corresponding expansion of storage capacities, the energy transition cannot succeed. The storage capacities currently available are just enough to guarantee Germany's electricity supply for half an hour. In order to achieve half a day's supply security, additional energy storage capacities in the range of 720 gigawatt hours must be created.2 This is only possible with a mix of different energy storage capacities such as pumped storage, battery storage, hydrogen-based storage and thermal energy storage. Depending on the type and level of energy demand, long-term or short-term energy storage, stationary or mobile solutions are needed.

Thermal energy storage

The conversion of "green electricity" into cooling energy, which is needed for refrigeration networks, the cooling of industrial processes or for data centres, among other things, is an extremely efficient form of energy storage. Unlike metal- or hydrogen-based storage systems, the materials used in sp.ICE ice storage are readily available and have a comparatively good ecological balance. Ice storage systems can also be modularly expanded in response to increasing demand for cooling.

Compared to conventional technology, the use of capillary tube technology in the sp.ICE ice storage system enables significantly faster charging performance. Ice formation can be completely finished after 6 hours. The cold energy from the ice storage can be made available similarly quickly for air conditioning buildings or for cooling industrial processes.

The dynamic charging and discharging performance together with the energy efficiency make the sp.ICE an attractive alternative in the field of thermal energy storage. Charging processes with low-cost night-time electricity and the possibility of using this to cap peaks in cooling demand during the day result in an ideal pendulum storage system.

The sp.ICE ice storage system is manufactured and distributed by sp.ICE GmbH in cooperation with BEKA Heiz- und Kühlmatten GmbH and GEFGA Energiesysteme GmbH.

Product presentation on Vimeo


https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/klimaschutz/novelle-eeg-gesetz-2023-2023972 (in German, visited 02.03.2023)

2 Bundesnetzagentur: Regelungen zu Stromspeichern im deutschen Strommarkt. Bericht 2021, S.5 (in German)