Root LU – Cowa Thermal Solutions, a start-up from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, has launched a space-saving heat storage system for surplus energy from photovoltaic systems and heat pumps. Instead of water, it uses salt hydrates as storage material, which are up to three times more efficient.
Cowa Thermal Solutions has developed a method to increase the capacity of heat storage systems for combined photovoltaic-heat pump systems many times over. The founders of the start-up from the canton of Lucerne have already researched this technology for heating and hot water as part of their master’s thesis at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
They then worked for another four years to get their product, the cowa Booster Speicher, ready for the market, according to a statement from the university. During the past heating period, it was intensively tested in the field. The tests had shown that thanks to the cowa technology, the heating self-sufficiency doubled, halving the dependence on the electricity grid. The cowa Booster memory is now available in stores. The sales partner is the building technology company Meier Tobler. Initial talks for expansion into Germany and Europe are reportedly underway.
According to the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, it increases capacity without taking up more space. “The core of our technology is the storage material,” explains cowa founder and co-CEO Remo Waser. “It is based on low-cost salt hydrates, whose storage density is up to three factors higher than that of water. Our heat storage systems are correspondingly more efficient.”
The salt hydrates are reportedly in capsules. The storage tank is filled about 40 percent with heating water and 60 percent with capsules containing the salt hydrates. “Thus, the cowa buffer tank can store two to three times more energy than a conventional water storage tank of the same size without capsules,” says CRO Jan Allemann. ce/mm