Theme III - 3.3

Community Level Thermal Energy Storage

Project Leader

  • M. Rosen


Depending on the composition and characteristics of a community, the most appropriate community thermal storage may differ from that for a single building. Research is needed that focuses on the optimization of community-level seasonal storage, considering thermal energy above (i.e., hot) or below environmental temperatures (i.e., cold). District energy systems usually link thermal users to cold supplies and/or heat supplies (e.g., solar thermal energy, geothermal energy from ground-source heat pumps or geothermal hot zones, industrial waste heat, thermal energy from cogeneration or trigeneration). The optimal integration of these technologies can be enhanced through the use of appropriate seasonal thermal energy storage. 

Community-level seasonal storage has attracted increasing interest in recent years, mainly due to the potential benefits it can yield in such areas as efficiency, economics and environmental impact. But many issues exist need to be resolved to allow optimal solutions to be attained. Advanced tools are required for modeling, simulation, analysis, improvement, design and optimization, which incorporate advanced methods like exergy analysis. The most appropriate scale, number and type (e.g., sensible, latent, thermochemical) of thermal storages in a community need to be better assessed, and the appropriate time duration capacities for each determined in an optimal manner. This is particularly important since a combination of short-, medium- and long-term storage is sometimes required to yield the most benefits from community energy systems, as is the case at the Drake Landing Solar Community in Okotoks, Alberta. Further, improvements are needed in seasonal storage technology and systems, in terms of factors such as efficiency, reliability, economics, environmental impact and others. 

Improved understanding of the appropriate integration of thermal storage into communities having numerous buildings is needed, particularly where renewable energy sources and advanced energy technologies are utilized, as such systems are extremely complex. The objective of the project is to develop integrated approaches that allow the optimal design of community seasonal energy storage, to support the development of smart net.


  • 3.3a  Development of improved modelling and simulation tools
  • 3.3b  Development of new TES components, enhancement of existing and new configurations
  • 3.3c  Enhance the integration of seasonal TES schemes communities and their buildings


Back to Theme III : Mid-to Long-Term Thermal Storage for Buildings and Communities