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Large Thermal Energy Storages for District Heating

  • Task 39
  • Currently running
  • Energy storage in energy systems

Institutes/companies and experts

Company name: IF Technology B.V.

IF Technology

IF Technology is a consultant and engineering company that specializes in the development, implementation and exploitation of sustainable underground heating and cooling systems, like low-temperature ATES, HT-ATES and geothermal energy. IF was closely involved in the development of the state-of-the-art HT-ATES of ECW Energy in Middenmeer (feasibility-permitting-design-realization-exploitation), and contributes this valuable knowledge and experience to Task39.

IF Technology-experts

Bas Godschalk, MSc (Business Developer HT-ATES) has been involved in many Dutch heat storage systems in the past, published many articles on this topic and strives for larger scale implementation of HT-ATES in NL, by bringing key players together. Bas leads the HT-ATES team within IF Technology that brings HT-ATES into practice.

Peter Oerlemans, MSc (Hydrogeologist) has specific knowledge and experiences on the subsurface processes and risks around High Temperature ATES like heat transport processes, thermal efficiency, environmental impacts and well design considerations, but also on permitting procedures for these systems.

Nico Franco Pinto, MSc (Mechanical Engineer) is specialized in the design, material selection and the successful operation of HT-ATES systems, from the mechanical point of view. Risks are mitigated in practice by the components in Nico’s well and system design.

Institute name: Technical University of Denmark – DTU



DTU Construct is a department at the Technical University of Denmark. The department carries out research on solar heating. Large solar collectors for solar heating plants have been investigated by the Department since the 1980’ties. DTU will work on Subtask A and C.


Jianhua Fan has more than 19 years of research experience in heat storage and solar heating systems. He has been leading/participating in more than 40 national and international research projects. He has published more than 110 SCI/EI indexed journal articles and 39 conference papers/reports.

Company name: Solmax



Pioneer, innovator, and leader. With almost five decades´ experience, our GSE, TenCate Geosynthetics and Propex acquisitions make us the world’s largest geosynthetics manufacturer. For district heating, Solmax Geosynthetics GmbH has been successfully sealing Pit Thermal Energy Storages (PTES) for almost a decade. In addition to the corresponding sealing products for PTES, Solmax offers high-quality system solutions from a single source. The in-house installation department provides considerable experience in implementing projects in various applications.


Thomas Labda – Key Account Manager Renewable Energy & Leader of the Efficient Pit research and development project – Active member in expert groups: DIN; DGGT 5.1, VDI 4640-3. – Role in Task 39: Subtask B: Expertise in requirements and design of PTES, support specifically to materials and components – Mail: tlabda@solmax.com

Catrin Tarnowski  – Senior Technical Manager @Solmax, expert & consultant for institutions and authorities, international participation in R&D: PFAS, Cold Weather Installation, PTES – Active member in standardization: DIN; CEN and ISO, DVS, ASTM – Role in Task 39 – Subtask B: Expertise in lining materials and its installation, support specifically to materials and components – Mail: ctarnowski@solmax.com

Company name: NewHeat



Newheat is a renewable heat supplier and the leader in solar heat in France. Since 2015, the company has been offering innovative decarbonization solutions for large heat consumers, in particular district heating networks and large industrial sites. Its activity is to develop, design, build, finance and operate projects that can combine waste heat recovery, solar thermal and short and long term thermal storage systems.Based in Bordeaux, Newheat currently owns 6 sites in operation / construction, for a total of 40 MWth. Pierre DELMAS is Subtask A Leader.


Pierre Delmas : Technical Director and co-founder – Pierre started his career in 2011 in Canada with the concentrated solar thermal technology supplier Rackam. In 2014, he joined the French company Exosun to develop products for the solar thermal market, before deciding to create Newheat with Hugues Defreville. – Pierre has been contributing since 2013 to the work of different IEA SHC tasks and AFNOR, he is a graduate of the University of Technology of Compiègne.

Company name: NRCan



Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) develops policies and programs that enhance the contribution of the natural resources sector to the economy, improve the quality of life for all Canadians and conducts innovative science in facilities across Canada to generate ideas and transfer technologies. Natural Resources Canada is committed to improving the quality of life of Canadians by ensuring the country’s abundant natural resources are developed sustainably, competitively, and inclusively.

CanmetENERGY-Ottawa (CE-O) is a NRCan research lab focusing on leading the development of energy science and technology (S&T) solutions for the environmental and economic benefit of Canadians. In pursuit of this mission, we:

  • apply our scientific expertise and leverage our unique pilot-scale facilities
  • accelerate the advancement of clean energy technologies, from the initial research stage through to commercialization
  • collaborate with partners, including manufacturers, academia, planners, builders, and all levels of government
  • research areas: CO2 capture, utilization and storage, transportation, industry, renewables, oil and gas, build environment, bioenergy, norther and remote energy, material characterization


CE-O will be contributing to IEA Task 39: Large Thermal Energy Storages for District Heating subtask C: Round Robin simulation. Lucio Mesquita and Chris McNevin will be participating. Lucio is an expert in solar thermal technology as well as large scale thermal storage and he has been heavily involved in studying the Drake Landings Solar community and its BTES system. Chris McNevin is also knowledgeable in solar thermal technologies as well as energy storage and district energy systems. Jeff Thornton from TESS will be conducting to simulation study on behalf of CE-O. Jeff Thornton is an expert in thermal energy systems design and modelling and has been involved in several studies related to district energy and thermal energy storage.

Institute name: Universität Innsbruck


Universität Innsbruck – Institut für Konstruktion und Materialwissenschaften,  Arbeitsbereich Energieeffizientes Bauen

The unit of Energy Efficient Building of the University of Innsbruck sees its main task in supporting the sustainable renewal process in the building sector. The research covers physics, building physics, thermodynamics, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technology, building services engineering, renewable energies in buildings and thermal buildings and system simulation, energy concepts in building construction, acoustics and sensor technology.

Based on its experience, UIBK plays a role as a consulting partner in Task 39 in the definition of a guideline for the construction materials (Subtask B) and in the development of reliable numerical models at both system and component levels (Subtask C).

Universität Innsbruck-experts

Fabian Ochs (Dr. -Ing.)  is Assistant Professor at the Unit for Energy Efficient Building. His current research focuses on the transition to a sustainable energy system, energy efficient buildings and districts, HVAC systems, heat pumps and thermal energy storage.

Alice Tosatto (M.Sc.) works as a Scientific Assistant at the Unit of Energy Efficient Building. Her research interests include large-scale thermal energy storage in district heating, hygrothermal performance if construction materials and energy scenarios.

Johann Schroll works as a laboratory technician at the University of Innsbruck. His professional training in mechanical engineering, building energy technology and renewable energy form the basis for his laboratory activities.

Institute name: Austrian Institute of Technology – AIT



The Center for Energy of AIT Austrian Institute of Technology offers innovative and applied research services to its customers and partners such as industrial companies, energy suppliers, technology providers, cities and municipalities as well as research institutions with its high-quality and specific laboratory infrastructure, many years of experience and scientific excellence of AIT experts. The know-how and technological competencies are very diverse and range from the exploitation of scientific findings from co-financed innovation projects, R&D contracts, patents & licenses, scientific consulting, testing for product certification, education & training to technology spin-offs. The AIT Center for Energy is developing solutions designed to ensure an innovative energy supply for the future.

The main contribution will be the participation in the subtask C: Round Robin Simulations in order to provide a benchmark for future models of large-scale thermal energy storage applications. This includes simulations with the following tools: COMSOL Multiphysics, Modelica/Dymola, FEFLOW and Earth Energy Design. The participation will cover LTES applications: tank, pit, boreholes and aquifer TES. Moreover, a participation in subtask B: Materials and components is planned. The goal is to share the knowledge in construction and materials for pit thermal energy storage. Besides, the participants will share their know-how in water quality and corrosion inspection.


Edith Haslinger is a Senior Scientist at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. Since 2009 she has been working at the Center for Energy as a project manager on shallow and deep geothermal energy projects. Her focus is on the development of geothermal-based heating and cooling networks and the retrofitting of existing buildings with geothermal energy. She conducts research in the areas of underground thermal storage and the assessment of geofluids when used in technical systems.

Abdulrahman Dahash works as a scientist at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Center for Energy since September 2021. He is engaged in several national as well as international research projects in the field of efficiency in industrial processes and systems, heat pumps and large-scale thermal energy storage for district heating. He is currently engaged in research fields on the techno-economic analysis of large-scale thermal energy storage with heat pumps, construction of large-scale thermal energy storage and decarbonized energy concepts for industry.