Building is one of the areas with the highest share of global energy consumption. Despite global initiatives to reduce its high dependence on fossil fuels, the development of new technological solutions that contribute through renewable energies to the efficient consumption of buildings is required.

Climate control is the largest consumption of a building, regardless of its use. Currently, building conditioning accounts for more than 25% of the world’s energy consumption. Thus, to achieve the EU’s decarbonization targets, it is essential to reduce energy consumption in the building sector by 80% and CO2 emissions by 50%. For its side, the EU has recently proposed an update of its Energy Efficiency in Buildings Directive to require that all buildings to be constructed from 2021 onwards must have nearly zero energy consumption.

At this context, it is crucial to develop new energy technologies that supply the conditioning systems of buildings based on the hybridization of the use of energy from the subsoil with the storage of electrical energy through flow batteries. Overall, the main purpose is to achieve near-zero energy consumption buildings in developing countries, where the guarantee of supply is a growing problem, and the promotion of sustainable growth is urgently needed.  This goal also responds to the Safe, Sustainable and Clean Energy Challenge, as it will reduce the consumption of buildings by 80%, as well as guaranteeing the security of supply to critical facilities without the need for generators.

How do flow batteries impact on hybridization systems in buildings?

The geothermal use of the land makes it possible to achieve energy efficiencies far above those achieved with other energy sources while at the meantime reducing the energy supply to a single type, electricity, simplifying the energy management of the building. In this regard, the use of flow batteries makes it possible to make the power supply independent of its subsequent consumption, adding a continuous operation of the building.

Flow batteries are an electrochemical storage system that allows to transform electrical energy and store it in the chemical energy shape, a process that can be easily reversed to recover the initial electrical energy. In addition, flow batteries offer a range of advantages in flexibility and lifetime compared to conventional batteries.

Furthermore, the integration of flow batteries allows us to efficiently harness energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, in accordance with their uninterrupted nature.

E22, aware of the challenge of consolidating a solution that supplies in a reliable, safe, sustainable, and continuous way, participates in the GeoBATT project, with national projection, to develop a new technology that hybridizes geothermal use with energy storage in flow batteries and does not generate CO2 emissions and eliminates dependence on fossil fuel consumption. This new model will be integrated with the measures used to improve the sustainability of buildings, such as the use of solar panels.

E22, through the GeoBATT project, aims, in this way, to answer the challenges of today’s society, which have been recognized in the Spanish Strategy, the European Union program reflected in Horizon 2020 and the work plan of the public-private partnership Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB).