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Ice Storage Unit - an Integrated
Energy Concept for a Laboratory Building
This year Europe´s biggest commercially operated ice storage unit for utilising thermal energy is built in Hamburg-Bergedorf. It is a major component of an integrated energy concept for a new laboratory building. The ice storage unit has a capacity of 1,000,000 litres of water and reduces the thermal energy demand of the building by 59% compared to conventional heating and air conditioning techniques.
The analytical machines generate a high load of waste heat. At the same time the air in the laboratories has to be continuously air conditioned and exchanged. In fact conventional heating concepts with heat recovery systems utilise the energy to a certain extent for heating in winter, but in summer air conditioning needs electric power. Since there is a demand on heating and air conditioning the whole year round, established regenerative energy concepts like solar or geothermal energy were not suitable. In cooperation with an energy consultant an innovative concept for an ice storage unit with core activation of the building was designed.
The ice storage unit serves as an energy storage unit for heat and cold. In winter energy is withdrawn from water with a heat pump used for air conditioning the laboratory and the ice storage unit slowly freezes over. In summer the laboratory air of the building is cooled with the stored cold through pipes in the floor and the ice storage unit is slowly defrosting. In doing so the ice storage unit is capable to collect and release heat and cold at the same time. To enable this, the ice storage unit has separate pipeline systems for heating as well as for cooling. The system is managed centrally by measurement and control technology.
The ice storage unit is situated outside the building below the parking lot and is filled with potable water. It thus represents a particularly friendly technology for the environment and can even be operated in drinking water protection areas.
For the new construction project of GALAB Laboratories GmbH in Bergedorf, the heating and cooling loads including their seasonal changes were determined by applying dynamic system simulation. The peak load for cooling is 100 kW, for heating approximately 180kW. According to the resulting heating and cooling performance the following concept was designed: an electric heat pump provides heating energy. With heat extraction, it cools the building on the one hand and the ice storage unit on the other hand. This process happens in winter also, since some of the rooms in the building have a demand for cooling the whole year round. Peaks in the heating load are covered by a gas condensing boiler. In summer when the demand for cooling increases and at the same time heating load decreases, the ice storage unit is regenerated and cools the building. Functioning of this concept is ensured by the extremely low system temperature. Because of activation of thermal panels and provision of fresh warm water, a flow temperature of 45°C is sufficient for heating and warm water. For provision of fresh warm water, drinking water is heated by a heat exchanger at the point of use. As a result you save energy by reducing drinking water storage and high temperature to destroy Legionella. Merely the heatings´s feed pipe is kept warm continuously.

Schematic diagram of operation

Design temperatures


03.07.2015 | On 30th June, GALAB was honored as environmental partner of the city of Hamburg by Jens Kerstan, senator for environment and energy. read more

16.04.2013 | GALAB has applied for the Green Tec-Award in the category "Building&Living". The concept is an ice storage unit for our new laboratory building to decrease heating and cooling up to 59%. read more