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Competence Center Thermal Energy Storage (CCTES, HSLU)


Thermal energy storage
Electrochemical energy storage




Electrochemical energy storage
Thermal energy storage
Mechanical energy storage


Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Contact person 1:

Anastasia Stamatiou

Contact person 2:

Philipp Schütz



TRL Level:

1-3, 4-6, Above 6

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Competence Center Thermal Energy Storage (CCTES, HSLU)

The facilities of CC TES, HSLU comprise state-of-the-art equipment for energy storage research with a focus on thermal energy storage technologies. The laboratory infrastructure comprises all essential equipment for the development and characterization of thermal energy storage materials and components including a unique computed tomography facility for non-destructive imaging (LuCi) under load.

Analytical laboratory

The analytical laboratory comprises all devices necessary to analyse important thermophysical properties of sensible and latent storage materials, as well as surrounding materials (e.g. encapsulation, insulation). Apart from the unique characteristics of the individual devices, what is particularly outstanding is the combination of all devices necessary for latent storage developments in one facility.

A non-exhaustive list of the equipment available at the analytical lab of HSLU includes:

- Two differential scanning calorimeters (DSCs)

- A three layer calorimeter and a drop calorimeter

- Thermogravimetric analyser (TGA)

- Transient hot bridge for thermal conductivity measurements

- Two particle size analyzers based on laser diffraction and scattering

- Gas chromatographer/mass spectrometer (GC/MS)

- Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)

- X-ray diffractometer (XRD)

- Device for accelerated stability tests for phase change slurries

- Setups to determine cycling stability

- Water content determination devices

- Drop shape analyzer for contact angle measurements and surface free energy determination

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Luci – Lucerne CT Imaging

X-ray computed tomography is a non-destructive method to investigate the interior composition of thermal and electrochemical storage systems. Key features of this device are: Penetration capability: 225 kV source; Spatial resolution: up to 0.5-1 micrometer; Focal spot size: starting from 0.5 microns; Extension of measurement field: Cross-sections with up to 5600 x 5600 pixels can be measured; Permissible sample size: Diameter 520 mm, height 650 mm, up to 50 kg sample weight); the detectors can measure up to 15 frames per second (full-frame); in addition the sample can also be measured under concurrent mechanical load of up to 10 kN tensile or compression pressure, thermal loads up to 2.4 kW in the range of (-40 °C to 190 °C), accessible temperature range -80 °C to 250 °C and hygric loads as well as pressure loads

The CT enables as a one-of-a-kind device the high-resolution tracking of dynamic processes in thermal storage system and the failure analysis of electric storage systems. Measurement times as short as 13 seconds can be achieved. Luci offers as a USP a combined thermal, hygric and mechanical loading opportunity mounted in a CT system. The presence of the CT facility in the campus of HSLU enables its flexible utilization to further analyse systems that are investigated in the analytical or thermal laboratories of HSLU.

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Thermal laboratory

The thermal laboratory contains a unique combination of thermal storage test prototypes and thermostats/measuring equipment to characterize the performance of latent/sensible storage technologies from very deep (-50°C) to medium-high (200°C) temperatures in a variety of scales (50ml to 1 m3). There are prototypes that can be easily adapted to study a variety of components (e.g. adaptable heat exchangers, nozzle plates, packed bed shapes) and thus can be important instruments to cater a variety of research projects. All testing prototypes are developed in-house and are unique in the world. It also includes a system simulation lab which allows for the testing of TES systems in combination with thermal networks and various production/consumption profiles (NODES). The laboratory comprises:

- Fast cycling facility for PCM macro-capsules

- Large scale PCM macrocapsule testing facility

- Seasonal TES prototype testing: Test feasibility of installation and performance of insulation/sealing materials for seasonal TES storage in real conditions

- Vapour diffusion determination facility (e.g. insulation materials for seasonal storage)

- System test facility for thermal networks with three consumers, one thermal storage and one heat source

- Facility for determination of heat transfer coefficients of phase change slurries

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