Windthermal Energy - Key Technology for a Sustainable Energy Transition
The future of our energy is renewable. Currently, heat is deemed less important than electricity for a clean energy transition. However, around 50% of global energy consumption is heat and only a fraction of this heat is renewable. This shows the urgency of a heat transition. Existing renwable heat generation technologies can't cover the demand, and we need new technologies to achieve our climate goals. Windthermal energy is a promising technology with great potential to pave the way for climate neutral heat generation.
What is Windthermal Energy?
Windthermal energy or windheat is the direct conversion of wind energy to heat. In contrast to the indirect generation of heat from electrical wind peak load (wind to power to heat), no electricity is generated. This saves a conversion step.
Potential of Windthermal Energy
Windthermal energy saves a conversion step and thus has a potentially higher system efficiency than power-to-heat from excess wind generation. In addition, windthermal turbines require fewer components than electrical wind turbines. This potentially reduces weight, investment, maintenance and operating costs, and reduces the risk of errors. Windthermal energy provides heat in the low and medium temperature range. Possible applications include district heating, paper and food industry, seawater desalination, greenhouses, etc. This accounts for about 25% of the world's energy demand.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) analyses the technical and economic potentials with data from an innovative pilot plant. This aims to prove the technical feasibility and economic viability of windthermal energy.