Horizon Europe


Innovative High tEmperAture ThErmal stoRage for iNdustrial AppLications


Industrial processes in the EU released 351 Mtons CO2e in 2020, 8% less than in 2019. In many cases, continuous, high-temperature heat is needed for these processes, and no viable decarbonization solution exists today. Viable, short-term thermal energy storage (upto 48-hours) would enable the replacement of fossil fuels by industrial waste-heat and renewable electricity.

HEATERNAL unites 4 public research teams specialized in prototyping and modelling of thermal systems, phase-change materials and 3D-printing; 2 metals manufacturers; 2 ceramic manufacturers; 1 process engineering SME and equipment manufacturer; 1 SME specialized in LCA and technico-economic analysis; and 1 SME experienced in dissemination and communication. They aim to prototype and model a new thermal energy storage concept combining strong scientific and industrial know-how: (i) innovative phase-change materials and unit designs allowing to increase the unit energy density by 350% versus ceramic bricks, and (ii) manufacturing experience ensuring that materials and units can be rapidly implemented in factories by 2030. Thus, the project will yield a 50kWh prototype (TRL5) and models of the upscaled storage system connected to factories.

The preliminary technico-economic study predicts a return on investment below 3 years and levelized cost of stored energy below 6€/MWh. This is 60% lower than molten salt storage, which doesn’t work at sufficiently high temperatures for most metals and minerals industries (steel, glass, cement, ceramics, etc.) HEATERNAL’s solution meets industrial needs, including low footprint, lifetime over 10 years and fast return on investment.

The exploitation plan aims to implement the solution in the first factory in 2030. Sales projections are estimated to reach 286M€ from sales of phase-change materials, ceramic refractories & engineering services by 2040, enabling 147.5 Mt CO2eq to be avoided by 2040 thanks to HEATERNAL thermal energy storage systems.


Project Budget: 3,465,164.25€

Leitat Budget: 296,832.5€

Financial Framework: HORIZON EUROPE

Contract number: 101103921


Start Date: 01/05/2023

End Date: 01/03/2027


Main role & contribution in the project:

  • Leitat will work in the Storage materials development, providing the chemical, thermal and mechanical characterization of the material developed for manufacturing by 3D printing.

  • Leitat provides a design space and constraints based on its expertise in 3D printing of ceramics.

  • Leitat will develop an innovative small-scale TES prototype printed by 3D AM technology.

  • Leitat will characterize by thermal and mechanical tests which will allow to assess the planned KPIs.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101103921.