Electricity from wind and solar requires systems that store electricity that will be needed at a later stage. The Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) in Kassel tested the prototype of a storage system in Lake Constance, Europe's largest drinking water reservoir. A hollow sphere storage system positioned 100 meters deep is designed to demonstrate feasibility in a simulated service test.
ContiTech supplied the pressure equalization line for the testing of this novel underwater pump reservoir. The principle of the hollow sphere storage system is the same as that of conventional pump storage power plants – except that it doesn’t use two basins. The novel pump storage uses the sea itself as its upper storage reservoir. The lower storage basin is formed by the hollow sphere on the seabed. When electricity is needed on shore, a valve at the opening of the sphere opens.
The water flowing into the sphere powers a pump turbine that generates electricity via a generator. The hoses used as pressure equalization lines in the test model of the novel hollow-sphere storage power station were developed and manufactured by ContiTech in Korbach.