Scandinavian underground ‘thermos’ idea reaches Malaysia

The Mälarenergi Power Plant in Västeras, Sweden. Photo: AFP

Workers are preparing to transform a former oil depot into a hot water ‘thermos,’ with the aim of heating a Swedish town, as noted by Malay Mail.

The oil depot was dug out around 1970, and its three caverns served as oil storage until it was later abandoned in 1985. Project manager Rickard Svensson, from the power and district heating company Mälarenergi explained that they are now converting the depot into a giant thermos to store hot water.

“The site will store energy, which we sometimes have an excess of, and use that at times when there is a shortage,” he said.

Pipes are being installed along with massive heat exchangers so excess heat can heat up the water stored within the depot – and then be used to transport heat out when needed.

“It was an excellent fit to re-use the oil storage and thereby take advantage of an existing resource,” the Strategy Manager at Mälarenergi, Lisa Granstrom, told AFP.

A better alternative for cold days

The volume inside the depot can hold the equivalent of around 6000 backyard pools and should be able to provide up to a week of heat to a nearby Swedish home on cold days. Storing so much water in there can reduce the need to rely on fossil fuels during future cold times.

“It will even mean that on some days we’ll be able to stop production and just rely on this cave, just using the heat from here,” said Vice President Magnus Eriksson.

In Finland a similar project already took place in 2021 on the island of Mustikkamaa, near Helsinki. And another larger project is currently being planned for construction north of Helsinki as well.

Source: Malay Mail/AFP

About Sofie Rønnelund

Sofie Roennelund is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

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