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A brief flashback to the fall of 2022: a worry long thought forgotten is catching up with the Germans. The pipelines that have always provided Russian gas reliably and cheaply have dried up. And quite a few people are wondering whether they will still be able to keep their homes warm in winter. In industry, the sentiment was and still is similar in some cases. What would have seemed like a dystopian Hollywood drama just a short time ago has now become reality - including soaring energy prices. But as is so often the case, times of hardship and uncertainty provide a motivational boost for inventors and thinkers. Berlin start-up Nanolope, for example, claims to be the first team in the world to have developed a revolutionary heat battery for heating up to 100 degrees Celsius - which can also cool at the same time. To do this, Nanolope uses an energy storage principle that has been known since time immemorial: the melting and freezing of a substance.

According to Nanolope, thanks to the material they have developed, the hot water storage tanks of heating systems can be reduced in size by a factor of three, making them more efficient and responsive, and installation would also benefit, say the Berliners. This material, called Nanolope PCM by the inventors, should also ensure that it doesn't get cold in the home in the first place. The aim is to achieve the indoor climate of a cathedral, nice and cool in summer and pleasant in winter. This is to be made possible by a Nanolope heat storage panel just two centimetres thick, which is said to be quick and easy to retrofit. The company's publications list even more advantages, which would go beyond the scope of this article. However, if you are interested, you can find out more about the new "wonder material" from the developers themselves at HANNOVER MESSE 2024.