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31. Aug 2020

Thermal storage units that repair themselves

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Here you find the doctoral student’s profile of Christoph Bott. He published results of his doctoral studies at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and shared the research more widely with a press release.

About the author:

  • Christoph Bott (ORCHID ID)
  • Research area(s): Hydro-, Engineering and Environmental Geology, Renewable Energies
  • Applied Geology, Institute of Geosciences and Geography, MLU

Field(s) of expertise during doctoral studies:

  • Seasonal thermal energy storage in artificial basins
  • Re-use of decommissioned infrastructures for renewable energy applications
  • Life cycle assessment and comparative evaluation of conventional versus renewable approaches in the field of geo-energy

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2019 – today
    Doctoral studies Geosciences in the work group of Applied Geology of Prof. Dr. Peter Bayer at MLU
  • 2018 – today
    Research Associate at University of Applied Sciences Ingolstadt (THI), Institute of new Energy Systems
  • 2017
    MSc degree in Geosciences at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn, Steinmann-Institut für Geologie, Mineralogie und Paläontologie
  • 2016
    BSc degree in Geosciences at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn, Steinmann-Institut für Geologie, Mineralogie und Paläontologie

Challenges, rewards and contribution

Q: What was your most important contribution to the publication?
A: In the laboratory, I carried out several experiments to improve seals for seasonal thermal energy storage systems. These frequently face the problem of leakages, which can occur during installation, but also due to the extreme long-time exposure to highly varying temperature conditions. By implementing a novel layer of paraffin wax, I tested whether such heat storages can be provided with a self-healing feature.

Q: What was challenging and what was a rewarding moment during your work presented in the publication?
A: Although the experiments were somewhat challenging to design, set up and carry out, several results could still be achieved. Of course, we are still at the initial stage of this method – which was in fact a speciality of my research project. However, being granted to conduct such research with a high risk of failure was very enjoyable and a great experience for my PhD studies.

Significance of publication

In future, paraffin wax could help to make underground thermal storage units more durable. Such systems are used, for example, to store solar energy over a longer period of time. In a new study, geologists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) investigated the extent to which paraffin wax can be incorporated into the shell of the storage tanks and whether this can prevent heat loss and close fissures.

from press release no. 102/2020 of July 30, 2020

Related publication

Bott C, Dressel I, Bayer P 
Paraffin wax as self-sealing insulation material of seasonal sensible heat storage systems—A laboratory study. 
PLoS ONE 15(7): e0236056. (2020) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236056

About this profile

Doctoral students contribute significantly to publications highlighted by the MLU press office in many cases. These early stage researchers and their work in connection with the publication are in the focus of this profiles by InGrA.

Are you interested in science communication and have an interesting story to tell? Get in touch with MLU’s press office at

Über Thomas Michael

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