Siemens is supporting innovative start-ups with a free annual subscription to Solid Edge, a complete, hybrid 2D/3D CAD system. One such start-up is Kraftblock, previously Nebuma GmbH. The fledgling enterprise, started by the founders Dr. Martin Schichtel and Susanne König, is dedicated to the development of modern energy storage technology. The heat energy storage systems developed by Kraftblock have a very high thermal conductivity and thermal capacity. They can capture energy from the waste heat from industrial manufacturing processes and release it as required. Each unit stores sufficient energy to heat two family homes for a year.
Start-ups generally have good ideas but very little budget. Siemens is offering each designer and developer at fledgling enterprises a free annual subscription to the full version of its Solid Edge software so that these budgets do not have to be spent on procuring development software. This generous offer has made Kraftblock very happy: "I was able to import existing data extremely easily at the component level and continue to work with it – this makes our work significantly easier," explains Schichtel. "And although I am not a trained CAD (computer-aided design) engineer, I found the tool easy to use with a clear user guide. The simulation functionalities are also very useful for us as we are able to validate our concepts at an early stage."
Clever heat storage
Kraftblock uses Solid Edge to make waste heat from the manufacturing industry and excess wind and solar energy available for use in an economical and environmentally-friendly way. The storage system is based on a granulate within the solution which can store very high temperatures of up to 1,300 degrees Celsius. The modular storage system can absorb 30 to 60 megawatt hours per unit – sufficient energy to supply two family homes for a year. Kraftblock was supported by the Siemens solutions partner PBU CAD-Systeme GmbH. "It's already clear that we will continue to work with Kraftblock, even after the free start-up phase, which we are very pleased about," says PBU Project Manager Eva Augustin. Meanwhile, the successful start-up is now supplying not only the hardware for storing energy but also the expertise to direct heat generated by processes to the correct channels.