Muspell project to pioneer next-gen thermal energy storage system

3.5m eu grant to develop innovative energy management solution for more sustainable future


The consortium comprising of Swisspod Technologies, EURAC Research, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, the National Institute of Chemistry in Slovenia, the Politecnico di Milano and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya has received a €3.5M Pathfinder grant by the European Innovation Council (EIC): €3.1 million by the European Commission, supplemented by an additional €400,000 contribution from the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI).

The funding will drive the development of the Muspell project, a novel, state-of-the-art Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) — an important component of a sustainable and reliable energy system. The project has commenced in October 2023 and is set to span a duration of 4 years.

Muspell aims to introduce to the market a more efficient mid-to-long term TESS, transcending the limitations of current available systems. By adopting an innovative approach grounded in material research, the consortium sets out to engineer a compact, highly flexible and modular system that offers increased energy density and seamless integration of heat-pump capabilities. The novel TESS will unlock new avenues of application across energy-intensive industries — from manufacturing, textile, food processing, and construction materials, to transportation, energy and environmental services industries.

A TESS allows for efficient storage and usage of thermal energy, providing flexibility, energy management, cost savings, as well as environmental benefits as it can integrate renewable energy sources. The operation of this system involves receiving thermal energy input from various sources like waste/excess heat, solar thermal collectors, electricity, and storing it in a suitable medium, such as a thermo-chemical or a phase-change material. When the stored energy is needed, the TESS transfers it to the desired application at the required temperature level.

This groundbreaking initiative aligns with multiple Sustainable Development Goals, facilitating access to clean energy while simultaneously mitigating the carbon footprint associated with various industries. By emphasizing material development and optimization, as well as system level innovation, the project is committed to achieving high performance while minimizing environmental impact to the greatest extent possible.

The novel TESS will also serve as a cutting-edge thermal battery, enabling the efficient capture, storage, and usage of waste heat generated during industrial processes. Thus, the system not only curtails energy waste, but also mitigates the environmental impact associated with greenhouse gas emissions.

The Politecnico di Milano leverages its expertise in innovation and technology management to prioritize energy efficiency, technological assessment, and renewable solutions for the industrial sector. In collaboration with Swisspod and EURAC Research, we are going to conduct interviews and gather market insights on the application scenarios of TESS, while analyzing the system’s integration into a broader ecosystem.

Polimi considers it extremely important to perform an analysis on the potential markets of the technology that Consortium is going to develop. The activity aims at analyzing technological and economic fit of the TESS in different application sectors as well as evaluating its environmental and economic impacts.”

explained Simone Franzò, Assistant Professor at Politecnico di Milano.

ECOSENS: what role is there for nuclear power in the decarbonisation process?

The Politecnico di Milano with the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, is a partner of the project funded by HORIZON-EURATOM


The Politecnico di Milano is a partner in the ECOSENS (Economic and Social Considerations for the Future of Nuclear Energy in Society) project funded under the research and training programme of the European Community HORIZON-EURATOM.

The project aims to analyse citizens’ opinions and perceptions of risk, the benefits and potential related to the use of nuclear technologies (current and future) in relation to the main social challenges: climate crisis, sustainable energy policies and energy security.

In order to identify the possible role of nuclear energy within the decarbonisation objectives set for 2050, the sustainability of current technologies and the integration of new generation reactors (III + and IV) will be assessed with reference to the future energy market and social developments taking place.

The Department of Management Engineering will be supported by that of Energy in the development of an economic model based on the “system of provision approach” to create and calculate indicators relevant to the evaluation of nuclear systems, including the “social discount rate” (reflecting uncertainties about the socio-environmental costs and benefits of the project) and the impact on sustainability.

The research work will lead to the drafting of guidelines for the evaluation of new nuclear infrastructures with a view to improving their sustainability.

The research group of the Politecnico is coordinated by Professor Giorgio Locatelli of the Department of Management Engineering.

Green Deal @polimi


SER Social Energy Renovations

The H2020 project to finance sustainable construction in the service sector has begun


Financing sustainable building renovations in the service sector with an innovative tool that will accelerate the ecological transition and counteract energy poverty: This is the objective of the European project SER-Social Energy Renovations, which sees the participation of the Italian CGM Finance, the School of Management of the Politecnico di MilanoENEA, and Fratello Sole, a consortium of non-profit entities dedicated to fighting energy poverty. Other partners include the Spanish company GNE Finance, the project leader, Secours Catholique-Caritas France, and the Bulgarian branch of Econoler.

Financed under the Horizon 2020 programme, the project will last three years, in which a de-risking mechanism will be designed and developed to reduce the risk associated with financing and allow access to credit, even for subjects with limited economic capacity. The mechanism will include analysis and technical standardization when defining interventions to make buildings more energy efficient.

The projects will be consolidated and subject to social impact assessment and then financed, allowing investors to access safe, effective investments in line with ESG criteria. It will also allow social companies to carry out green renovations at accessible prices with the necessary technical assistance.

ENEA and Fratello Sole will involve service entities and select buildings used for non-profit activities, intervening with energy-efficient and sustainable restorations. Energy renovation will be carried out by Fratello Sole Energie Solidali – ESCo, a joint venture between Fratello Sole Scarl and Iren Energia.

Within the project, the School of Management will identify indicators to assess and analyse the social impact of the financed projects.

“The question of evaluating social impact is as current as it is complex, growing from a topic of interest to few people into an integral part of business strategy and an essential issue in finance”, explains Mario Calderini, Professor of Social Innovation in the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering.
He adds: “This project aims to improve not only the environmental impact generated by building efficiency interventions, but also the social impact generated by service-sector organizations, which will be able to offer better services due to the benefits of such interventions.” 

Finally, Secours Catholique-Caritas France, together with the Bulgarian branch of the energy efficiency consultation company Econoler, will explore the possibility of replicating of this tool in other European countries.