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Energy storage systems – research for the energy transition

With the continuously rising share of renewable energies in the energy supply system, storage systems for electrical and thermal energy are becoming ever more important. If electricity is converted before it is stored, for example into hydrogen or other chemical energy sources, this energy can then be used in other energy industry-related sectors and thus for the much-needed coupling of the various sectors, all in addition to re-electrification of stored energy.

To date, however, only few storage technologies have reached the necessary technical maturity at a competitive cost level. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research have recognised the research and development needs in the area of energy storage technology and are developing tailored promotional activities as part of the 6th Energy Research Programme of the Federal Government. With the Energy Storage Funding Initiative, both ministries have been supporting innovations for a wide range of storage technologies since 2011. But development is ongoing: the two ministries are pursuing new storage concepts and are further advancing existing technological developments also beyond the Energy Storage Funding Initiative.

  • SmartPowerFlow

    Scientists integrate a large redox-flow battery into the power grid of a German operator. more

  • Open sorption processes

    A junior research group investigated heat and material transfer to an aqueous solution of lithium chloride. more

  • Pump storage concept

    The project “StEnSEA” is investigating the installation of large storage facilities on the sea floor. more

Interview | 4.4.2016
Interview with Professor Dr Ulrich Wagner

"Power-to-heat and thermal storage are of utmost interest"

In the merit-order study, researchers at the Research Center for Energy Economics (FfE) and 13 industrial partners jointly examined the nature of an economic system infrastructure for reliable energy supply until 2030. Professor Dr Ulrich Wagner, scientific director at FfE, speaks about the study in this interview. He explains the role of functional energy storage systems, and which storage options were most suitable in which situations.



News | 1.3.2016
Long-term heat storage systems

Exploratory drilling in the deep subsurface

On Monday the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences started research drilling on the campus of the Technical University of Berlin in Charlottenburg. The data collected is intended to clarify whether Berlin’s substratum is suitable for storing heating and cooling energy. The study is being accompanied by extensive wellbore measurements and laboratory tests.



News | 20.1.2016
PEM electrolysis

Prototype has been running for 1,000 hours

Hydrogen will become increasingly important in future for supplying energy because it enables large, renewably generated energy volumes to be stored for longer periods. Together with partners from science and industry, scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich are developing methods for producing hydrogen by electrolysing water as part of the Ekolyser project. They have tested more robust and cost-effective materials in a new test facility. The prototype has now reached its intended lifetime of 1,000 hours. It is planned that the developed technology will be ready for operational use on a broad scale by 2020.



News | 8.12.2015
SmartRegion Pellworm

Renewably stored electricity for the island

Wind energy and photovoltaic systems do not always generate power when it is needed. Schleswig-Holstein is therefore testing the local storage of renewably generated electricity on the North Sea island of Pellworm. The SmartRegion Pellworm project has now won first place in the German Renewables Award competition.



News | 23.11.2015
Electricity storage systems in the cloud

green2store: Field test started

The green2store project shows how energy storage systems can be bundled together in a virtual cloud. For the next twelve months, a local network storage system and nine home storage systems will be interconnected with one another in a cloud. The field test has now commenced...


News | 9.11.2015

Greater current density for zinc-air batteries

Rechargeable zinc-air storage systems have yet to achieve satisfactory charge and discharge cycles. This provides the starting point for the ZnPLUS project: researchers have increased the current density by using a modified zinc slurry. This makes the batteries easier to maintain and improves their performance reliability – with simultaneously lower costs...


News | 19.10.2015
Vanadium Redox Flow

Large-scale storage system begins operation

In the Smart Power Flow project, scientists are testing the use of a large vanadium redox flow battery in a local low-voltage grid. The local storage system recently commenced operation in Tussenhausen in Bavaria. ...


News | 12.10.2015
Vanadium redox flow batteries

New design reduces costs for bipolar plates

Redox flow batteries have a relatively complex structure and are prone to error. Researchers have therefore now integrated a bipolar plate directly into a stack. This saves on components and at the same time reduces costs. In addition, it makes the system easier to assemble and more reliable.



News | 6.7.2015
World’s largest electrolysis plant

Energiepark Mainz inaugurated

At Energiepark Mainz, Linde, Siemens, RheinMain University and the Stadtwerke Mainz municipal utility company are producing large amounts of hydrogen by renewable means. Four adjacent wind turbines take over the largest part of the electricity generation. The hydrogen can be stored on site, transported in tanks or fed into the natural gas network for the subsequent generation of electricity or heat. The world's largest electrolysis plant of its kind has now been inaugurated...


News | 28.4.2015
Conference report on the 2nd status seminar on energy storage systems

Interim findings of the Energy Storage Research Initiative

Which contribution can energy storage systems make to the energy transition? How can they be employed economically? And what are the future research priorities? These were the questions answered during the 2nd status seminar on energy storage systems in Berlin last week. Half-time for the Energy Storage Research Initiative, and time to look at the score.



Supported by: The Federal Government on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag


27. June 2016
Workshop on Ion Exchange Membranes for Energy Applications

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12th European SOFC & SOE Forum

19. July 2016
Ulm Electro Chemical Talks 2016

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