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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.

  • Battery fuel cell drive

    In the ELAAN project reasearchers are combining the advantages of batteries with those of a fuel cell range extender. ...more

  • Energy storage flywheels

    In the ENERSPHERE project acientists are working on a flywheel rotor with a superconducting bearing. ...more

  • Wind-hydrogen systems

    Scientists want to consider how surplus wind energy can be stored efficiently as hydrogen in a large scale. ...more

News | 20.12.2017
Research initiative energy storage put to the test

Scientists take stock


April 2011, the Federal Government launched the initiative to promote

the storage technologies required for the energy transition. The

federal ministries for economics, environment and research wanted to

extend the action options for more flexible power grids with the joint

research funding.



News | 1.8.2017
Dual-ion battery

Intermediate storage of renewables

How could more renewable energies be used that also stabilise the grid? To answer this question, researchers at the MEET Battery Research Centre at Münster University developed a new energy storage system based on dual-ion battery technology. Its long service life is promising for stationary applications. .



Interview | 4.7.2017
Junior research group NEOTHERM: Interview with Dr Alexandra Lieb

"Ceramic surfaces are more easily chemically influenced"

In the interview, Dr Alexandra Lieb, head of the interdisciplinary junior research group NEOTHERM at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, highlights the characteristics that make metal-organic frameworks interesting for cooling and low-temperature storage, as opposed to zeolites. ...


Interview | 16.5.2017
Dr Barbara Zeidler-Fandrich in interview

"We're achieving high energy densities"

In the SOLIDSTORE project, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT are developing new thermochemical heat storage materials for an application range between 150 and 300 degrees Celsius. The focus is on storing heat in the smallest possible volume. In the interview, project leader Dr Barbara Zeidler-Fandrich talks about her basic research. ...


News | 20.4.2017
Latent heat storage systems

Air-conditioning buildings with salt hydrates

In many office buildings, it is just as important to supply cooling in summer as heating in winter. Researchers have therefore developed salt hydrates that are suitable as storage material in chilled ceilings and centralised cold storage systems. The special advantage: Through a phase change, they store cooling energy with a high energy density and at the temperature level needed for air conditioning. This enables the required cooling to be provided very efficiently. ...


News | 28.2.2017
Cross-programme funding initiative launched

Energy transition in transport

Until now, the energy and transport sectors were considered separately from one another in the energy balance. The “Energy transition in transport” funding initiative by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is entering into force to change that. It is intended to help bring the energy and transport sectors closer together and advance the technological possibilities in a cross-system approach encompassing a wide range of vehicles. ...


Interview | 9.1.2017
StEnSea project manager Matthias Puchta in interview

"The system can be flexibly used"

StEnSea works like a conventional pumped storage power plant, but does not operate with two basins but with hollow spheres on the seabed. Inlet water drives a turbine that generates electricity. The researchers recently tested a concrete prototype at a 1:10 scale in Lake Constance. In the interview, the head of the project, Matthias Puchta from Fraunhofer IWES, talks about the test results and the possible locations for such storage systems. ...


News | 25.7.2016
Thermochemical storage systems

Booster for metal hydrides

When metals combine with hydrogen to form metal hydrides, large amounts of hydrogen are stored in a confined space in the metal lattice. This reversible reaction takes place under slight pressure and releases heat. Metal hydrides are therefore suitable for storing both hydrogen and thermochemical heat. Previous disadvantage: The poor heat conductivity of the hydrides limits the charging and discharging speed considerably. To improve this, researchers are processing the metal hydrides together with graphite, which is highly thermally conductive, to form metal hydride composites in pellet form. With different groups of substances, they can cover the temperature range from room temperature to 400 degrees Celsius.



News | 14.7.2016
Workshop on phase change materials

Encapsulation challenge

Phase change materials (PCM) are a future technology with great potential for thermal energy storage systems. In early July, experts from the fields of research, teaching and enterprise came together to discuss the challenges of PCM technology. All researchers face a similar problem: encapsulation...


News | 7.7.2016

Sound waves reduce charging times

Accumulator charging time is particularly important for electric vehicles. Transport processes in the boundary layer between the electrode and electrolyte are among the limiting factors for charging speed. In the four-year BELAKUSTIK research project, scientists investigated whether charge transport can be accelerated with high-frequency sound waves.



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


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