From power grid to fundamental research
the ENREKON project, which stands for the “Development of resource-efficient
condensers for short-term energy storage”, researchers are synthesising ionic
liquids and transition metal oxides. Following this, a physical
and structural analysis will be performed. Important capacitor-specific
characteristics will be determined with dielectric spectroscopy over a
wide temperature- and frequency range.
|Project status||Near completion|
|Project duration||August 2012 until July 2017|
In the “Development of resource-efficient condensers for short-term energy storage” project, researchers are characterising in detail and determining the dielectric properties of substances which, from a material science perspective, are currently interesting for application purposes (ionic liquids and ceramic dielectrics). In addition, a model for strategically and tactically planning virtual power plants is being produced that models the interdependencies and tests efficient solution processes for this optimisation problem. By the middle of 2015, it is intended to identify materials that, in terms of the strategic use of resources and from a materials science point of view, have sufficient potential for use in condensers. Until this milestone is reached, it is also intended to sufficiently precisely model the costs and interdependencies of an energy network consisting of renewable energies, a grid connection (taking system services into account) and various storage types.
Resource-efficient short-time power storage
This research project is aimed at the development of energy- and resource-efficient, short-time power storages, as well as the determination on the criticality of the resources used, and in conclusion, the strategic and tactical planning of an exemplary energy system in combination with energy storages within a certain region. The main topic of the materials-science section deals explicitly with synthesizing and characterizing possible new storage materials. On the level of strategic and tactical shaping through an energy system with these energy storage devices, economic indicators for system and market integration will be determined.
Enhancing the capacitance
A world without capacitor and its diversity would be impossible in today’s electronics. Various types of capacitors are used in electrical circuits: As an important element in diodes, with mobile energy or power storage systems (PowerQuality), and for communication technologies in oscillating circuits. Enhancing its capacitance accelerated the progress of specific technologies in many cases. A variety of different materials, more or less appropriate to an application, show exceptionally high dielectric constants, which is a measure for the capacitance. The search and optimization of these particular materials will be accomplished by the junior research groups project (for a period of about 3-5 years); not only by purely physical values, but also under the aspect of resource efficiency and through the availability of these substances. Within the interdisciplinary Institute of Material Resource Management at Augsburg University, cooperation partners of the various departments - such as Resource Strategy and Mathematical Ecomomics - are present.
Synthesis and spectroscopy
Within these three specialized areas (Materials Science, Mathematical- and Computer Science Economics, Resource Strategy), ionic liquids and transition-metal oxides are in the focus of the project. Following this, a physical and structural analysis will be performed. Important capacitor-specific characteristics will be determined with dielectric spectroscopy over a wide temperature- and frequency range. The criticality of the materials used can be estimated through six different value parameters. The economic indicators for system- and market integration are determined through tactical and strategic shaping of a regional energy system with these energy storage devices. This interdisciplinary orientation allows during the research stages the evaluation of utilization potential of synthesized materials and a targeted resource-efficient materials optimization. This interdisciplinary approach in the area of basic research and the experimental possibilities of broadband dielectric spectroscopy, performed by Prof. Alois Loidl’s department, characterizes the high quality of this project.
The synthesis of dielectrics based on transition metal oxides: Synthesis of new prototype ceramics with exceptionally high, “colossal”, dielectric constants. Transition metal oxides are predestined for this, because of their broad spectrum of physical degrees of freedom.
Preparation and analysis of designer electrolytes: Investigation of advanced ionic conductors for double-layer capacitors, especially ionic liquids. These electrolyte materials distinguish themselves through outstanding properties in terms of high room temperature conductivity and a wide frame of stability (temperature, decomposition voltage, cycle stability). The search for ionic liquids with good properties through systematic variations of anion and cation components (fast dielectric characterization through measurement within a limited frequency range).
Analysis of dielectric characterization: Detailed broadband dielectric spectroscopy of selected materials. If required, the combination of different cryo- and heating systems allow measurements in the range of 1.4 – 1200 K. Nonlinear measurements (hysteresis measurements and PUND) and voltage capacity measurements will be carried out. Development of a theoretical description of electrical heterogeneity, as for example, electronic phase separation and their influence on dielectric characteristics in bulk systems. Analysis of the spectra with help of equivalent circuit models and relaxation mechanisms. Determination of the underlying mechanisms of colossal dielectric constants and possible parameter optimizing the properties.
Determination of resources criticality and material optimization: Determining the criticality of the resources through six quantitative and qualitative indicators (for example, the Herfindal-Hirschmann Index, the World Governance Index and the Environmental Performance Index) and the evaluation of the market's potential of voltage- and cycle-stabile materials. Determining the values for application of promising dielectrics. Comparing substances, which are already being used or belong to the latest research and development. This allows estimating the technical potential of the produced dielectric. The conclusions from resources strategy and economic observation help to avoid, e.g., through substitution as well as a reduction on economically and ecologically critical substances early on.
Shaping cost and effects of a regional energy consortium: Establishing an integrated framework at operational level, in order to adopt a method, in which, subsequently both strategic and tactical questions can be taken into consideration. It is perhaps also necessary to take the key factors into account with focus on the availability of energy. This all depends on external factors, such as ever-changing weather conditions, as well as physical relationships for the production of energy and energy storage. At this point economic parameters will be adapted for short-time power storages. Divided into solvable individual issues (optimization parameter: profit maximization and minimizing the costs) it is possible to determine an optimal policy for the operations of a virtual power plant, and in accordance, to decide the use of energy storages and the acquisition of energy.