The Programme "Storage and Cross-Linked Infrastructures"
A power supply infrastructure based on renewables is reliant on three main technological factors: 1) Adequate energy storage systems that compensate for volatile supply and bridge seasonal fluctuations. 2) Efficient infrastructures that address the challenges of energy transmission and distribution. 3) A cross-sector grid to increase the energy systems’ flexibility, efficiency and profitability. These are the requirements that the ambitious research and development goals of the newly conceived Storage and Cross-Linked Infrastructures programme intend to address. The programme’s goals are divided into six thematic areas. The focus is primarily on the investigation of new technological solutions that provide fast implementation, sustainable production and high efficiency, as well as secure and reliable system integration.
The field of electrochemical energy storage comprises research into materials synthesis and characterisation right up to the development of process and structuring technologies. Scientists examine a wide range of battery materials and cells for different storage concepts with a view to increasing specific energy and output capacities, and also improving reliability and safety. They also develop electrolysis and hydrogen storage concepts for the large-scale storage of energy. Concepts such as these are designed to accommodate the volatile supply of renewables more efficiently and make for easier integration with electricity and gas supply grids. This is accompanied by a systemic evaluation of the individual elements of a future hydrogen infrastructure and the development of detailed process designs for this infrastructure. In connection with the electrolytic conversion of electricity into gas, scientists also look at new types of process concepts, system components and catalytic converters for the renewables-based production of synthetic hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Ranging from basic research to the verification of full-scale systems, the development of powerful and economical long-life fuel cells for mobile and stationary deployment takes an interdisciplinary approach. Additional areas of development include sensitive and latent thermal energy storage systems based on salt, as well as thermochemical storage systems for high-temperature process heat and more flexible utilisation of power plant systems. In the area of grid and storage integration, research and development is conducted into power supply systems based on high-temperature superconductors as well as process designs for future hydrogen line systems, all with the aim of creating new technologies for economical, efficient and high-performance supply grids.
Participating Helmholtz Centres:
DLR, FZJ, GFZ, HZB, KIT, UFZ