Center for Energy Storage

The availability of renewable energies such as wind and solar power is subject to natural fluctuations, so that the generation of power is coupled with an insufficient supply or surplus of electric energy. These fluctuations have to be balanced out by starting up and shutting down power stations or, preferably, using suitable energy storage systems. Since May 2012 the “Center for Energy Storage”, funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, has provided assistance to Bavarian industry, the municipalities and policy-makers, and has also been the competent institution to consult about key technologies in the field of chemical and thermal energy storage. The Center, with locations in Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Fraunhofer UMSICHT) and Straubing (Fraunhofer IGB Bio-, Electro- and Chemocatalysis BioCat, Straubing branch), systematically develops the necessary storage technologies in the medium to long term.
The Center for Energy Storage focuses on the following areas:

  • Systems Analysis (UMSICHT)
  • Chemical Energy Storage – Catalysis and Processes
    (BioCat / IGB)
  • Chemical Energy Storage – Methods and Technical
    Implementation (UMSICHT)
  • Thermal Storage Systems (UMSICHT)

The focus of the working group “Chemical Energy Storage – Catalysis and Processes” is on the development of processes for the production of liquid and solid chemical energy carriers with the assistance of electrical energy. It is true that there are already several promising ways of producing suitable energy carriers such as the power-to-gas technology. However, these processes need to be adapted for practical applications in such a way that they become processes that are sustainable, easily scalable and can be operated in a decentralized way. To do this, the necessary catalysts or biocatalysts have to be researched and developed so as to generate the required products decentrally and flexibly as regards time schedules. Initially three processes in particular were defined that can be characterized as “power to gasoline”. These will be studied and further developed in the coming years:

  • Chemical-catalytic CO2 fixation and conversion to hydrocarbons
  • Microbial CO2 fixation and fermentative production of hydrocarbons
  • Electro-biocatalysis to minimize the energy-related cost of electrochemical reactions

Project information

Project title

Center for Energy Storage

 

Project duration

July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2019

 

Coordinated by

  • Fraunhofer IGB
  • Fraunhofer UMSICHT

 

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer IGB
  • Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Funding

funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology.