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  • The energy system is changing. Variable energy production, decarbonization, decentralization and cross-sectoral approaches call for innovative storage systems to balance demand and production. In order to develop such energy storage systems, models for operational or structural optimization and for the evaluation of storage systems are needed. The problem: There are still no uniform, scientifically validated open source models for electrical and thermal energy storage systems that can be used to solve technical, economic and regulatory problems. An international research team led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT wants to change this.

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  • Fraunhofer IWES / 2020

    “Green Hydrogen for Bremerhaven” project gets underway

    June 17, 2020

    The storage of wind energy in the form of hydrogen, the construction of an electrolyzer test field, and the testing of five application scenarios: the “Green Hydrogen for Bremerhaven” pilot project, funded to the tune of €20 million by the State of Bremen and the European Union (EFRE), has now officially gotten underway. The research partners – Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES, Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, and the Technologie-Transfer-Zentrum (ttz) Bremerhaven – will be laying the foundations for a “hydrogen center of excellence” in the maritime city over the two-year term of the project.

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  • Germany’s first offshore wind farm alpha ventus was inaugurated in spring 2010. Since then, it operates not only as a commercial find warm, but also functions as a research platform for the further development of the offshore wind energy sector. The accompanying research initiative RAVE (Research at alpha ventus) has been collecting measurements at the wind farm with a comprehensive range of measuring technology and working on a wide variety of research projects investigating important aspects of wind energy ever since it opened. After 10 years, the results are uniformly positive: The research and development has helped to make German offshore wind farms with approximately 7,500 MW rated power a reality in German waters today. The unique dataset compiled in RAVE has now been included in a database run by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) and is available to all the researchers helping to drive forward the offshore wind energy sector.

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  • The tender process for the surveying of offshore windfarm areas within the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is managed centrally by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, BSH) since 2017 according to the Windenergie-auf-See-Gesetz (WindSeeG). These surveys supply an informational basis for prospective wind farm operators to evaluate individual areas and to prepare a bid for their development. Operators may rely on relevant information on the maritime environment, the sub-seafloor geology, the wind field and the oceanographic setting to estimate development costs and the expected return in produced energy.

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  • Ausschnitt des Parabolrinnenkraftwerks bei Ouarzazate in Marokko
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Within a few months, the COVID-19 crisis added a dramatic level of urgency to act – beyond single national interests. In light of the current discussion on the Green Deal launched as a strategic priority by the European Commission, a joint statement has been co-signed by 176 companies, R&D entities, and associations across Europe. The initiative lead by the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA) is calling for recognition of the European solar thermal industry’s important role in the fight against climate change and in providing immediately available solutions to decarbonize energy systems.

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  • Mid-April saw the virtual kick-off of the »power4re« (Reliable converters for a renewable energy supply) research project. Under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES, five Fraunhofer institutes are working together alongside industry representatives to develop solutions aimed at improving the reliability and robustness of inverters in photovoltaic systems and frequency converters in wind turbines. power4re is being funded to the tune of €3.5 million as part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s internal research program PREPARE.

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  • Provide a platform for the interdisciplinary exchange in the field of electrochemical cells – with this objective Jan Girschik started planning the first "E3C – Electrochemical Cell Concepts Colloquium". The scientist from the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT has definitely achieved this goal: over 130 researchers from 13 countries – including Canada, the USA, Uruguay, India, Greece, Great Britain and seven other European nations – took part in the online event on May 14 2020. Their presentations and discussions revolved around commonalities and potential combinations of cell concepts and fluid flow systems for flow batteries, fuel cells, electrolysis, electrosynthesis and electrodialysis cells.

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  • CalLab PV Modules of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has been re-accredited by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) as an independent calibration laboratory according to the new standard DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025: 2018. The laboratory reached a record measurement uncertainty of 1.1 percent in the calibration of photovoltaic modules. The measurement reproducibility has only 0.2 percent deviation.

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  • Methanol will gain importance as a chemical energy carrier in the course of the energy transformation. As part of the "Power-to-Methanol – Green Methanol" project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE successfully commissioned a miniplant for methanol synthesis –the production of methanol from hydrogen and CO2 – in December 2019. Featuring a measurement technique with high temporal and spatial resolution, the setup enables researching methanol synthesis, among other things, within the framework of so-called Power to Liquid processes on an industrial scale. Here, the main focus of the investigations is on dynamic reactor operation and unconventional gas compositions using hydrogen produced by electrolysis and gas streams containing CO2.

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