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Prof. Dr. Maximilian Fichtner
Spokesperson
Prof. Dr. Maximilian Fichtner

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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Leibfried
Vice Spokesperson
Prof. Dr.-Ing Thomas Leibfried

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Topic 3 - Energy Storage and Energy Distribution

The activities in TOPIC 3 aim at enabling a massive increase of the fraction of renewable energies in a future energy economy. Therefore, the strongly volatile (i.e. time-, weather- and location dependent) produced and distributed energy must be stored efficiently. Moreover, the remaining residual load must be secured.

The KIT Center Energy develops solutions for energy storage and –distribution e.g. on the basis of batteries, hydrogen, superconducting components and intelligent grids.

 

Superconducting Components

Employing the latest materials technology, scientists and engineers turn high-temperature superconductors into innovative superconducting components for energy technology. This adds to the quality, reliability, and efficiency of electric power grids. Superconductivity is among the main areas of KIT energy research.

Electrochemical Energy Storage

For comprehensive research and development on electrochemical energy storage devices this topic reflects the whole research and development chain, from the active storage material over cell manufacturing up to full battery systems. This comprises theoretical modelling, materials- and cell characterization and in-operando methods, coating of electrodes, cell design and manufacturing, battery- and thermal management, and system integration. The in-depth research on materials provides the basis for cost efficient battery cells with enhanced energy and power density, with improved durability and safety.

CELEST

Since 2018 KIT bundles its activities in the area of electrochemical energy storage with those at the Ulm University and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Ulm (ZSW) on the platform CELEST (Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm-Karlsruhe). With about 400 researchers, CELEST is one of the world largest activities in R&D on Li ion batteries and post-Li systems (Na, Mg, Ca, Zn, Al, Cl).

Innovative Grid structures

Energy grids face new requirements in the context of the Energiewende, Therefore, new and innovative grid structures need to be developed. This comprises hybrid AC/DC electrical power grid as well as a coupling of the electrical grid with other kind of energy grids (gas heat grid). Moreover, new kinds of grid structures are also necessary in the distribution grid in the context with ICT systems. All these developments result in an increasing amount of power electronic systems in the grid which results in new requirements for grid equipment.

Power Electronics in Grid applications

Decentralized power generation will lead to meshed grids with a large production and storage capacity direc¬¬¬tly connected not only to the LV grid but also to the MV and HV grid by power electronics. Converters will have to ensure the grid stability associated with high reliability and efficiency, low harmonics and low costs. New circuit topologies and power semiconductors enable promising solutions to fulfill these requirements. Therefore, power electronics together with the digitalization of the grid are key enablers to realize the so-called “Energy Transition”.