Head of the group: Dr.-Ing. Karsten Müller

Group members:

 

The aim of the research group is to support the change of the existing energy infrastructure towards renewable energies. The whole energy chain is therefore in the focus of the research: “production” of energy (e.g. biogas or wind power), storage and transport as well as efficiency improvement by recovery of waste heat.

Hydrogen storage

The fact that most renewable energy sources produce fluctuating power makes storage of energy unavoidable. Energy storage on a large scale is only possible on the basis of chemical storage technologies. The research group is thus working on methods to store and transport energy in form of energy transport substances (ETS).

Example figure of a house energy system utilizing an LOHC.Hydrogen is an interesting substance for the storage of electrical energy. However, storage of elemental hydrogen is demanding. The use of Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC) is a major option to overcome these limitations. They can bind hydrogen even at ambient conditions and release it when needed. In this project the group focuses on the determination of substance properties, separation processes, energy efficiency by heat integration and the kinetics of the reaction.

Furthermore, inorganic energy carriers for the transport of energy from energy-rich places of the earth to places of energy demand are under research. By using valid methods the losses of energy can be reduced significantly compared to the transport of electric energy.

Energy transport using inorganic carrier

Inorganic energy carriers for the transport of energy from energy-rich places of the earth to places of energy demand are under research. By using valid methods the losses of energy can be reduced significantly compared to the transport of electric energy. Different thermochemical heat storage systems (based on e.g. calcium carbonate) are under research for their suitability to store and transport different forms of energy.

Substance properties of energy materials

A huge number of substance properties are needed in the development of new energy systems. To close the gap in the available data and allow for a reliable design of the respective systems, these data are investigated. The focus of the research group is not limited to experimental measurement, but also predictive models for the determination of unknown substance properties are developed.

Thermal energy storage using latent heat

CT scan of a latent heat storage systemThermal energy storage using latent heat is an interesting technology. However, heat transfer is often challenging. A major drawback is the insulating effect of a solid phase forming on the heat exchangers. If the phase change materials exhibits a large volume change upon crystallization the void spaces might further form. The resulting two/three phase systems are studied using computed tomography to gain a deeper inside into the effects in latent heat storage systems.

Solar desalination

Fresh water production will be one of the major challanges for a sustainable future. Currently reversed osmosis units are mainly run by fossil energies. Reversed osmosis driven by photovoltaics are difficult due to the fluctuating provision of energy by the photovoltaic system. The research group aims at developing technologies for reversed osmosis driven by photovoltaics.