Battery Section

All rechargeable battery technologies seek higher energy density, improved cycling performance, higher safety, and flexibility in device integration, etc. Overall costs of materials and manufacturing must be also minimized for large-scale deploymment of rechargeable batteries. The activities within this workpackage – Advanced Batteries and Battery Materials – encompass Li-ion and post-lithium ion chemistries, including novel concepts for electrochemical energy storage. This talk will present an overview of all projects contained in this workpackage. With respect to Li-ion technologies, novel anode materials will be discussed and first succesful steps towards their commercializations will be presented. Exploratoration towards novel cathode materials will be outlined as well. With respect to electrolyte chemistry and interfaces, we will show several examples of advanced in-situ studies. Finally, novel concepts for post-lithium batteries comprising exclusively Earth-abundant elements will be discussed.
About half of the world’s final energy demand is used for heating and cooling purposes. Therefore, technologies that can efficiently and effectively store heat are of key importance. They also assist to increase the share of sustainable heat sources and improve the efficiency of thermal systems. Recent research results and technical developments show that storage technologies will become even more important with increased use of renewable energies and Smart Grid developments.Thermal energy storage technologies are needed to match the variable supply and demand of heat and to optimize the performance of thermal systems. Hot water storages are state-of-the art and are based on sensible heat. Innovative compact thermal energy storage technologies are under development and based on the physical principles and properties of phase change materials (PCM)and on thermochemical materials (TCM). With these materials, heat can be stored in a more dense form and with less losses than conventional heat storages.

Thermal Energy Section

(Electro) reduction of CO2: From Fundamentals towards applications

PD Dr. Peter Broekmann, (University of Berne)

(Please contact the authors or us (email: info(at) if you are interested in the slides of this talk)

Electrochemistry offers a highly promising approach towards the conversion of the green-house gas CO2 into more valuable products (fuels or precursors for chemical synthesis). The overall process efficiency and (product) selectivity of the CO2 electro-reduction crucially depends on the particular process parameters (current density, overpotential), the chemical nature of the catalyst and the electrolyte/solvent used. However, when carried out in aqueous environments the CO2 electro-reduction always competes with a parasitic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) which finally determines (lowers) the current efficiency for the CO2 conversion. What is missing so far is a deeper mechanistic understanding of the CO2 electro-reduction as basis for a rational design of new and more effective catalyst materials. In particular advanced in-operando techniques are therefore needed that allow the structural and compositional analysis of the active catalyst under more realistic HER/CO2 reaction conditions.
Robust and efficient hydrogen storage materials are a generation-defining challenge. This talk will focus on our group’s recent efforts in the area of reversible release and uptake of hydrogen in the formic acid cycle.
The CTI’s novel Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) initiative was implemented in 2013. As part of KTT, the innovation mentors (IM) facilitate the initial phase of setting-up a joint research project between an enterprise and a research institution. The service provided by the CTI IMs is primarily for R&D-based innovation-oriented businesses. The IM services are free of charge for the enterprise.

Hydrogen Section

Swiss Hydrogen has developed PEM fuel cell stacks and systems for stationary and mobile applications. In stationary applications a very high system efficiency of up to 70% (LHV H2 in; DC out) at relatively low cost can be reached by the usage of Hydrogen and pure Oxygen as reactants. The proprietary bipolar plate (bpp) design allows a very high durability even under pure oxygen operation. Stacks in the power range of 10 to 60 kW are now available, several 60 kW stacks can be grouped to units with 500 kW or 1 MW. Mobile systems are typically running on Hydrogen and air to avoid the necessity of a second gas storage system. For applications with 5 to 40 kW the proprietary graphite bpp is used. For applications with 30 to 100 kW a cell design developed in the FCH-JU funded project “Autostack Core” will be available in summer 2016. The cell pitch could have been reduced to 1 mm in the latest generation, allowing for extremely high power densities above 3 kW/kg and 3.5 kW/ltr on FC stack level.

Synthetic Fuel Section

Situation and objectives. Why and how hydrogen technology can be supportive to Coop and CMA. Why availability of hydrogen trucks and/or buses is so vital to successfully establish HRS networks. Implementation and multiplication plan only works in cooperation with third parties. Issues can be derived from specific situation of third parties.
The project “Renewable Energy in the Supply system” (RENERG2) focuses on key aspects and challenges of a future Power-to-Gas chain and infrastructure as well as in applications for mobility and decentralized combined heat and power. In addition, overarching issues as market, economics and grid integration are studied to evaluate and assess different future scenarios. Power-to-Gas concepts convert energy flows (electricity) into energy carriers (hydrogen). These energy carriers shall be used for blending into natural gas, production of synthetic methane or be used directly in mobility,namely hydrogen or gas vehicles or reconversion into electricity by means of decentralized power (co)-generation.

Technology Interaction Section

A plant for production of renewable methane has been built at HSR. The main purpose is to demonstrate the entire process from the gain of electrical energy to the usage of renewable methane.Various studies have been conducted such as a detailed measurement of energy flows in the plant or analysis of the influence of different operating parameters to the composition of the product gas. Furthermore operating the plant for hundreds of hours has led to a wide range of practical experiences. It became clear on what parts of the plant errors occur on a regular base and how to avoid them.