Start-up Section

Start-ups, being often able to develop products and services quicker, more efficiently and cheaper, play an important role in the fast implementation and commercialization of solutions contributing significantly to the energy transition, society and economy. The session will illustrate the entrepreneurship ecosystem and support framework, Successful startups will showcase their stories and best practices in bringing innovation to the market in order to encourage researchers to dare to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas. Additionally, the existing CTI support and promotion instruments to foster entrepreneurship and start-ups will be introduced.

Global warming caused by excess atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuels emissions is one of the biggest threats to humanity. The large majority of climate scenarios consistent with 2 °C global warming call for a drastic transition towards zero- and eventually negative emissions through large scale deployments of CO2 removal from air. Climeworks technology captures atmospheric CO2 (Direct Air Capture, DAC) through a uniquely efficient design and thereby turns the pollutant into a valuable resource for existing commercial applications such as the carbonation of drinks as well as emerging technologies such as renewable synthetic fuels. In combination with carbon sequestration, Climeworks is one of a few technologies enabling large scale carbon removal from the atmosphere. ...

Switzerland Innovation is a national initiative aiming to strengthen Switzerland’s capacity to innovate. As one of its five sites, PARK INNOVAARE is working together with Park Basel Area, Park Biel/Bienne, Park West Network EPFL and Park Zürich to build a national platform providing researchers, entrepreneurs and industry with perfect conditions for realizing successful R&D collaborations. PARK INNOVAARE is situated in close proximity to the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and its state-of-the-art accelerator-based large research facilities. Here, driven by the PSI’s expertise, innovations in the fields of accelerator technology, advanced materials and processes, human health and energy are rapidly transformed into marketable products and solutions. Energy, as one of the focal points at PARK INNOVAARE, benefits from the outstanding research conducted at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). Innovative power generation and storage solutions are being developed here in order to contribute to the energy transition. PARK INNOVAARE is actively participating in the transfer of technologies with the aim of accelerating the development of sustainable energy solutions. As a successful illustration of this transfer, novoMOF AG, a resident company in PARK INNOVAARE, will give more insights about its journey from lab to market and highlight the importance of an innovation park as a supporting structure accessible in Switzerland.

novoMOF is a technology company in the field of advanced materials with focus on synthesis and production of metal-organic frameworks (MOF). MOFs are novel materials that offer competitive applications in many energy sectors. Various functionalities can be introduced into the framework depending on the intended application of the MOF.
We partner with leaders from these different industries who want to exploit MOFs early as an innovation opportunity. We enable and shape this process early on by providing such companies access to custom MOFs based on their intended application.

Young Scientists Section

The fluctuating nature of renewable energy sources like wind and solar requires short- and long-term energy storage to guarantee the power supply. One promising alternative to pumped hydro storage is advanced adiabatic compressed air energy storage (AA-CAES). The first pilot-scale AA-CAES plant was constructed near Biasca (Switzerland) and successfully tested by ALACAES. The thermal energy is stored in a 12 MWhth unit in the form of sensible heat using a packed bed of rocks and in the form of latent heat using the encapsulated phase-change material Al68.5Cu26.5Si5 with melting temperature of about 517°C. Experiments with 1.5 h charging/discharging cycles were performed using a maximum air inlet temperature of 565°C. The experimental data was used to validate a quasi-one-dimensional heat-transfer model. The experiments demonstrated
(1) the feasibility of the AA-CAES concept,
(2) the feasibility of the combined-sensible/latent thermal energy storage at the pilot-scale, and
(3) showed that the phase-change material can reduce the drop in the air outlet temperature during discharging, which is beneficial for downstream applications (i.e., turbine of AA-CAES plant).

Hydrogen is, among others, widely known as a renewable and clean energy source, more precisely an energy vector. However, it is less known that the storage of hydrogen is not so evident. Indeed, the current methods to store hydrogen habitually involve high pressure (stainless steel) cylinder, having weight and safety issues, not easy to handle, having obvious hazards. In order to imagine a general use of hydrogen as an energy carrier, other storage methods should be developed. The principle idea would be to use renewable energy sources such as solar or wind to produce hydrogen, store it chemically bounded in small organic molecules such as formic acid, deliver it on demand and then start the cycle again, thus being CO2 neutral if one can reuse the CO2 released in the process.

The water splitting reaction requires effective electrocatalysts to facilitate efficient oxygen evolution reaction (OER), which suffers from a high overpotential. Among cost viable electrocatalysts, PrBaCo2O5+δ and Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O2+δ are gaining attention for their high specific activities toward OER in alkaline water electrolysis. Here, nanoparticles of PrBaCo2O5+δ and Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe2O2+δ were prepared using a scalable flame spray synthesis rendering significantly high mass activities, current densities improve by 10 and 50 times, respectively, than compared to those prepared via the state-of-the-art synthesis method. Furthermore, up to date, only their performances under alkaline conditions (pH 13 - 14) have been exclusively studied barring lower pH values. We highlight that the assessment of activity and stability of perovskite catalysts in a quasi-neutral pH value is absolutely necessary for an extension of application in co-electrolysis of water and carbon dioxide in generation of hydrocarbon fuels. Therefore, we investigate their electrocatalytic performances in a quasi-neutral electrolyte where PrBaCo2O5+δ reveals more than three-folds higher mass activity than Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O2+δ. To the best of our knowledge, for the first time, we narrate the dependency of electrocatalytic behaviors on the electrolyte pH with respect to their thermodynamic stabilities obtained from DFT based Pourbaix diagrams.

Parameter and method for evaluating a power-gas plant

Jachin Gorre,
(Institut für Energietechnik, HSR , CH)

Innovations Patterns and Technologies

Abhishek Malhotra,
(Energy Politics Group, ETHZ, CH)

Hydrogen Section

Energiedienst is a Swiss-German Energy supplier, which deals with production, grids and distribution throughout the whole value chain. Since 1999 our aim for a consistent sustainability, we employ 850 people and generate a turnover of 1billion Euro/a. Large hydro electric power plants situated at the Hochrhein are part of our assets, which have been successfully in operation for over a 100 years. Energiedienst develops with great success new business areas. One focus is on Power-to-X applications. We expect from these applications a refinement of the electrical power to create a substantial product, for example “green” fuels as well as a contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions for transportation....

Battery Section

Established in 1909, Leclanché has been a reliable partner for battery energy storage solutions for over 100 years. Founded in the tradition of Georges Leclanché, the inventor of the dry cell battery, Leclanché has today a rich portfolio of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). Over the past five years the demand for Li-ion batteries has achieved a dramatic increase and, at the same time, the prices have fallen by more than 50%. The Li-ion market is currently dominated by Asian companies and it will be difficult to displace them in the consumer and automotive segments. Japan was the first to bring lithium ion cell production to large scale. At the same time, they developed the machine manufacturing necessary to support the large volume demands.
The question remains who will be willing to financially take the risk of building up this industry to volumes that allow it to be competitive, and to enable the entire value chain to gain a level of experience and track record similar to the ones reached by Asia-based companies. It is likely that the initial capacity build-up will be achieved recurring to machine manufacturers with a strong track record in implementing large scale lithium-ion cell manufacturing. European manufacturing will need to concentrate on niche markets and specialised applications....

Traditionally the battery industry has relied on batch processing of electrode slurries for subsequent coating. While the approach has some advantages in slurry maturation and traceability, it is not up to the future requirements for cost reduction and capacity ramp-up.
Buhler have developed a continuous slurry preparation process which has the potential to substantially reduce production cost through improved consistency and yield. Also the process can be integrated into a full inline electrode production.
The new continuous process is currently being installed in production scale in China. The presentation will cover some of the challenges of the process and equipment development.

Heat Section

Fafco S.A, is a leading ice storage manufacturing company which has been operating for more than 50 years. Within this project, a latent heat storage with a key storage temperature between 10-15°C was developed. The new latent storage is proposed as an alternative to ice storage. In many cooling applications (e.g. air-conditioning), the 0°C provided by the conventional ice storage system is unnecessarily low and therefore a source of inefficiency. In such cases, a storage temperature at 10-15°C can still provide the necessary cooling power with higher overall energetic and exergetic efficiency. Moreover, the losses during the storage process decrease due to the smaller temperature difference to the ambient....