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Institute of Energy and Climate Research

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Process and Systems Analysis

If energy technologies are to be successfully developed for the market, then trends in energy supply in each energy use sector and the development of competitive technologies must be monitored.

This includes trends in the electricity market and in the field of renewable energies. It is important to monitor these trends regularly and to quantify their economic, energetic and environmentally relevant aspects, including cost structures, well-to-wheel analyses and mass balances. In addition, potential overall systems and infrastructures of the future are analyzed with regard to their profitability and greenhouse gas balance. In doing so, the technical cause–effect relationships between biogenic fuel conversion, energy storage, hydrogen production and distribution as well as carbon dioxide separation and utilization are also considered.

Data from the literature and from databases are linked in the modeling with the required depth. Systems and devices are designed for application-oriented requirements and, if necessary, dynamically simulated; this also includes, in particular, drive trains and vehicles. Commercial tools (MATLAB/Simulink, Pro/II, Aspen Plus, EBSILON, AVL CRUISE...) are used and, if required, complemented by our own models.

We focus on existing and potential research projects at IEK-3 in the areas of fuel cells, electrolysis, fuel reforming and membrane-based carbon dioxide separation. Electrolysis and fuel cells are evaluated in comparison with battery systems. Membrane-based carbon dioxide separation is compared with processes based on sorption or low temperatures. We use the broad experimental basis at the institute to model application-oriented systems in detail and to compare them with competing technologies under realistic conditions and to identify development potentials and shortcomings. Studies for industry are performed and confidentiality is ensured.

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