New Helmholtz Research Center "Ionics in Energy Storage"
One of the greatest challenges of the energy system transformation is to store the generated electricity efficiently and for the long term. The difficulty lies in the unpredictability, because in contrast to fossil or nuclear power plants, solar and wind power plants feed electricity very irregularly.
Together with Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster and Forschungszentrum Jülich, RWTH Aachen has now founded a new Helmholtz Institute, which is intended to significantly advance current research into high-performance energy storage systems. This cooperation ideally combines the expertise of the three locations. Under the name of "Ionics in Energy Storage", the new facility will focus specifically on the analysis of electrolytes. For example, new types of electrolytes are being researched to increase the safety of lithium-ion batteries. In addition, hybrid electrolytes and multilayer electrolytes, in which the characteristics of the different components are to be combined, are being studied. This is intended to enable completely new battery types.
A panel of internationally renowned experts assessed the concept of the new Helmholtz Institute last autumn as "scientifically excellent". The basic funding of around 5.5 million Euros will be provided from 2015 through support from the Helmholtz Association. The largest part will come from federal funds; the state of North Rhine-Westphalia will invest an additional eleven million Euros by 2018.
Here you will find further information on the research field of electrochemical energy conversion and storage system technology at ISEA (Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives) as well as the detailed press releases of the Helmholtz Association and Forschungszentrum Jülich on the foundation of the new institute.