Fields of research
Electrochemical Energy Storage
In the field of electrochemical energy storage, ZAE Bayern is researching batteries and electrolysers to support the integration of fluctuating renewables into the energy system. Building on projects concerned with hydrogen storage and various fuel cell systems, the current focus is on PEM electrolysis setups and vanadium redox flow batteries. Individual components as well as entire systems are being optimised in close cooperation with academic chairs and industrial partners - always aiming to increase efficiency, maximise service life, and reduce costs.
ZAE’s research on heat conversion through chillers and heat pumps ranges from the development and optimisation of individual components to their integration into complex energy systems. Thermally or electrically driven chillers and heat pumps may be configured to provide cooling and heating on any required scale. Many years of expertise have been built up, particularly on sorption heat pump and cooling systems (closed absorption, open adsorption), sorption storage systems, and innovative compression refrigeration applications. This makes ZAE an excellent partner for the design of plants utilising trigeneration, solar air conditioning, waste heat utilisation, cooling from biomass, and cooling with district heat.
Solar and Geothermal Energy
The generation of energy from geothermal sources and solar irradiation is a cornerstone of the ongoing energy system transition. ZAE Bayern's research in this field focuses on near-surface geothermal energy, solar thermal and PVT collectors, and their integration into complex energy systems. Interactions between thermal and electrical effects are also considered so as to maximise the overall energy yield. In addition, smart grids are being researched and planned, components subjected to practical testing. The creation of quality assurance standards for geothermal heat sources provides a basis for the development of innovative applications such as grid-independent CO2 geothermal probes.
ZAE Bayern engages in system engineering at the interface between research and industry. Beginning with feasibility studies and concepts, functional, energy-efficient, and sustainable energy solutions for buildings, quarters, municipalities, and the industry are being developed. We accompany the planning and realisation phases, evaluate and optimise implemented systems once they are operational. In addition to innovative supply concepts for municipal and industrial partners, we also accompany building renovations, carry out long-term system monitoring, and work on quality assurance measures for geothermal probes. ZAE offers the matching expertise for every project phase.
Thermal Energy Storage
Phase change and sorption materials are the basic elements of thermal energy storage as it is being researched at ZAE Bayern. The ongoing work examines systems based on these materials at every level. Sorption and phase change materials are characterised, modelled, and adapted to the requirements of their respective application. Development and optimisation of individual storage components go hand in hand with the design and construction of complete storage solutions, the building and monitoring of demonstration installations, or the shaping of solutions to integrate all these into larger systems. Potential fields of application range from heating and cooling systems to efficiency measures for household appliances and industrial waste heat utilisation to automotive engineering.
In the field of nanomaterials, the focus is on a deeper understanding of effects based on the nanostructuring of particles or the nanoporosity of materials. The findings are used in application-oriented work with other groups of ZAE Bayern or external partners to develop functional materials for the field of energy technology, such as energy storage systems or thermal insulation components.
ZAE Bayern develops energy-saving concepts and forward-looking technologies for energy-efficient buildings (e. g. evacuated insulation systems, functional layers, room temperature control with PCM). These innovative technologies are characterised and optimised throughout the entire development process, from laboratory samples to the finished product, and are evaluated metrologically as part of demonstration projects in existing buildings or as new buildings (monitoring).
In its core competence areas of renewable energies, energy storage and energy efficiency, ZAE Bayern combines materials research, component development and system optimization into a seamless value-added chain in an interdisciplinary research approach. The researchers at ZAE Bayern work at the interface between basic research and applied industrial research and deal, among other things, with nanomaterials, thermal and electrochemical energy storage, energy-efficient processes, photovoltaics, energy-optimised buildings and urban areas as well as smart grids and cross-sectoral energy systems (electricity and heat/cooling).
We conduct applied research at the interface between basic science and industrial application. Our methods and systems aim to achieve CO2 neutrality and thereby counteract climate change through the intelligent and efficient use of renewable energies.