The Thermal Energy Storage group researches heat and cold storage based on phase change materials (PCMs) and sorption materials. Their research approach ranges from the development and optimisation of individual materials and components to the integration of thermal energy storages into complex energy systems. Storage materials and units for heating/cooling systems, for efficient household appliances, for industrial waste heat utilisation, and for automotive applications are being investigated.
The main work focuses are:
Head of Group:
Dr. Stefan Hiebler
Tel.: +49 89 329442-35
Fax: +49 89 329442-12
Deputy Head of Group:
Dipl.-Phys. Christoph Rathgeber
Tel.: +49 89 329442-88
Fax: +49 89 329442-12
Current COVID-19 vaccines require a storage temperature of about -70 to -60 °C. Since the vaccines need to be distributed worldwide in large quantities, maintaining these temperature limits is a logistical challenge. Temperature control using dry ice is questionable from a safety and environmental perspective and heavily regulated, not only in cargo aircraft. Special transport containers equipped with cold storage materials (phase change materials, PCM) may be used to ensure an uninterrupted and energy-efficient cold chain. In the coCO2vac project, va-Q-tec AG and ZAE Bayern are to develop PCMs for the temperature range between -70 and -60 °C. The project includes the evaluation of potential PCMs on a laboratory scale, application-oriented testing of the materials in cold packs, and the transfer of the results to production scales. The project is to facilitate the dry-ice-free and energy-efficient temperature control of potential vaccines against COVID-19 and other pharmaceuticals with similar temperature requirements during transport and storage.
Head of Project: Stefan Hiebler, email@example.com
Project Duration: 10/12/2020-31/12/2021
One of the fundamental issues preventing the wider use of latent heat storages using phase change materials (PCM) is the effect of supercooling. Supercooling means that materials may be brought below their melting temperature without crystallising. The MINAKRIP project aims to investigate and systematise heterogeneous nucleation caused by nucleation agents in PCM. This way, the nucleation of microencapsulated and emulsified PCM is to be improved, and the applicability of these systems when using different organic PCM is to be increased. The research methods used are based on visual assessment using a transmitted polarised light microscope as well as molecular dynamics simulations on the atomic level.
Head of Project: Stefanie Tafelmeier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Duration: 10/2018-09/2022
Currently, the research and development of materials for innovative thermal energy storages is often carried out without regard to the actual requirements of applications. Yet, thermochemical energy storage systems are particularly dependent on the operating conditions specified by their respective application. Under application conditions, the energy storage density of thermochemical storage materials is often significantly lower than the value calculated from equilibrium measurements. Thus, it makes sense to test materials under actual application conditions early on. The AMThES project aims to identify suitable sorption processes for relevant thermal energy storage applications in the building and industrial sectors. Suitable meaning in this context, that the storage material meets the technical requirements of the application - storage capacity, charging and discharging performance, and stability - over the expected number of cycles while at the same time allowing economic use. Moreover, ZAE Bayern is to lead an International Energy Agency (IEA) working group in the field of Energy Storage ES, which focuses on new storage materials for thermochemical and latent heat storage systems.
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.