Global climate goals require effective and efficientCO2-neutral management of all sectors. Linking the areas of electricity, heat, transport and industry in such a way that fluctuating power generation from renewable energies can be optimally utilized is a goal of the scientists at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU). Consortium partners include 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, Ingenieurgesellschaft für Energie- und Kraftwerkstechnik mbH (IEK) and Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructure and Geothermal Energy IEG. They see the key to a sustainable, economical energy system in a much stronger networking of different energy systems and system actors.
More than 90 researchers from 14 disciplines are developing innovative technologies for a climate-neutral energy supply in a new research cluster in a total of six networked labs together with an interdisciplinary partner network. Funded for its first phase by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with up to 28 million euros, the Energy Innovation Center (EIZ) at BTU aims to provide worldwide impetus in the networking of various energy systems and the associated global restructuring of the energy sector.
Stefan Müller, head of the department "Provision for the Future - Research for Fundamentals and Sustainable Development" at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research: "In the heart of Lusatia, the opening of the Energy Innovation Center in Cottbus today marks the laying of a foundation stone for one of the most dynamic energy research locations in Germany. The energy supply of the future is being actively shaped here!"
Tobias Dünow, State Secretary of the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg: "Close to industry, practical and product-oriented - research is being carried out at the Energy Innovation Center on the environmentally friendly energy supply of the future. The focus is on technical as well as economic, political and social issues of the energy transition - a perfect combination! I am convinced: the EIZ - an important building block and major project of the Lusatia Science Park - will serve as a platform to transfer the approaches and technologies developed to other regions in Germany and Europe."
"Power and heat generation based on sun, wind and water for an industrialized country like Germany requires new sustainable energy concepts," says BTU President Prof. Dr. Gesine Grande. "With a strong regional and national partner network, we link our scientific expertise with the concrete requirements and experiences from the energy industry. Together, we develop innovative solutions and technologies for a climate-neutral future, worldwide and here in Lusatia. In its profile line'Energy Reform and Decarbonization', the BTU bundles its competencies in order to assume a leading role in this process, also internationally."
Prof. Dr. Felix Müsgens, project manager of the Energy Innovation Center and head of the BTU Department of Energy Economics: "In the Energy Innovation Center (EIZ), we work on the scientific issues of the energy transition and make important contributions in both basic and application-oriented research. At the same time, we are strengthening innovation and start-up expertise in the areas of sector coupling and digitalization."
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Schiffer, project manager of the Energy Innovation Center and head of the BTU Department of Control Systems and Grid Control Technology: "We are developing new insights, innovative solutions and technologies for a climate-neutral future. In a strong partner network, we combine scientific know-how with experience from the energy industry."
In six networked labs, the scientists* of the Energy Innovation Center at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg conduct research together with an interdisciplinary partner network on energy technology and economics issues with special reference to structural development:
The Energy Economics Lab (EECON) deals with economic issues and conducts quantitative acceptance research, for example, in order to be able to adapt land selection and building regulations at an early stage. In this way, the necessary expansion of renewable energies can be optimized. Another field of research is forecasts for energy systems using different approaches from optimization and statistics. Market and competition analyses with insights for structural change are intended to support the regional economy in its transformation.
Research in the Electric Power System Lab (EPS) focuses on issues at the transmission and distribution grid level. Simulator-based investigations are used to analyze and scientifically develop topics related to system management and grid reconstruction. The aim is to investigate the security of supply in the interconnected sectors of electricity, heat, storage and mobility. In addition, the behavior of future high-voltage operating resources under climate and pollution conditions is being investigated as part of basic research.
In order to be able to efficiently operate, coordinate and monitor cross-sector energy systems, integrated concepts for control and instrumentation are necessary. In this context, the complexity of energy systems requires new methodical operation and control approaches with reliable quality, robustness and cyber security properties. The development and demonstration of technologies for these challenges are the focus of the interdisciplinary facility of the Control Systems and Cyber Security Lab (COSYS).
The Energy Storage and Conversion Lab (ESC) focuses on aCO2-neutral cycle approach based on green hydrogen. Cycles are developed and optimized within the framework of the heat, electricity, storage and mobility sectors. Green hydrogen production is followed by further processing into synthetic hydrocarbon and nitrogen-based fuels, as well as their storage, transport and conversion into electricity and heat. Each sector is developed through knowledge-based optimization and digital twin processes in close interaction with fundamental experiments and advanced material characterization.
The High Power Grid Converter Lab (HPGC) represents the new market role of "energy storage". The energy transition requires storage as an energy reserve for times when there is not enough renewable energy (RE) available for days and weeks. The optimal combination of short-term and long-term storage as well as the further development of operating concepts for storage between the electricity and gas grids are goals in this laboratory.
Complex systems can be represented in models using improved simulation methods. On this basis, scientifically sound planning and optimization of decentralized energy systems can be carried out. This allows, for example, the development of scalable load balancing methods for the grid integration of electric vehicles, which ensure grid stability. These competencies are bundled in the Scientific Computing Lab (SCL) .
There will be a close exchange with the Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy-Intensive Industries (KEI) and the “PtX Lab Lausitz – Think- and-do tank for fuels and basic materials from green hydrogen”. They will all be part of the Lausitz Science Park, the technology and innovation park under construction near the BTU central campus. Institutes of the German Aerospace Center, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Leibniz Association, as well as the Center for Hybrid Electric Systems Cottbus (chesco), will also be located here. Together with the city and state, the BTU wants to bring together excellent basic research and applied research with innovative spin-offs and numerous company settlements in the Lausitz Science Park.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the EIZ with up to EUR 28 million during the four-year construction phase. These funds have been used to create 74 new positions for scientists. Further phases are planned for a total duration of up to ten years. In addition to the funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the novel laboratory infrastructure is being supported by the Investment Bank of the State of Brandenburg (ILB) to the tune of a further EUR 18.5 million. The funding is provided through the Brandenburg State Chancellery's Structural Development Lusatia funding guideline. The funds come from the federal government's Structural Strengthening Act.
About the Energy Innovation Center
The Energy Innovation Center focuses on targeted innovations, industry-oriented, product-oriented technology development and transfer, as well as training and continuing education opportunities for business and science. The focus is on technical as well as economic, political and social issues of the energy transition with special reference to structural development. The center is intended to serve as a platform for transferring the approaches and technologies developed to other regions and to the European level.
The EIZ consists of six networked institutions with their own thematic focuses, four of which will form a campus-wide large-scale energy technology laboratory. With 14 departments and chairs of the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg as well as more than 40 additional partners from industry and science, the EIZ is optimally positioned for interdisciplinary research. Consortium partners include 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, Ingenieurgesellschaft für Energie- und Kraftwerkstechnik mbH (IEK) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy IEG.