Influence of weather and climate on renewable energy supply
Part of the research at IZNE deals with the influence of weather, air pollution and climate on solar energy supply. The aim of the research is to improve the prediction of solar energy supply under different weather and climate conditions. Some of the activities focus on the role of aerosols and dust, other work on the influence of inhomogeneous cloud cover. Energy meteorology provides an important basis for the development of intelligent planning and control tools and thus for the digitalisation of the energy transition by improving the predictions of solar energy production and the understanding of the weather-related dynamics of grids with a high proportion of solar power and integrated storage.
Weather-related fluctuations in energy production occur on a wide variety of spatial and temporal scales. Cloud cover leads to fluctuations in the seconds and minutes range, weather conditions lead to variability on a synoptic scale. In addition, there are seasonal differences in energy supply, but also climatic conditions. A better understanding of meteorological and climatic variability is therefore a basic prerequisite for optimising renewable energy systems. This applies both to stand-alone solutions and to grid networks. For this reason, the IZNE operates an "Energy Meteorology Laboratory [De]" at the Sankt Augustin site together with the EMT department.
The role of energy storage for a sustainable energy supply
Energy storage systems are a prerequisite for switching the energy supply to renewable energies. They serve as a buffer for the weather-related variability of renewable energy production from wind and sun and the fluctuations in energy demand. The question of the sustainability of various storage technologies plays an important role here. These questions are discussed intensively in regular lectures."
Chemical energy storage systems such as hydrogen, methanol and synthetic fuels are excellently suited to bridge even longer dark periods. They can also be used across sectors (energy, transport and industry). Therefore, research in this area has been continuously expanded in recent years together with the Energy Working Group and the Networks Working Group of the Institute of Technology, Resource and Energy Efficiency. The focus is on the integration of power-to-X technologies into regenerative energy networks (electricity-gas-heat). Through the university, the IZNE is a member of the hydrogen network HyCologne and is involved in the Rhineland hydrogen region. Current work in the field of modelling and simulation is concerned with the dynamic modelling of system-integrated hydrogen storage.