The research field Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy focuses on modelling and optimising regenerative energy systems. Weather-related fluctuations associated with the output from renewable energy sources and sector-specific requirements concerning the form, quantity and variability of the given energy demand a better understanding of the cross-sectoral energy networks using integrated storage solutions as well as their dynamics. The research field therefore addresses energy-meteorological questions and investigates the energy cycles (natural gas, hydrogen, water/heat and power) ranging from households to transregional networks. The TREE Hydrogen Lab serves the investigation of complex Power-to-H2-to-X cycles.
In the energy-meteorological focus, photovoltaic systems are coupled with measuring devices which take up data on weather- and solar-related fluctuations. The precise forecasting of such fluctuations is a major challenge for operating electricity networks. To prevent network congestion in transmission and distribution systems, the operators can reduce the power fed from photovoltaic systems. To enable such a variable balance, the system operator has to be informed no later than the day before. This is only possible through precise and reliable forecasts.
Another substantial question in the process of implementing energy system transformation is the storage of electrical energy derived from renewable energies for times in which sunlight and wind are not sufficiently available. One possible approach is the Power-to-Gas (P2G) system: Energy 4.0.
Therefore, scientists at the TREE Hydrogen-Lab perform physical and simulationbased experiments on the energy efficiency of metal hydride storages. Also, the whole cycle is investigated: Energy production form solar cells; transformation into hydrogen; production of power from the stored hydrogen. During the whole process, sensor data is collected according the BigData & Energy 4.0 approach. This allows for scaling these rather small experiments to complete energy networks. In the Hydrogen-Lab, the total hydrogen cycle can be mapped.