European Commision (EU)
The rapidly growing worldwide energy needs and the diversification of the energy mix with an increasing share of renewable energies are challenging for existing energy infrastructures. More flexible solutions are required, especially those that integrate renewable energies more efficiently. With icefuel® (integrated cable energy system for fuel and power), a flexible system for energy storage, distribution and decentral reconversion has been developed.
The concept can buffer large quantities of excess electricity, preferentially from fluctuating renewable energies like wind and solar power; thus it facilitates the equilibration of power generation and demand. The icefuel® system can be easily integrated in existing energy systems. It saves operational costs and exhaust gas emissions. The concept is based on a grid of superinsulated pipes for the transport of cryogenic fuels like liquid hydrogen (-253°C). These cryogenic fuels serve as energy carrier as well as energy storage media. The pipes are covered with a newly developed superinsulation material against heat flux from the environment.
At the institute, compact microstructured devices are developed for this system. The devices realize heat exchange, evaporation and condensation of cryogenic substances and thus the cooling energy, which is stored in the liquefied fuels, can be reutilized and serves to energetically optimize the icefuel system.