Project highlights

Smart Functional Materials

Development of a grid-serving photovoltaic storage system using ultracapacitors

Fluctuations in solar irradiation caused mainly by cloud movement are unavoidable, but they pose a problem for photovoltaics because they can stress the power electronics on the one hand and have a negative impact on grid stability on the other.

Therefore, the aim of the project is to develop a converter-storage unit, consisting of photovoltaic (PV) modules and short-term storage units, which will significantly smooth power fluctuations of PV systems in the range of seconds to minutes and thus provide renewable energy in grid-serving quality.

The new storage system consists of photovoltaic modules as well as ultra-fast electrical short-term storage units adapted to them and control electronics with inverters. After a three-year development and optimization phase at laboratory level, the new system is to be installed in the form of a demonstration plant in the grid and evaluated under real conditions in a one-year monitoring phase.

Sponsor: BMWi, funding code: 03EI4021A
Duration from 01.12.2020 to 30.11.2023

Reliable characterization of silica-based aerogels - structure and thermal conductivity.

Aerogels are nanoporous materials with interesting properties for applications in thermal insulation, electrodes, catalysis, filters and adsorbers, drug delivery and many more. However, the special properties of these materials also place great demands on established methods for characterization with respect to structure and thermal conductivity.

The current international lack of reliable analytical methods means that material development with regard to specific fields of application is sometimes carried out blindly. Accordingly, the possibilities in the specific application cannot be fully exploited. In addition, this leads to inadmissible distortions in the comparison of measurements due to incorrectly collected data.

Within the scope of the project, the currently most urgent problem is to be solved lasting in the long term: Changes in synthesis conditions cannot be reliably linked to resulting structural properties or thermal conductivities. The aim is to increase confidence in aerogel materials by providing comprehensible and reproducible characteristic data at product level.

Subcontract within the framework of the BMWi project THEA, DLR
Funding: BMBF, funding code: X/334/67294868
Duration from 01.12.2020 to 30.11.2023 

Foto: @Universit├Ąt Leipzig

Structure-property relationships for hierarchically structured silica monoliths as a model system for innovative inorganic insulating materials

CAE, the KIT Institute for Solid Construction and Building Materials Technology, Department of Building Materials and Concrete Construction, and the Institute of Technical Chemistry, Chair of Chemical Reaction Engineering, of the University of Leipzig are jointly searching for innovative solutions for thermal insulation materials.
The joint research project, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), aims to develop basic principles for the description of complex porous building materials and to make a significant contribution to the provision of sustainably developed thermal insulation materials for future applications in the field of building physics optimization

The DFG-funded joint research project is scheduled to run for 36 months.

Funding body: DFG, funding code: RE 1148/15-1
Duration from 01.03.2021 to 29.02.2024