Welcome to the Energy Lab 2.0

The energy transition raises many questions: How can energy be generated in an environmentally friendly way and stored efficiently? What happens when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow? And what happens if more electricity is suddenly needed? To answer these questions, the Energy Lab 2.0 researches the intelligent interaction of various options to generate, store and supply energy.

Research for the Energy Transition

By 2045, climate neutrality is to be achieved. Meanwhile – by 2030 ­– greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by at least 65% compared with 1990. 
However, wind or solar energy cannot be generated consistently everywhere. Energy is often needed far away from where it is generated, and peak loads can be expected at certain times.

This dilemma must therefore be solved because affordable and environmentally compatible energy should no longer remain a utopia.
As Europe's largest research infrastructure for renewable energy, the Energy Lab 2.0 finds answers to all these questions. Here, the intelligent networking of environmentally friendly energy generators and storage methods are investigated. In addition, energy systems of the future are simulated and tested based on real consumer data.
A plant network links electrical, thermal and chemical energy flows as well as new information and communication technologies. The research aims at improving the transport, distribution, storage and use of electricity and thus create the basis for the energy transition.

What's new? @ Energy Lab 2.0

Reactor an valves for the energy transition testbed inside the container plant. Test sensors in the foreground in order to measure the quality and quantity of climate-friendly gas.A. Bramsiepe, KIT 2021
Three-Phase Methanation campaign completed

In situ catalyst activation is a significant process improvement and was therefore investigated in the second week of December 2021 on the Three-Phase Methanation (3PM) in the Energy Lab 2.0. For this purpose, a novel method was developed and tested, in which the methanation catalyst is activated directly in the reactor and during operation. The tests were successfully completed and, thus, provide valuable data for transferring the results from the 100 kW 3PM to industrial scale and for their economic evaluation.

More about Three-Phase Methanation
Containeranlage mit geöffneten Türen zeigt rSOC-Zellen in ihrer Forschungsumgebung, dem Containerpark des Energy Lab

Die sogenannte Reversible Solid Oxide Cell (rSOC) wurde nun erfolgreich in Betrieb gesetzt. Das System kann sowohl im Elektrolysemodus (Strom-zu-Wasserstoff) als auch im Brennstoffzellen- bzw. Reformermodus (Wasserstoff- oder Erdgas-zu-Strom) betrieben werden. So kann dieses System aus chemischen Energieträgern elektrischen Strom generieren oder über erneuerbaren Strom grünen Wasserstoff mit sehr hohem Wirkungsgrad erzeugen. Solche Flexibilitätsoptionen sind im Energiesystem der Zukunft elementar und können nun auch im Energy Lab 2.0 untersucht werden.

Zu Power-to-Liquid
Diagram of the four steps towards climate neutral eFuels. From direct air capture to hydrocracking closing the circle between removing CO2 from the air and using the regenerative synthetic fuels.
E-Fuels in the Avenue-Magazine (in German)

"The fuel that's made from air" is how AverEnergy's Avenue magazine describes the eFuels from the Energy Lab 2.0. 
Since climate-neutral flights, ship voyages or other heavy transports are inconceivable without synthetic fuels, eFuels are presented as hope for the future. Professor Dittmeyer explains the four steps in the cycle from carbon dioxide from the air to the refined synthetic fuel.

Read the Article (in German)

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