Business Unit Energy

Service Portfolio

The new energy system is formed by the increased use of renewable and decentralized sources of energy in the energy supply networks as well as increased use of storage systems, smart technologies and services. We are researching efficient solutions for the energy supply of the future. We specialize in applied research, application-oriented technical ­development and pilot projects using innovative energy technologies. We support companies on technical and systems analysis matters in municipal, regional, and industrial supply systems (e. g. combined energy generation, cross energy technologies, operation of energy storage systems). With a pragmatic view of what is technically, economically, and ­organizationally feasible, we take an active role in shaping the necessary changes in the energy sector.

Research and Development

Energy system analysis and design

  • In municipal, regional, and industrial structures: energy concepts, optimization, implementation of energy storage systems, implementation of cross energy technologies, modelling of energy load balancing technologies
  • Optimized sizing and mode of operation of energy generation and storage systems in future electricity markets
  • Municipal storage systems, energy-efficient municipal buildings, energy load balancing requirements, residual loads (analysis and optimization) in complex energy supply systems (e. g. hospitals)

Technical development

  • Thermal, electrical, and chemical energy storage technologies: redox flow-batteries, compressed air energy storage systems, phase change materials and slurries
  • Cross-energy technologies: power-to-gas, power-to-chemicals
  • Catalytic-processes, low temperature plasma process
  • Customer-specific, innovative, large-scale, flexible,
    weldable bipolar plates
  • Pilot plant construction, electricity generation from waste heat, combined energy generation, innovative chillers, use of geothermal energy
  • New turbomachinery, small steam turbines, turbomachinery test bench

Studies, consulting

  • Strategy and scenario development, meta studies
  • Conception, customer-specific calculation, economic feasibility studies, design, planning and integration of energy systems and/or preparation and assessment of technical concepts
  • Energy storage systems, use of storage systems, electricity from waste heat, power-to-X, decentralized bio energy (conversion) processes
  • Improving the flexibility of CHP systems, heat demand forecasts
  • Management of decentralized energy systems within the network
  • New resources in steam and compressed air networks

Markets and Industries

  • Energy services providers for electricity, gas, heating and cooling, compressed air
  • Municipal or regional corporations
  • Operators of decentralized energy systems, coupled energy production plants, and energy storage systems
  • Industrial customers with high energy demands/energy balancing demands
  • Raw materials industry and processing industry (e. g. chemicals, steel, cement, paper, food)
  • Developers, plant construction, project developers, and suppliers of innovative energy technology
  • Users of new analysis and planning tools

Projects from the Energy Business Unit



Energy-efficient electrosynthesis of alcohols

Power-to-x processes are needed to use CO2 as a sustainable raw material. ElkaSyn therefore focuses on a one-step process in which carbon dioxide and water are converted to methanol, ethanol, propanol and butanol.



Iron-air battery as stationary energy storage

Within the framework of ELuStat, an iron-air battery stack is created as a stationary energy storage system. It will compensate the fluctuating power generation by photovoltaic or wind energy plants and at the same time contribute to the reduction of CO2.



Making cooling supply systems more flexible

The aim of the project "FlexKaelte" is to develop basics for the evaluation of the flexibilization of cooling supply systems and to show the potential for electrical energy balancing in Germany.



New concept for combined heat and power generation

New cogeneration concept reacts to fluctuating prices in the market and compensates for bottlenecks in the local grid. The combination of CHP with heat storage and power-to-heat is a building block of the energy turnaround.


Geothermal paper drying

Process steam from deep geothermal energy

Paper manufacturing is one of the most energy-intensive industries. The enormous amounts of energy and heat needed to dry the paper webs are still provided today to a large extent by fossil fuels. The "Kabel ZERO" project is investigating how the required process steam can be generated using renewable heat from deep geothermal energy.



The hospital as a hybrid energy storage system

The project "Hybrid Energy Storage Hospital" (HESKH) deals with the question of whether and how the supply systems of hospitals can be used for electrical energy balancing. In addition to determining the potential itself, the project also examines the importance of precise heat load forecasts for the planning of flexible system operation.



Hybrid compensation system in the distribution network

Development and implementation of a hybrid compensation system and its testing in the distribution network. Various system services in medium-voltage networks are provided with a single system.



Precious metal-free catalyst for methane oxidation

To develop a precious metal reduced or precious metal free catalyst for the oxidation of methane – this was the aim of the IMOKAT project. The focus was also on shaping it into a honeycomb catalyst for technical use.



Increasing the efficiency of industrial compressed air systems

In the isoSTORRetrofit project, pressure compensating modules are being developed that enable isobaric storage of compressed air. The consequences: The storage volume increases and the compressor cycle can be optimized, which leads to considerably reduced energy costs.


KompEx LTA-CAES® modular

Compressed air energy storage for site-independent use

Joint research project develops new method for compressed air energy storage. This forward-looking technology will enable the sustainable storage of electricity from renewable energies.



Mass production of graphite bipolar plates

The project researches the development of continuous production of bipolar plates using roll-to-roll processes. Within the scope of the project, the world's largest bipolar plate has already been developed and produced.



Innovative fully welded bipolar battery

Space-saving, scalable and seal-free: Innovative, fully welded polymer-based bipolar battery for mobile and stationary applications increases energy density, avoids the risk of fire, and is cost-effective to manufacture.



Prototyping the use of low calorific coal mine methane

A lean gas burner, a steam boiler and a micro steam turbine are used to utilize low calorific mine gas.



Innovative technology for small CHP plants

Fraunhofer UMSICHT developed and implemented a unique ORC process for the Fuhrberg waterworks, which enables the use of combined heat and power generation in particularly small wood-fired boilers, thereby increasing efficiency and saving resources.



By catalysis from ethanol to butadiene

In the "Power2C4" work package, a power-to-x process for the production of butadiene and other C4-olefins is being developed. As an alternative, safe and affordable concept, it should contribute to a climate-friendly energy supply system.



Redox flow batteries for climate-friendly homes

Fraunhofer UMSICHT is researching the development of innovative energy concepts and the system integration of redox flow batteries using photovoltaic systems in private homes at its model site for renewable energy supply in Herne.


Single-loop coolant

Heat carrier fluid for spacecrafts

Fraunhofer UMSICHT and AIRBUS Defence and Space develop a heat carrier fluid for a single-loop thermal control system in air- and space-vehicles. They focus on the possible use of a Phase Change Slurry (PCS).


The City as a Storage Facility

Virtual storage of electricity

The project has investigated how virtual energy storage systems can be practically implemented in urban regions. The results show which systems should preferably be integrated and how the technical connection and control can be realized.



New strategies for municipal utilities

Within the framework of SW.Developer, a development environment is being created that supports municipal utilities in evaluating energy technologies as well as aligning their product portfolio with the requirements of the future energy system.



Municipal utilities as local players in the energy transition

How does the transformation of the energy system affect the situation of municipal utilities? Within the framework of TrafoSW, solution approaches for the transformation and reorientation of municipal utilities were developed and evaluated with regard to risks and success factors.



Using metallic residues for energy storage

In the "VAFLOW" joint project, industrial vanadium-containing residues are processed into a quality-assured vanadium electrolyte. These are then available to operate efficient energy storage systems.