In the field of nanomaterials, the focus is on a deeper understanding of effects based on the nanostructuring of particles or the nanoporosity of materials. The findings are used in application-oriented work with other groups of ZAE Bayern or external partners to develop functional materials for the field of energy technology, such as energy storage systems or thermal insulation components.
The focus in the field of synthesis is on nanomaterials that are produced using a sol-gel process. These form the basis for composites that allow the integration of several functionalities in one material and also facilitate process steps and improve handling in the application.
At the same time, characterization methods are developed that are tailored to the new material types and thus deliver artefact-free parameters. Particular attention is paid to methods that can simultaneously capture several physical properties or can be used to track process steps (in-situ measurement methods). Examples include in-situ optical or in-situ dilatometric measurement methods during gas adsorption analysis, the determination of product composition in thermally induced reactions with fast gas chromatography and mass spectrometry or the monitoring of the sol-gel transition using temperature measurement.
ZAE Bayern's research and development activities in the field of thermophysics and thermosensorics lead to a deepened physical understanding and the reliable characterization of thermophysical parameters of new materials and materials that are relevant for energy technology.
The focus lies in the description and analysis of complex heat transport processes in heterogeneous material systems (thermal analysis), in the modelling and characterization of heat transport by thermal radiation (applied IR metrology), as well as in the qualitative and quantitative recording of thermal processes and their visual representation (thermosensors). An essential component of all areas is the development of innovative measurement methods, such as imaging analysis methods, which also allow reliable characterization for new material types and systems under the respective application conditions (e.g. temperature and pressure).
Due to the competence of the working groups active in this field and the close integration with the other thematic fields of ZAE Bayern, an expertise is available which enables special synergies in the area of basic research as well as applied energy research.
The International Energy Agency's (IEA) "Experts Group on Science in Energy", has identified the development of efficient and cost-effective energy storage as the most important challenge for future R&D activities. Energy storage systems are essential for integrating renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency.
The integration of highly fluctuating energy sources such as wind, photovoltaics or solar thermal energy relies on efficient storage technologies for electrical and thermal energy. The storage of heat and cold is particularly important for increasing efficiency in industrial processes or buildings. Last but not least, electric energy storage systems also play a decisive role in electromobility. ZAE Bayern is internationally recognized for its expertise in the field of energy storage.
This is also reflected in the strong presence in various bodies of the International Energy Agency IEA. Due to the fact that ZAE Bayern has been dealing with energy storage topics since its foundation, they are accompanied in their entire breadth from the basics to implementation.
ZAE Bayern's expertise in the field of thermal and electrical storage can then be used to handle the possibilities of energy storage, which arise from the conversion of thermal to electrical energy (e. g. in the operation of solar thermal power plants) and vice versa (e. g. the integration of wind power through decentralised thermal energy storage systems). Questions can also be answered where thermal and electrical systems play a role, such as the thermal management of batteries.
We work at the interface between knowledge-based basic research and applied industrial research. Under the motto "Excellent Energy Research - Excellent Implementation", we realize complete innovation packages that build on synergies between generation, storage and efficiency measures.