The energy market is undergoing a profound transformation process. The energy system of the future will be regenerative and the generation units and consumers will be highly interconnected.
Fraunhofer IFAM is supporting this transformation process with its expertise in materials science and manufacturing technology and is active in the field of renewable energies (especially solar and wind energy), batteries, thermal energy storage, the hydrogen economy, and the circular economy. In addition, a central topic is energy system analysis. Fraunhofer IFAM also considers material and energy efficiency in its work.
Global energy consumption (G20 countries) has increasingly decoupled from economic development and recently increased more slowly than economic output (a reduction was observed in 2020 due to the CoVid-19 pandemic). CO2 emissions were reduced despite a slight increase in energy consumption. Thus, it is evident that the path taken by the increased use of renewable energy sources such as
- solar energy
- wind energy
- hydroelectric power
- geothermal energy
- and increasing energy efficiency (including combined heat and power, sector coupling, energy storage or electromobility) is possible and has a significant positive effect on greenhouse gas emissions.
At the same time, it is now clear that the efforts made to date are far from sufficient to achieve the climate targets set out in the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement. Greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced much faster. Accordingly, significantly greater efforts are planned in many countries, including Germany. These include increasing the use of renewable energies, boosting energy efficiency, creating efficient storage options, building a hydrogen economy and boosting material efficiency. In this context, the path must move away from fossil material flows in the direction of sustainable energy and material flows ("circular economy").
Central elements for innovations in energy technology are the development of new materials, material combinations and joining processes as well as the application of efficient manufacturing processes and production chains that meet the technical and economic requirements of energy technology undergoing transformation. The institute's scientists, including those from the fields of materials science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry and the development of processes and plant components, combine their expertise for the required system solutions. Starting with tailor-made materials, through manufacturing technology and surface functionalization, to the complete characterization and qualification of component and system behavior, current issues can be comprehensively addressed in collaboration with our customers.
With its core competencies, Fraunhofer IFAM offers companies in the energy sector a spectrum of innovations, including
- energy system analysis and studies on the transformation of the energy sector
- materials and processes for the hydrogen economy
- materials and processes for the solar and wind industries
- batteries and thermal energy storage
- inspection, process monitoring and quality assurance
- investigations and tests in accredited laboratories
- personnel qualification in the field of adhesive bonding technology and fiber reinforced plastics