Research in Energy and Hydrogen Systems

Research Focus

The research on Energy Systems centres on the interrelations between energy supply and infrastructure planning in a changing climate with a strong focus on energy generation, distribution, storage and consumption. It considers the implications of distributed energy provision systems and specifically integrated solutions across several sectors. This also includes research on energy efficiency measures and the integration of renewable and sustainable energy technologies into buildings and the urban built environment. The current work largely focusses on the potentials of hydrogen technologies in the future energy system, looking at an integration over several infrastructure sectors. This spans a sustainable electricity supply, hydrogen based mobility, hydrogen heating systems and the use of electrolysis oxygen in municipal wastewater treatment.

Research Themes

The following key research themes derive from the research focus given above:

  • infrastructure solutions for the future energy supply system,
  • cross‐sectoral integration of energy systems,
  • hydrogen systems in a changing energy market,
  • technology development regarding hydrogen applications and heat supply systems,
  • integration of renewable energy and storage systems into buildings and the urban environment,
  • weather data for energy performance simulation,
  • impacts of climate change on the urban environment and its infrastructure,
  • energy efficiency in buildings and the urban environment / building refurbishment.

Besides these key research themes, other research interests include:

  • strategic questions in energy policy with a special focus on hydrogen technologies,
  • impacts of user behaviour on energy consumption.

Current Research Projects

The research projects of the team are closely related to the research topics listed above, with the current work focussing on hydrogen infrastructure systems and the development of plants and components for hydrogen applications. This includes, for example, system considerations for hydrogen supply in mobility, the development of systems for the use of electrolysis oxygen in extended wastewater treatment and the integration of various sustainable heat supply approaches with hydrogen CHP units into a system for the sustainable heat supply of commercial enterprises. In addition, the team deals with strategic issues relating to distributed hydrogen infrastructure systems. Further information on the projects can be found on the respective project pages.

→ current research projects

Completed Research Projects

Research projects completed so far have dealt with various issues relating to distributed hydrogen supply systems, such as test series on the use of electrolysis oxygen in the biological purification stage of wastewater treatment plants, the development of operating scenarios for small-scale electrolysis plants or the potentials of using steam reforming at biogas plants. In addition, the team was involved in the development of a hydrogen-powered helicopter drone and dealt with the potentials for energy optimisation of the Bhutanese building stock via on-site measurement series. Further information on the projects can be found on the respective project pages.

→ completed research projects

PhD Research

Current PhD research of the members of the group is related to the research projects on hydrogen infrastructure systems. A completed PhD thesis dealt with models for predicting the energy demand in the residential sector of a country. This work on energy modelling, which was conducted by Dr.-Ing. Aner Martinez Soto, looked at the transferability and accuracy of existing modelling approaches with the aim of developing and subsequently validating an enhanced prediction model that can be applied to countries worldwide. The results of this work, which has been completed in May 2017, have been presented at national and international conferences and published in the journals Energy and Buildings and Building Research & Information.

→ PhD thesis by Dr.-Ing. Aner Martinez Soto (in German)

Research Outputs

Results of the research by the group are frequently published in international journals and presented at workshops and conferences.

Journals in which the research has been published to date include:

  • Renewable Energy
  • Building and Environment
  • Energy and Buildings
  • Energy for Sustainable Development
  • Building Services Engineering Research and Technology
  • Solar Energy
  • Building Research & Information
  • Proceedings of ICE: Energy
  • Future Cities and Environment

→ view publication list