The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The Department, which has 250 employees, was founded in 2012 by bringing research groups from Risø DTU and DTU Chemistry together. We are present both at Risø Campus and Lyngby Campus.
In a sustainable energy system a large part of the energy will be supplied by fluctuating sources such as solar and wind power. This makes it critically important to be able to convert and store the energy as needed. The researchers in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage work on technologies and materials for direct conversion and subsequent storage of different forms of energy. For example, wind power may be stored by converting electricity to hydrogen which then can be stored in solid state.
It is common to all our technologies that they depend on functional materials – materials with specific electrical, magnetic, thermal, chemical or electrochemical properties – for their operation. Electron- or ion-conducting ceramics have applications for fuel cells (solid oxide fuel cells, SOFC) and electrolysis cells, photovoltaic polymers may be used for polymer solar cells, and some magnetic materials have applications as active components for efficient refrigeration devices. Research at the Department include many different aspects of functional materials and their applications in energy technologies.
It is our strong belief that the best results are obtained by having technological development take place in tight interaction with fundamental research. Our research is organized around a number of technologies, including fuel cells, electrolysis, solar cells, batteries, solid state storage of hydrogen and ammonia, gas separation membranes, magnetic refrigeration, thermoelectric components, and flue gas purification. In addition, the Department operates a test center for fuel cells and hydrogen technologies where industry can get components tested, and a test center for polymer solar cells where organic photovoltaics can be tested under different conditions. You can read more about the technologies we work on here.
The department is organized into ten sections focusing on scientific competences within, e.g., electrochemistry, synthesis, solid state physics, electron microscopy, catalysis, process technology, rheology and modelling.One of the characteristics of research within energy conversion and storage is the need for many different competences from traditionally separate fields of science. Our activities in the different technologies therefore to a large extent span across several sections.