In the research theme Energy System Integration we explore and analyze ways to integrate renewable energy in our present energy infrastructure. We want to develop innovative strategies to combine energy carriers such as electricity, heat, gas and fuels for heating and cooling of the built environment and industry, power and water consumption and transportation. The aim is to utilize synergies in the energy system to maximize efficiency, minimize costs, reduce emissions and energy losses. Special attention is given on using hydrogen as a future energy vector and the development of fuel cells and electrolysers for energy applications or to balance the energy grid.
- System design and optimization of an electrolyser connected to a wind turbine
Wind energy is the fastest growing form of sustainable energy production and will continue to be very important in the energy transition in the coming decades. The continued growth of wind energy presents enormous technical, industrial and political challenges, especially in the storage of wind power during high production or low electricity consumption. Onsite production of hydrogen can be used for a variety of applications, including as transportation fuel and for generating electricity by using fuel cells or internal-combustion engine generators. The goal of this project is the system design of the integration of electrolysers and wind power. Different technical requirements will be addressed, such as wind turbine functional characteristics and physical limitations, installation of the electrolyser, Operations and Maintenance, and health and safety. Economic aspects also play a role, such as CAPEX and OPEX assessment revenues from electricity and hydrogen delivery. At the end the system will be optimized based on sizing, control strategies, integration of power-electronics, manufacturing and maintenance, hydrogen storage and transport, etc. The project cooperates with “ECN part of TNO”.
- Living lab for Innovative Future Environments
The operation of buildings has a tremendous impact on the world’s natural resources and the environment. Buildings are a major source of the pollution that causes urban air quality problems, and the pollutants that contribute to climate change. The solution to overcoming these problems will be to build them sustainable and smart to minimize the emissions and costs and to maximize the efficiency while increasing the comfort, health, and safety of the people who live and work in them. There will be a living lab, located on campus, consisting of three so-called tiny houses. The tiny houses use renewable energy sources such as wind and solar for energy production; fuel cells for energy conversion, and conventional battery, vanadium redox flow battery and thermal energy technologies for energy storage. They use also the option of converting electricity into hydrogen through electrolyzer in times of large electricity surplus due to overproduction from renewable energy sources. The tiny house project aims to develop, implement, optimize and test innovative configuration design operating on different energy carriers, such as electricity, heat and gas for the energy balancing to match and satisfy the end-user requirements.
- Smart Energy Grid in the Nijmegen Region
The aim of the project is to develop innovative strategies by developing powerful models and simulations to combine energy carriers such as electricity, heat, gas and fuels for heating and cooling of the built environment and industry, power and water consumption and transportation for the Nijmegen region. The model and innovative strategies include a comprehensive range of energy technologies and use large energy data sets in building and industry future scenarios to provide objective information for decision makers, in order to effectively design markets and regulations to support energy systems integration. The project is executed in close cooperation with a waste management company, SME, local government and startups as stakeholders of the future smart energy network. The pilot project will be implemented in the Nijmegen region for demonstration. In this project a proof of concept will be developed and validated which can then be further developed by participating SME companies to make a commercial software package.