The joint SCCER activity CEDA (Coherent Energy Demonstrator Assessment) has successfully started. The project will coordinate Swiss research on demonstrator and pilot plant infrastructures. One example is the SCCER BIOSWEET’s ESI Platform (Energy System Integration Platform) at PSI. The goal of CEDA is to identify synergies and to support cooperation between the different components and infrastructures. Ultimately, this will provide data for different energy carriers to support decision-making and to optimize real-world infrastructure.

Enabling the extrapolation of small-scale findings to the systemic scale

SCCERs operate different energy demonstrators. While the specific objectives vary, the overarching goal is exploring novel energy technologies in the context of the Energy Strategy 2050. The Energy Strategy 2050 targets all of Switzerland’s energy provision and consumption sectors at once – the demonstrators, by nature, target particular aspects in isolation. This enables them to prove concepts at a small scale; yet to paint a complete picture, operators need to provide at least a perspective of how their small-scale findings extrapolate to the systemic scale. Since the introduction of novel technologies takes time, this extrapolation has to be done against a hypothetical energy future, ideally harmonizing with the Energy Strategy 2050.

There is not one universally accepted method of doing this. Consequently, the assessments by different teams with different backgrounds (such as process engineering, power systems, building physics, …) may not be directly comparable. For energy technologies this is an issue, as they may eventually coexist in the same system. Assessors should depart from a common ground. Yet it is difficult to reach, as the required coordination between research groups is time consuming. That is where the joint SCCER activity CEDA steps in.

Anticipated targets and outcomes

The aim of CEDA is to provide a common basis for the energy systemic assessment of the different storage and conversion technologies investigated in the demonstrators. On one hand, this involves having a set of demand profiles to derive plausible usage profiles that future energy devices might encounter. On the other hand, it involves the definition of mutually consistent operational characteristics of the studied devices, along with methods of estimating how their performance scales in larger systemic applications. Put together, the CEDA datasets enable participants to significantly widen the scope of the energy systemic analyses. To ground and streamline the development process, it is geared towards the specific needs of a set of dedicated case study projects. Their local or regional scope optimally allocates the resources of CEDA, balancing technical detail with systemic complexity (for example, CEDA itself does not consider the electric grid as a bottleneck, since demonstrators usually implicitly assume an optimal grid integration by the responsible energy utility; when considering individual installations this assumption may be defendable, but it becomes debatable at the national scale). The projects, led by CEDA participants, will be launched together with CEDA, but are externally funded. This parallel process ensures a pragmatic, goal oriented approach. At the same time, this means that CEDA is not general: it is not meant as a universal connector platform for demonstrators, be it physical or virtual. Nor does it aim at being a universal model, scenario or data repository. At its core, it is a communication platform, angled towards generating tangible results (in terms of case studies).

The added value and impact for Energy Strategy 2050

The CEDA activities will allow a more systematic and profitable use of the demonstrators already in place in the different institutions – each working towards the ES2050. By ensuring the comparability of the findings and their transference into contingent energy systemic case studies, CEDA promotes and facilitates a systemic perspective among its participants. Research groups hosting the demonstrators benefit from a better understanding of the relevant systemic aspects for the components of the demonstrators, as well as a wider and more consistent dissemination of the results of their demonstrator facilities. Through this, CEDA can have a long-term impact on Swiss energy research. Through the involvement of energy utilities in the local and regional case-studies, knowledge is transferred into practice.

 

Demonstrator
SCCER
Description
ESI Platform HaE Storage
BIOSWEET
The Energy System Integration Platform (ESI Platform) platform focuses on systems for storage and conversion of renewable energies. The operation of various devices is integrated (instead of isolated). Currently installed are: PEM-electrolysis, PEM Fuel Cells, gas cleaning, catalytic methanation, thermochemical and hydrothermal gasification.
HEPP HaE Storage High Efficiency Power-to-Gas Pilot (HEPP) is the first power-to-methane plant in Switzerland. It has a power intake of 25kW. In the future, CO2 should be derived from biogas plants. The plant serves to optimize the plant design, study the inclusion in the energy system and linking to external CO2 sources.
Move Mobility In move, the demonstrator for future mobility, Empa has teamed up with partners from research, industry and the public sector to show how the mobility of to-morrow might work without fossil energy. It houses a 180 kW electrolyser and is capable of producing 60kg of hydrogen per day.
NEST FEEB&D On this modular research and innovation building, new technologies, materials and systems are researched, honed and validated in realistic conditions. NEST contains up 15 innovation units. They can take the form of residential buildings, offices or recreational facilities.
Ehub FEEB&D Ehub is an energy research and technology transfer platform, together with NEST and move, covers the energy flows of mobility, housing and the service sectors. It serves to test new energy concepts under real world conditions and explore the potential for increasing efficiency.
Grid to Mobility HaE Storage This combined hydrogen and electricity service station, houses a 200 kW/400 kWh redox flow battery, a 50 kW alkaline electrolyser, a 50 kW charger for electric cars, and a hydrogen refilling station (with storage and purification). It services two passenger cars: one fuel-cell (FC) electric vehicle and a FC-plugin hybrid.

 

Contact

Dr. Gil Georges, Head of Energy Systems Group
Aerothermochemistry and Combustion Systems Laboratory, LAV ETH Zurich