BFH Energy Storage Research Centre
The BFH Energy Storage Research Centre develops solutions for the energy production of tomorrow. These solutions make it possible for renewable energies from decentralised production to be integrated into the supply grid, and to replace fossil fuels for transportation. The objective is to better exploit the potential of sustainable energy sources such as photovoltaic and wind power.
Various research groups from the Bern University of Applied Sciences and battery specialists from the CSEM (Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology) are facing the challenges of storing electrical energy for energy supply and mobility. The BFH Energy Storage Research Centre offers flexible cooperation models for research and development and is working on application-oriented innovations and issues related to the topic of electrochemical energy storage.
The BFH Energy Storage Research Centre is working on innovations and questions related to the practical applications of electrochemical energy storage systems:
- A point of contact for development services in the field of batteries for the electrical supply and mobility sectors, and the testing and characterisation of components and system behaviour.
- Research and development of practical new storage solutions and their implementation in manufacturing.
- A point of contact for developing business models and for technical assessment following the launch of electrochemical storage applications in the energy and mobility sectors.
- A point of contact for application-focused initial education and further training.
A challenge for society
Efficient technologies for the storage of electricity are of great importance in the energy and mobility sectors. They are essential to cover tomorrow’s energy requirements.
By combining technical and business skills, the BFH Energy Storage Research Centre educates students and employees in an application-focused way with the focus on the challenges of networked business and society. The Centre is a broad-based source of knowledge for storage applications in the electricity and mobility sectors, and together with its partners provides an impetus for development.
The BFH Energy Storage Research Centre will be glad to answer your inquiry. We are open to projects and cooperation.
Engineers and specialists with many years experience work in various research groups covering a wide range of processes. They are working in the following areas:
Electrochemical energy storage systems
The research group tests and determines the characteristics of batteries, and makes storage systems safe and reliable by using their own circuits and software.
Technologies for manufacturing batteries are the key to electrical energy storage systems. These are developed and optimised here.
The research group develops fuel cells and electrolysers and combines them with storage media to form modern hydrogen systems.
The researchers measure and model electrical supply grids, so that they can assess their static and dynamic behaviour and their voltage quality.
The specialists test solar inverters with batteries, and develop the necessary measurement infrastructure for this purpose. For this it is essential that the developed technologies are incorporated quickly into products, processes and services.
The engineers determine the requirements for batteries in vehicles and incorporate them in accordance with current regulations.
Business administration, innovation management and society
Businesses prosper when they recognise the complexities of their innovative ecosystems at an early stage, and manage them effectively. Here the specialists assist by providing concrete management methods, while at the same time giving a tangible, manageable form to the energy turnaround.
At the BFH Energy Storage Research Center engineers and specialists, doctoral students and university lecturers are working together on interdisciplinary projects. The projects convey an impression of the wide-ranging field of activities of the various research groups.
Information about the projects is also provided here in the focal point tabs of the respective laboratories and research groups.
The «SwissTrolley plus» is a flagship project supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and aims to build a 100% electromobile vehicle made in Switzerland with sustainable components and controls. Its high-performance traction battery permits operation without a trolley system. Moreover, up to 15 percent of energy can be saved through regenerative braking. As a result, the «SwissTrolley plus» enables more cost-efficient, reliable and flexible operation of trolleybus lines.
Prosumer lab project
The Prosumer lab project is a pilot and demonstration project financed by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) and the industry partner BKW Energie AG. The main priority is a test installation, which is currently under construction in the laboratory of the BFH Energy Storage Research Centre. The installation is designed to replicate in a reproducible way the electrical energy flows in a single or multiple dwelling house using photovoltaic and battery storage systems. In this way, system components such as energy managers, power inverters and battery storage systems can be compared and tested.
The team at evolaris aviation, a spin-off company of BFH, has set itself the task of developing and commercialising high-tech electrical drive systems for single-engined aircraft. With regard to a new drive concept, Switzerland's reputation for reliability and precision will play an important role. Development of the high-performance electric motor and the electrical system, battery, management, charging unit, etc. represents the initial stage of the process. The most suitable aircraft for the initial application has proven to be the Votec evolaris from MSW Aviation.
Project manager: Andrea Vezzini
A battery used to supply continuous battery power in railway carriages was completely redesigned and developed. The project aimed to reduce the weight and size of the battery and increase system efficiency.
eDumper: The world's largest electrical vehicle
Together with a number of partners, the BFH-CSEM Energy Storage Research Centre intends to plan and design the largest electrically powered vehicle by early 2017 and to construct it by the late summer of 2017. The BFH Energy Storage Research Centre's focus is on the electrical and thermal characteristics of the battery to be deployed and on energy measurement and modelling projects on the vehicle.
KTI 18123.1 Hospital catering truck
Project manager: Andrea Vezzini
The aim of this project is to develop and trial a new catering model. A breakfast truck is being developed to meet the needs of patients and hospital staff.
Information on projects is contained in Key Points.
The project database of the BFH (Bern University of Applied Sciences) includes the research projects of all BHF disciplines. All the published projects can be found easily and rapidly thanks to an effective search function.
The BFH Energy Storage Research Centre is actively working on a great number of projects with business partners and other universities in Switzerland and abroad, and is linked to a broad network.
The involvement of the Bern University of Applied Sciences in the Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCER) "Storage", "Mobility" and "Grids", is of great benefit to the Centre. This collaboration provides access to the most important national and international research networks in the field of energy storage and its applications. This is particularly valuable for external partners of the BFH Energy Storage Research Centre.
Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne (SIP Biel/Bienne)
The SIP Biel/Bienne, where the BFH Energy Storage Research Centre and other innovative enterprises have their premises, is the ideal partner for directly implementing research results in a cooperative spirit. SIP Biel/Bienne is one of five locations in the national Switzerland Innovation project.
KLiB - Industry Federation "Competence Network Lithium-Ion Batteries"
Leading international industrial companies and application-oriented research institutions are members of the Industry Federation "Competence Network Lithium-Ion Batteries" (KLiB). The competence network is concerned with all aspects of lithium-ion batteries. In order to guarantee knowledge transfer and cultivate international contacts, the BFH Energy Storage Research Centre has been a member of KLiB since spring 2017.
Cooperation with Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES)
In early 2017 BFH Energy Storage Research Center (ESReC) signed a MOU with Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) under the Martials Reliability Center ("NCMRC"), college Station (T A&M U), TX-USA for a collaborative research work.
The cooperation includes the shared use of the battery laboratory infrastructure as well as knowledge transfer between researchers when characterising and testing electrochemical storage devices. Joint projects such as the Prosumer Lab are carried out together.
At the end of 2015, armasuisse commissioned the BFH Energy Storage Research Centre to carry out a technology assessment of batteries containing lithium (LIB). The assessment addresses the issues of inspection guidelines and standards relevant to the use of LIB in the army. This resulted in the study entitled "Technology Assessment and Inspection Guidelines for Batteries Containing Lithium" which has recently been published in the printed version V1.1.
This report is not only of interest to armasuisse and army logistics personnel, but also to anyone who deals with LIBs and is responsible for their procurement, transport, storage, application or disposal.
The Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) financed the projects for this study. The printed version (124 pages) is available from the BFH Energy Storage Research Centre in return for a contribution towards costs of CHF 30.00.
The BFH Energy Storage Research Centre has a leading position in research and consultancy, thanks to the most modern laboratory facilities for storage research in Switzerland.
- BMS HIL Test Platform – Cell, module and pack simulation environment
- Battery Lifetime Assessment through High-Precision Coulombic Efficiency Measurements
- Multi-MPPT PV Inverter Test Stand
- Power Quality
- Prosumer-Lab Test Bench – The smart home in the lab
- Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy for modeling of Li-ion batteries
- Pilotanlage zur Herstellung von Batteriezellen
- Modelling and determining the characteristics of electrochemical battery cells and modules, and testing complete battery systems.
- Development of manufacturing technologies for battery cells and systems for automated manufacturing.
- Modelling and simulating cost-effective manufacturing plants for key components of electrical energy storage units.
- Use of stationary and mobile PEM fuel cell systems as building blocks for the long-term storage of electricity in the form of hydrogen.
- Use of batteries in the distribution grid to increase the share of fluctuating renewable energies that the grid can manage. The approach taken here includes questions of production as well as distribution and demand.
- Use of electrochemical storage units in the mobility sector to replace fossil fuels and to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. The scope of research covers: vehicle drive units on roads, off-road, for rail, air and sea, as well as the use of storage media for the supply of ancillary modules.
- The economic evaluation of new business areas, and the development of new business models, for the use of electrochemical energy storage systems.
- Integrative analysis of innovative ecosystems for the widespread use of batteries in applications and as a product to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Degrees and further education courses
Students prepare their Bachelor's and Master's theses at the BFH Energy Storage Research Centre while carrying out application-focused projects. The latest research results are fed into the education programmes of the Bachelor's and Master's degree students, as well as the further education courses of the BFH.
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