The centre provides a one-stop source of technical and commercial expertise. It serves as a subject-matter expert on storage applications in the electricity and mobility sector and works with its partners to generate impetus for developments.
Electrochemical energy storage
The characterisation and modelling of electrochemical storage devices is key to their successful implementation. There’s also a need for complete battery and energy systems to be developed and tested.
Among other things, this involves identifying the optimal parameters for integrating electrochemical storage technology into a wide range of applications. A variety of test and characterisation methods are also used.
High-performance battery management
Battery and energy management systems (BMS and EMS) ensure that electrical storage systems operate safely and correctly.
Our specialised researchers develop efficient, reliable software and hardware for these systems. To this end, they develop, test and validate model-based software algorithms and individual hardware for a wide range of battery applications.
Process optimisation in manufacturing
The efficient production of batteries is one of the key technologies required to achieve the objectives of the energy transition. Our production technology experts optimise the production process as well as developing more efficient and robust machines.
For this technology to establish itself, new methods must offer significantly improved production efficiency, with a finished battery cell rolling off the production line every 30 seconds. These production methods are a prerequisite for the mass production of top-quality batteries with high performance density.
We make our expertise available directly to the Swiss mechanical engineering industry and battery manufacturers for the set-up and optimisation of production plants.
We have broad expertise on how to design and operate hydrogen-based energy systems with fuel cells, H2 storage and electrolysers in a safe and efficient way. We focus on the technology of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM).
The use of our fuel cell system has been demonstrated in numerous projects for mobile applications.
We develop and build fuel cells according to our own, awarded concept IHPoS (Independent Hydrogen Power System). We assemble a cost-optimized gas distribution system and integrate the fuel cells in a space-saving manner, taking heat flows into account. Our in-depth know-how on how to start, operate and shut down fuel cells is based on long-term experience and extensive field tests. Numerous functionalities in the management systems ensure the optimal integration of the fuel cells into complex energy systems.
We measure and model power grids for the assessment of the stationary and dynamic behaviour as well as for the analysis of the power quality. Increasing fluctuations in power generation and consumption require an in-depth knowledge of the phenomena in the power grids.
With our modern measuring equipment, we perform extensive measurement campaigns together with our partners, in particular distribution system operators and power plants. With the information gathered, we are able to build and validate exact models of these power grids. By means of simulations, the effects of the spread of new technologies such as decentralized production and storage as well as local control systems can be analysed in advance.
From the results we derive recommendations on how power grids can be better utilised, operated more efficiently or strengthened as cost-effectively as possible while maintaining the high quality of the power supply.
In the Prosumer Lab, modern prosumer households are simulated in the laboratory in order to test system components in the house network realistically and reproducibly.
Our photovoltaic systems laboratory at BFH Burgdorf has been researching PV system technology for 30 years.
Photovoltaics (PV) is the most important new energy source within the framework of Switzerland’s Energy Strategy 2050. Our areas of expertise are as follows:
- Long-term measurement evaluations of PV and quality control
- PV inverters and storage testing
- Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV): Photovoltaic cladding
- PV2X/ EV2X: PV combined with ‘smart consumers’, e.g. electric vehicles
Swiss industry and operators can access our extensive testing laboratory, PV systems and one of Switzerland’s only high voltage testing laboratories to take measurements and for other development projects. We offer assistance with analysis, consultations, studies, presentations and training.
The lack of high-performance, efficient energy storage devices is the biggest challenge to the adoption of mass electric transit.
To date, the limitations on storing electrical energy remain the biggest obstacle facing mobile applications. Despite this, chemical energy storage in many cases offers economic solutions, as long as the battery’s design is appropriate for its intended purpose.
With our wide-ranging expertise in batteries, we make a vital contribution to the design of efficient energy storage devices for applications in industrial mobility.
Our research enables us to electrify vehicles in line with current regulations and standards.
Business administration, innovation management and society
As specialists in company and ecosystem development and IT-based management, we create models and simulations of complex political and economic scenarios for our clients.
We also design management systems for energy storage and energy management.
Companies benefit when they recognise the complexity of our innovation ecosystem early on and take a targeted approach to influencing it.
Working together with public and private sector clients, we define guidelines for setting and achieving strategic objective goals. We also explore issues relating to the protection of the private sphere in ‘smart energy distribution networks’. The protection of communication and management infrastructures through IT-based processes is another important area of activity.
Our IT specialists design digital command and control systems for energy storage and energy management at municipal level. In addition, questions concerning the protection of the individual's privacy in "smart" energy distribution networks and the security of communication and management infrastructures through information technology processes must be addressed. Finally, the control and analysis creating enormous amounts of data in the energy sector, as well as the development of software applications based on these data are a promising area of competence for the BFH.