General Energy Research Department (ENE).
Research at PSI comprises all aspects of human energy use, with the ultimate goal of promoting development towards a sustainable energy
supply system. Technologies are being advanced for the utilization of renewable energy
sources, low-loss energy storage
, efficient conversion
, and low emission
energy use. Experimental and model-based assessment of these emissions forms the basis of a comprehensive assessment of economic, ecological and environmental
consequences, for both present and future energy supply systems.
Department Head: Prof. Dr. Alexander Wokaun
Current Scientific Highlight
Radiation grafted membranes developed at PSI outlast state-of-the art commercial membranes in the fuel cell
Components for the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) are required to show high performance and durability under application relevant conditions. Furthermore, for commercial viability the materials and processes for component fabrication need to be of los cost. The polymer electrolyte membrane developed at PSI on the basis of the radiation grafting technique has the potential of being produced in cost-effective manner. In recent years, we have collaborated with the Belenos Clean Power to further develop the membrane to commercial competitiveness. We managed, by careful analysis and optimization of the synthesis conditions, to close the performance gap to commercial membranes (Nafion). The durability of the PSI membranes was evaluated in a dynamic (accelerated) test to simulate an automotive cycle. Our membrane showed a durability much superior to that of the unreinforced commercial Nafion 212 membrane. It even outlasted the reinforced and chemically stabilized Nafion XL-100 membrane, a state-of-the-art material for challenging automotive applications. Beyond fuel cells, the radiation grafting technology can be adapted to design polymer electrolyte materials for other electrochemical applications of current and future interest, such as water electrolyzers, redox flow batteries and next-generation lithium batteries.
Current news from ENE
14. April 2013
Media Releases Energy and Environment
Lithium-ion batteries are high performance energy storage devices used in many commercial electronic appliances. Certainly, they can store a large amount of energy in a relatively small volume. They have also previously been widely believed to exhibit no memory effect. That’s how experts call a deviation in the working voltage of the battery, caused by incomplete charging or discharging, that can lead to only part of the stored energy being available and an inability to determine the charge level of the battery reliably. Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, together with colleagues from the Toyota Research Laboratories in Japan have now however discovered that a widely-used type of lithium-ion battery has a memory effect. This discovery is of particularly high relevance for advances towards using lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicle market. The work was published today in the scientific journal Nature Materials.
Research Dept. General Energy
Paul Scherrer Institut
Prof. Dr. Alexander Wokaun
+41 56 310 27 51
Ms. Solveig Wittke
+41 56 310 27 14
The General Energy Research Department ENE hold a department seminar typically once a week during the semester on Thursdays at 11.00am
Dragon-Kings, Black Swans and Predictions: diagnostic for the coming crises in population, environmental, health, economic and financial systems
Speaker: Prof. D. Sornette, ETHZ
Moderator: Ch. Mudry, AUDI WEST
Friday 24 May 2013, 11:15
current opening at General Energy Research Dept.