Preserving and protecting the biosphere of our planet is one of the most important tasks of university research. An intact environment requires sustainable, circular handling of the finite resources available. This includes a CO2-neutral source of electrical energy, a departure from fossil fuels and a highly efficient conversion and use of energy. The conversion of solar energy into electrical energy plays a central role in fulfilling these tasks. There are enormous university and entrepreneurial efforts worldwide aimed towards developing new, highly efficient, solar cells and towards optimization of existing concepts. The solar radiation has an intermittent character. It is therefore necessary to store electricity from solar energy in the network for later use. High-performance electrochemical energy storage devices are available for this purpose, in particular secondary batteries with lithium or sodium as mobile ionic charge carriers. So far, the buffer storage of electrochemical energy has been possible, in decentralized and centralized manner, yet in both cases separately, i.e. the solar cell module and the stationary battery were separate devices. The decentralized, and thus possibly even mobile, electrochemical storage of energy provides the stimulus to directly couple both systems in the form of a hybrid. This coupling, in a hybrid system, should merge both systems at the materials level. Thus, there will no longer be any visible separation of the two systems. In the solar cell – battery hybrid system, sunlight is converted into electrical energy, which is stored directly on the deeply integrated battery. Such a system can be used in larger and smaller formats, for the design of facades, in the 3C consumer area etc. Thus, solar cells could also be used under variable lighting conditions. In addition, the system can react flexibly to energy consumption peaks. The hybrid system to be developed contains two subsystems, an efficient solar cell and a modern Li- or Na-ion battery. To realize this, a battery will be developed with a low voltage adapted to the solar cell, which is directly coupled to an organic thin-film solar cell. On the battery side, e.g. the spinel LiMn2O4 serve as an efficient cathode and anode material. LiMn2O4 is environmentally friendly and redoxamphoter, i.e. it can be used as a positive or negative electrode material depending on the Li content. To the best of our knowledge, such a system has not yet been planned or developed. The new project idea is based on a successfully completed project funded by the FFG as part of the Energy and Climate Fund, in which the necessary preparatory work was carried out. Overall, the project idea is breaking new scientific ground. We expect a corresponding leap in scientific technology that should lead to the emergence of intellectual property rights. The project will also contribute to sharpening the profile and visibility of Austrian and Styrian basic research in the field of energy storage and energy conversion systems. Due to the expected synergistic effects of this interdisciplinary approach, we expect that results from basic research will quickly attract the attention of other research institutions and industry.
|Effective start/end date
|1/01/21 → 31/12/22
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