Forschungszentrum Jülich

The Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK) investigates modern energy conversion technologies within the framework of climate and environmental protection. The topics it covers in the energy sector range from photovoltaics and fuel cells, through nuclear fusion and nuclear safety research, right up to innovative coal and gas power plants as well as an overarching systems Analysis. FZJ is a member of the EU research grouping N.ERGHY. Two institutes of FZJ participate in PECSYS.

The Institute of Energy Research 5 – Photovoltaic (IEK-5) focuses on researching new materials and innovative device architectures for sustainable photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical energy conversion based on thin films. In addition, components and devices for new applications such as passivation and contact layers for high efficiency Silicon heterojunction solar cells or multijunction solar cells for efficient water splitting are developed. At the same time, the IEK-5 develops the technology to fabricate solar cells with a particular focus on the industrial application and on issues of scaling up the technology. A central requirement for the successful development of materials, devices and production technology is an extensive set of characterization methods and simulation capabilities that are used to analyse the optoelectronic properties of thin-film materials and related devices. These activities include all relevant length scales from atomistic resolution of nanostructures and elementary processes up to the yield analysis of modules or photovoltaic systems.

The Institute of Energy Research 3 – Electrochemical Process Engineering (IEK-3) focuses on different electrochemical energy conversion techniques. The focus extends from fuel cells to electrolysis. Polymer electrolyte membrane electrolysis (PEL) facilitates compact hydrogen production, and combined with suitable storage systems, it represents a key technology that will help to realize an environmentally friendly, reliable, and affordable future energy supply.

Role in PECSYS:

  • FZJ (IEK-5) leads WP2 to which it contributes by developing photovoltaic integrated electrolyser prototypes using thin film silicon multijunction photovoltaic mini-modules
  • FZJ (IEK-3) leads WP7 and hosts the test field where the demonstrator is located. IEK-3 also designs the test field, the balance of plant as well as the gas handling and safety systems. Once the demonstrator is installed, IEK-3 is responsible for monitoring the operation of the demonstrator.
  • FZJ (IEK-3) also contributes to WP4 by developing and demonstrating the operation of a PEM electrolyser with reduced platinum group catalyst loading connected to a photovoltaic module under extreme operating conditions including freezing.
  • Lastly, FZJ contributes to WP8 by hosting visitors to the demonstrator and organising a Project workshop in the final year of the Project.