The demonstration and technology platform “move” enables Empa researchers to develop new vehicle drive concepts with significantly lower CO2 emissions and test them in practice. It uses surplus electricity from photovoltaic plants or hydropower stations as an energy source. On the one hand, this enables batteries in electric cars to be charged. On the other hand, the electricity can also be converted into hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles or synthetic methane for natural gas/biogas vehicles.
On November 23, 2015, Empa officially opened the research and technology transfer platform “move” in the presence of renowned energy and mobility experts. Over the next few years, Empa will use the platform to study how surplus renewable electricity can be converted into fuel for cars, utility vehicles and machinery in the summertime and thus be rendered utilizable as energy. The name “move” doesn’t just stand for motorized mobility, but also the switch from fossil to renewable energy – all the way to the realization of a closed carbon cycle modeled on nature.
Two important insights paved the way for “move”: Firstly, mobility is responsible for approximately 40 percent of Switzerland’s CO2 emissions. These emissions can be reduced the most significantly if we switch to renewable energy as source of fuel for vehicles.
Secondly, the expansion of solar power production evidently leads to large quantities of surplus electricity in the summer months, which are difficult to use on the electricity market. Converting it into synthetic fuel for mobility, however, actually makes this possible.
These two factors prompted Empa to launch a large-scale project, which demonstrates the switch from fossil to renewable energy throughout the entire value-added chain. This energy supply is coupled with efficient electric, hybrid, fuel cell and gas vehicles.
Collaboration with ETH Zurich, industry and authorities
At the inauguration of “move”, Konstantinos Boulouchos from the Institute for Energy Technology at ETH Zurich, presented an energy overview with numerous challenges, but also fresh opportunities. ETH Zurich and Empa collaborate in the field of mobility and therefore cover a broad spectrum from basic and applied research to demonstration plants. Synthetic, electricity-based fuels in efficient drives is one of the researchers’ visions of the future.
The ceremony was opened by Brigitte Buchmann, Head of the Department Mobility, Energy and Environment and a member of Empa’s Board of Directors. She is the strategic head of the large-scale project and uses the platform to render issues in the fields of mobility, energy and the environment and approaches to solving them more transparent.
Empa CEO Gian-Luca Bona referred to the significance of technology transfer platforms like “move” in the context of complete solutions. Research in labs and its realization in demonstrators complement each other ideally and are a crucial aspect of the technology transfer from academic research to the industrial partners. “Only if the latest research results are also – quite literally – brought onto the roads can we prepare innovative and practical solutions in the mobility sector for the market,” says Bona. This is precisely where “move” comes in.
Walter Steinmann, Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), highlighted the importance of pilot and demonstration plants for the Energy Strategy 2050. The SFOE is involved in funding “move” to promote efficient, sustainable technologies. Lothar Ziörjen, Mayor of the energy city Dübendorf, reported on the scheduled field trial with the hydrogen-powered road sweeper vehicle and the major benefits of applied research projects for its realization. Hans Magits, Chief Technical Officer at the compressor manufacturer AtlasCopco, one of “move’s” main partners, stressed the merit of such platforms for the further development and testing of new technologies.
Sustainable driving following nature’s cue
“Nature as a role model!“ – According to Christian Bach, Head of Empa’s Automotive Powertrain Technologies Laboratory, the inspiration behind “move“. Plants have been using sunlight, water and CO2 to supply themselves sustainably with energy for millions of years. “move” aims to reveal how this concept can be realized for individual mobility. The project doesn’t just focus on one, specific drive concept, but rather integrates a broad range of drive technologies from electric and hybrid cars to fuel cell and gas vehicles. As Bach explains, this enables the advantages of the various drives to be exploited accordingly for different applications. However, the researchers won’t just make energetic and ecological comparisons in “move”; they will also study the economic viability of the various concepts together with their implementation partners.
At the end of the ceremony, Urs Cabalzar, the technical project manager on “move“, gave a tour of the plant. In the current expansion phase, renewable electricity is converted into hydrogen in an electrolysis plant, compressed to 44 bars and stored in compressed gas containers. The hydrogen can then be used to refuel fuel cell vehicles directly or be mixed with natural/biogas in a separate fuel pump.
«move» should also keep on developing in future. It‘s already due for an expansion shortly after the inauguration. A 700-bar refueling station for hydrogen cars is planned. The catalytic conversion of hydrogen and CO2 into methane, which can be used in gas vehicles, and the temporary storage of surplus solar power in a network battery to charge electric vehicles overnight is also in the pipeline.
«move» – demonstration and technology transfer platform for the mobility of the future
«move» is an Empa demonstration platform backed by numerous partners from research, industry and the public sector. Empa’s main partners here are the ETH Board, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), the City of Dübendorf, Glattwerk AG and the companies AtlasCopco, H2 Energy and Hyundai. These are joined by a series of academic and industrial partners who are involved in individual projects within the scope of the demonstrator.
Rainer Klose | EMPA
Neutrons pave the way to accelerated production of lithium-ion cells
20.03.2018 | Technische Universität München
Monocrystalline silicon thin film for cost-cutting solar cells with 10-times faster growth rate fabricated
16.03.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences