Efficient, sustainable and cost-effective hybrid energy storage system for modern power grids

The HyFlow demonstrator in the Technology Centre for Energy (TZE) at Landshut University of Applied Sciences.
© TZE, Landshut University of Applied Sciences

EU project HyFlow:

Over three years of research, the consortium of the EU project HyFlow has successfully developed a highly efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective hybrid energy storage system (HESS) that can meet high energy and power demands. The researchers achieved this by combining a high-performance vanadium redox flow battery with a supercapacitor with water-based electrolytes.

With one of the demonstrators developed in the HyFlow project, major energy consumers such as enterprises, municipal utility companies, medical facilities, and data centres can determine the optimal system dimensions for their individual requirements. Using their existing power usage data, the system computes the ideal storage solution in terms of capacity and output required. The HyFlow project has been realized by Landshut University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with nine further partners from six countries across Europe. The European Union has funded the project with around 4 million euros.

State-of-the-art energy grids rely on renewable energies such as wind and solar power. However, the systems must deal with fluctuations both in power generation and in consumption. The grids therefore urgently require more dynamic storage systems in order to absorb the energy peaks and manage the increased demand for green power generation. The challenge is to optimise the capacity of such energy storage systems and guarantee a secure, cost-effective and sustainable energy supply. Smart combinations of storage systems, known as hybrid storage systems, offer a solution to this problem.

Efficient, sustainable and cost-effective hybrid storage system

The new hybrid storage system developed in the HyFlow project combines a high-power vanadium redox flow battery and a green supercapacitor to flexibly balance out the demand for electricity and energy in critical grid situations. A redox flow battery offers a large storage capacity, but is slow to charge and discharge. In contrast, the supercapacitor has short charging times with low storage capacities. Hybridisation has created an energy storage system that combines the advantages of both systems. Furthermore, in the project, the charging time of the redox flow battery has been reduced by 60 per cent.

There was a strong fundamental development during the project to achieve supercapacitor carbon electrodes from a sustainable local source, instead of the typical activated carbon from coconut shells. Researchers also focused on developing non-flammable, water-based electrolytes. This can reduce the carbon footprint of the new system by up to 40 per cent and its cost by up to 60 per cent compared with Li-ion batteries.

“It has been my dream to develop such a well-performing, cost-effective and, above all, environmentally friendly storage system, and through HyFlow this dream has become reality,” says Prof. Dr Karl-Heinz Pettinger, Scientific Director of the Technology Centre for Energy (TZE) at Landshut University of Applied Sciences, who coordinated the project.

Demonstrators at TZE of Landshut UAS and at Fraunhofer ICT

Interested stakeholders from industry, city utility companies, hospitals and data centres can now visit the new demonstrator developed in the HyFlow project at the Technology Centre for Energy (TZE) of Landshut University of Applied Sciences (https://www.haw-landshut.de/en/forschungseinrichtungen/technologiezentren/techno…) and feed in their load profiles to determine which storage systems they need to meet their electricity requirements.

In the HyFlow project, large-scale energy storage has already been demonstrated with a larger demonstrator located at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (https://www.ict.fraunhofer.de/en) in Pfinztal near Karlsruhe.

The modelling of two use-cases has shown that the new storage system can offer a return on investment in less than four years. The storage system is comprised of individual components that are already in regular production by the project partners.

The HyFlow project partners have also developed advanced and more adaptable energy management systems for the new hybrid energy storage system.

About the EU project HyFlow

HyFlow logo
© EU project HyFlow

HyFlow (https://hyflow-h2020.eu) was launched at the start of November 2020 and ran until the end of February 2024. The aim of the project was to develop an extremely powerful, sustainable and cost-effective hybrid energy storage system. The project has been realized by Landshut University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with nine further partners from Germany, Italy, Spain, Czechia, Austria and Portugal. It was led by Prof. Dr Karl-Heinz Pettinger, Scientific Director at the Technology Centre for Energy (TZE) of Landshut University of Applied Sciences. The European Union provided around four million euros in funding to the project through the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”.

The HyFlow project is a flagship project for Landshut University of Applied Sciences. Landshut UAS is one of only four universities of applied sciences in Bavaria to have taken the lead in an EU Horizon 2020 project.

Following the end of the HyFlow project, the EU project SMHYLES (http://www.bayfor.org/pr-smhyles) was launched in January 2024, in which some of the HyFlow outcomes can be used and developed further. The objective of SMHYLES, which is funded as part of “Horizon Europe”, is to further develop and demonstrate innovative and sustainable salt- and water-based hybrid energy storage systems on an industrial scale. Among other things, the pilot plant developed in HyFlow is to be used and expanded.

About the Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR)

The Bavarian Research Alliance (http://www.bayfor.org/en) provided the HyFlow project with in-depth support at the application stage and advised on the strategic orientation. As a project partner, BayFOR also supported the HyFlow consortium with project management and communication activities.
The Bavarian Research Alliance, which is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts, advises and supports Bavarian stakeholders from science and industry (especially SMEs) in acquiring European funding for research, development and innovation. The focus lies on the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe (https://www.bayfor.org/en/eu-funding/horizon-europe.html). BayFOR is a partner in the Enterprise Europe Network (https://een.ec.europa.eu) and the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency (https://www.research-innovation-bavaria.de). These excellent regional and European networks allow the realisation of internationalisation projects.

HyFlow profile

*Project name: HyFlow (grant agreement no. 963550) – Development of a sustainable hybrid storage system based on high power vanadium redox flow battery and supercapacitor technology
*Duration: 11/2020 – 02/2024

*Project partners:
Technology Centre for Energy (TZE), University of Applied Sciences Landshut, Germany, https://www.haw-landshut.de/en/forschungseinrichtungen/technologiezentren/techno…
Pinflow energy storage s.r.o., Czechia, http://www.pinflowes.com
Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, Germany, https://www.ict.fraunhofer.de/en
C2C-NewCap, Portugal, https://www.c2cnewcap.com
Epic Power, Spain, https://epicpowerconverters.com
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, https://www.kit.edu/english
Freqcon, Germany, https://www.freqcon.com/en
Energieinstitut Linz, Austria, https://energieinstitut-linz.at/en
Università di Bologna, Italy, https://www.unibo.it/en
Bavarian Research Alliance, Germany, https://www.bayfor.org/en

*Project lead: Prof. Dr Karl-Heinz Pettinger, Technology Centre for Energy,
Landshut University of Applied Sciences
*Programme: Horizon 2020
*Total project sum: 3.9 million euros
*Funding: European Union

Press contacts

Project coordinator:

Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Pettinger
Scientific Director at the Technology Centre for Energy,
Landshut University of Applied Sciences
Phone: +49 (0)8531 – 914 044 11
Email: karl-heinz.pettinger@haw-landshut.de

Landshut University of Applied Sciences
Press Office
Phone: +49 (0)871 – 506 191
Email: pressestelle@haw-landshut.de

At BayFOR:

Dr Daniel Kießling
Scientific Officer for ICT, Engineering & Natural Sciences
Phone: +49 (0)911- 50715-920
Email: kiessling@bayfor.org

MBA Gabriela Blumberger
Project manager for HyFlow and SMHYLES
Phone: +49 (0)89 9901888-132
Email: blumberger@bayfor.org

Emmanuelle Rouard
Head of Public Relations
Phone: +49 (0)89 9901888-111
Email: rouard@bayfor.org

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 963550.
The views and opinions expressed in this project are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or INEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Pettinger
Scientific Director at the Technology Centre for Energy,
Landshut University of Applied Sciences
Phone: +49 (0)8531 – 914 044 11
Email: karl-heinz.pettinger@haw-landshut.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.bayfor.org/hyflow-project-results – picture material in high resolution available for download

Media Contact

Emmanuelle Rouard Presse- & Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Bayerische Forschungsallianz GmbH

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