Together with the University of Connecticut (UConn), a new Fraunhofer center was formally established on July 25th. The mission of the Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation (CEI) at the University of Connecticut is to develop advanced technologies related to energy storage, fuel cells, in-stream hydro, power management and distribution through contract research.
"The sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly use of energy is one of the major global challenges of the future," says Fraunhofer President Professor Reimund Neugebauer. "Consequently, we combine our advanced energy competencies in the USA with an excellent research partner, the University of Connecticut. The Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation expands Fraunhofer USA's portfolio of energy related technologies and will closely cooperate with the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) in Boston."
Fraunhofer and UConn will cooperate in several areas. In order to develop highly efficient and cost-effective energy conversion and storage systems, the research will concentrate on modern functional materials, such as metals, ceramics, micro-and nanostructures, as components for fuel cells and electrolyzers. On the UConn campus, components and subsystems are validated and integrated into flexible microgrid architectures. New methods of membrane and catalyst preparation will be developed, particularly for energy-efficient biofuel production.
To realize common goals, the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS will closely cooperate with the UConn Center for Clean Energy Engineering and the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. "The Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation (CEI) combines the expertise of the founding partners for the development and commercialization of new materials and technologies to improve future energy production and storage owing to an efficient use of resources," explains Dr. Prabhakar Singh, the director of the Center. His aim is to accelerate the global supply of affordable and sustainable energy technologies.