Annual research report 2013
This booklet gives an overview of the energy-related PhD research projects at the Eindhoven University of Technology, TU/e. Energy research at TU/e comprises five themes:
■ Future fuels
Fossil fuels still cover 80% of our energy demand and we will continue to depend on them. Heavy transport ships or trucks require energy densities that can only be achieved with hydrocarbons. That is why we need to design new fuels and new engine techniques.
■ Energy conversion
The sun offers more than enough energy to power our entire civilization. The Earth’s surface receives 10,000 times the amount that we consume. A new approach is needed to better exploit and store this energy. Photovoltaic systems, along with smart grids and heat storage systems will shape the era of renewable energy.
■ Built environment
Improving buildings is not only about new materials, cooling techniques, or heat storage devices. We also need to optimize comfort. A more comfortable building may be more productive, and hence: the energy used in the building is used more efficiently. Research at TU/e is aimed at integrating energy technologies in buildings and their environment.
■ Fusion energy
Fusion is an endgame solution. It holds the promise of inexhaustible energy – clean, safe and available to all. With one drawback: it is an exceedingly complex scientific and technical challenge. Yet recent decades have seen rapid progress. Today, 34 countries are building the first power-generating fusion reactor, ITER, in a worldwide collaboration. In ITER, a ‘burning’ plasma is kept at a temperature of hundreds of millions of degrees, suspended in a magnetic field.
■ Human capital
The human capital agenda ensures the future strength of the Dutch economy by investing in energy education and training at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate level, and by developing a political, economical and societal energy agenda.
Energy research at TU/e is institutionalized at the Eindhoven Energy Institute (EEI) whose mission is ‘to establish an energy ecosystem for science, society and industry’. For this, we cooperate with cities and provinces, on a national level with the Dutch Topsectors where also industry partners participate, and internationally within European University Alliances. However, such an ecosystem can only thrive if within TU/e itself, gaps between individual departments are bridged and PhD students are actively encouraged to learn about existing energy research at other departments. It is for that reason that this booklet was put together so that from existing knowledge new cooperation and scientific breakthroughs are initiated.
Scientific Director, Strategic Area Energy
In case you would like to receive a hard copy of the 'Annual research report 2013', please send an email to energy@. tue.nl