Establishing an energy research ecosystem for science, society and industry, that is what the the Strategic Area Energy (SAE) at TU/e is all about. For this, we cooperate with cities and provinces, with the Dutch Topsectors where also industry partners participate, with partner research institutes in the Netherlands Energy Reseach Alliance (NERA) and internationally within the European Energy Reseach Alliance (EERA). As our energy reseach is continuously growing (currently already more than 250 TU/e PhD students are employed in energy research) we redefine our four research themes:
Storage of energy is a key technology in the transition to a low-carbon society. Chemical bonds offer high-energy density and are compatible with current energy carriers. We work on the fundamental challenges in the efficient conversion of CO2 with renewable energy to energy-dense and transportable chemicals.
■ Solar PV
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. Photovoltaic systems, along with smart grids and heat storage systems will shape the era of renewable energy.
■ Urban energy
Urban energy is not only about new materials, cooling techniques, or heat storage devices. Our goal is to have a sustainable energy-positive built environment in 2050, without the use of fossil fuels, with superior indoor and outdoor environmental quality. Research at TU/e is aimed at integrating energy technologies in buildings and their environment.
■ Nuclear fusion
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.
Feel free to visit our website or the recent Strategic Area Energy 'Energy - annual research report 2015' for more information on our research portfolio.