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Webinar «Smart Solutions in Energy storage and Renewable resources»
Bern – Brussels – Bratislava

Q & A

We will answer some of the open questions of the webinar using the slide tool below.

Energy storage is a key factor for the success of the energy transition. The replacement of nuclear power and the increase in renewable energy require diverse and high-performance solutions for energy storage. Our speakers present a variety of appraches to energy storage as well as potential applications of smart energy storage systems. Answers to the remaining open questions of the webinar you’ll find below:

  1. Question: What are the best options in your different opinions to store the excess electricity during the day and beeing able to shift the power from day to night / summer to winter? (sustainable and commercially)?
    Answer: Day/Night shifting today is done with the help of Lithium-Ion Batteries. They offer the best performance with regard to efficiency and cost per kWh. Batteries with very good performance use Lithium-Iron-Phosphate cells, which also have no rare earth materials in the cathode and can be recycled up to 96% so far (Andrea Vezzini)
  2. Question: Is there news or infos about research in environmentally friendly production of batteries out of renewable sources?
    Answer: Seasonal shifting is not yet clear where we have the best solution. Currently the most promising way seems to be Power to Gas, where you use renewable energy to produce hydrogen. This can then be used directly or in a further processed form (e.g. synthetic fuels). Problems to be solved are cost and storage of large quantities of hydrogen. (Andrea Vezzini)
  3. Question: I would like some information on developments in field of gravity batteries please.
    Answer: To my knowledge, gravity batteries are still a relatively immature technology, not implemented commercially.They work on a principle similar to pumped hydro, except they are using the weight of materials, rather than the flow of the water through turbines as is the case with pumped hydro. There have been some announcements by companies such as Energy Vault, Switzerland’s based company, so they would be the contact for you. (Patrik Kurilla)
    Link 1
    Link 2
  4. Question: What is the status of natrium batteries, p.e. EMPA? Where can I get more information about that topic?
    Answer: For example here and here.
  5. Question: Does it make sense to use mobility (trains, trucks, cars, ….) no only to consume electricity but also to generate electricity (second battery) ? And how can this generatet electricity be sent to other consumers/batteries as quickly as possible?
    Answer: Generating electricity by mobility is efficient just for the vehicles themselves. Delivery of this electricity to other consumers could be complicated, since most of the vehicles are not connected to the grid continuously. It is not true for electric trains, where this approach is already used. On the other side, there could be an advantage to use the battery storage capacity of electric vehicles connected to the grid during charging. (Stanislav Králik)
  6. Question to M. Kramer/SBB: Did you (the SBB) consider the hydrogen solution as well? And what are the disadvantages of hydrogen trains in your opinion?
    Answer: Yes, this is an important topic, because it could be a solution and not because others are doing it. Overall costs (TCO) are very high due to the higher system complexity, if you compare it with pure battery-powered-systems. On top of that it includes super dangers for handling, so it is not allowed to work with hydrogen in underground construction sides. Last but no least it is an expensive energy source as you need electrolysis and you have losses of around 50%. So it is clear, that pure battery-powered systems – if applicable – are cheaper. (Ueli Kramer)
  7. Question: SBB is focussing on electricity and battery storage, I read a lot about hydrogen drive for trains, for example Corodia iLint constructed by Alstom and used in Germany and also is adaptable to other countries. That solution is much more cheaper than electrification of the whole railway infrastructure.
    Answer: Yes, this could be for other countries with less electrification but don’t forget: SBB is 99% electrified (100% in passenger traffic). (Ueli Kramer)
  8. Question: Is there news or infos about research in environmentally friendly production of batteries out of renewable sources?
    Answer: One of our members is going to test energy strorage from redox flow batteries where the basis of the electrolyte is iron and water. (Marián Smik, Slovak Battery Alliance)
  9. Question to G. Augsburger / BKW: regarding smart energy management tools and infrastructure. In what horizont will be the smart domestic energy management available to Swiss population?
    Answer: Status today is 37.5%. Objective is 80% by 2027. The remaining 20% are allowed to be replaced at end-of-life (Germain Augsburger)
  10. Question for M. Kramer/SBB: Do you think to implement electric trucks at SBB for construction work?
    Answer: We have an electric truck in operation but for logistic. However, mainly we have transporter below 3.5t and there we need eCars, but it’s difficult to find equivalent replacements. Maybe the question comes from the known concept from the RhB (Rhätische Bahn). This concept is perfect, but so far we don’t have investigated time for such an approach.
  11. Question: Has the Hydro forecast taken into account climate change? i.e. if Swiss weather becomes drier how will this impact on the available Hydro energy production?
    Answer: Yes, climate change/availability of water has been taken into account when modeling future hydro production. Developments will not be linear. Instead, there will be a seasonal flattening, i.e. somewhat less production in summer and somewhat more in winter (Jean-Christophe Füeg)

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