Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics

Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung (ZSW)

The Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung (ZSW)   (Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research) in Stuttgart is one of the worldwide leading solar energy research institutes and carries out common research projects with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Collaborations exist in the fields of novel photovoltaic materials and power electronics.


Topics in Research and Development

The ZSW is one of the leading European research institutes in the fields of "Solar Energy" and "New Energy Storage Technology". The current work concentrates on the following topics:

  • Photovoltaics:

Materials research (development and optimisation of materials and manufacturing processes for thin-film solar cells), system technology (quality of the PV modules and systems) and testing modules and systems in the laboratory and outdoors on ZSW’s own test field

  • Batteries:

Research in complete value added chain, from synthesising and characterising active materials, modelling and simulation of electrochemical processes, optimisation of components and technologies for mass production, process and production research, and demonstration of cell prototypes and sample lines

  • Renewable Fuels:

Complete P2X systems, P2X Electrolysis, P2X Synthesis, P2X Site support, P2X Carbon from residues, Phosphorus recycling

  • H2 and Fuel Cells:

Application-oriented fuel cell technology, from material development to system testing. Working on polymer membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC), high-temperature membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFC) and fuel cells with alternative membrane materials (e.g. AEMFC) and electrode materials (e.g. Pt-free electrodes). Core areas of expertise are construction, characterisation and simulation, development and construction of stack and system prototypes, and the development of production and test technologies.

  • System Analysis:

ZSW supports decision-makers at the state, national and EU levels, providing calculations, reports and analyses. ZSW also produces reliable studies on the performance of new energy technologies, the compatibility of economic and ecological goals, the consequences of conversion and the advantages and disadvantages of state intervention.

  • Grid integration and Mobility:

Research on smart grids, photovoltaic systems with storage systems, electromobility and prediction of generation and loads.