Radical Innovations in Energy Harvesting, Conversion, and Storage Technologies

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Short description of project idea : 
Energy harvesting, conversion, and storage are three fundamental areas of energy research and development in our organisation. We are developing non-mainstream technologies in these three areas, which provide flexibility, cost-competitiveness, and scalability. When it comes to energy harvesting, we focus on Terahertz technology for harvesting incoming, reflected, and ambient electromagnetic radiation, which falls in the terahertz frequencies. The advantage of this approach in comparison to the conventional solar photovoltaic is that we can harvest energy during the day and also during the night. Lab-scale device simulation and prototyping have shown energy efficiency results in the range of 50-60 %. When it comes to energy conversion, we are interested in direct conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to liquid fuels, mainly ethanol and methanol. This area of research has increased almost exponentially over the last years due to two main reasons. One is due to the urgent need to drastically reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere as it contributes to rising greenhouse gas levels. The other is due to growing energy demand, dwindling fossil fuel reserves and creating alternative fuel options. The CO2 conversion to liquid fuels would positively impact the global carbon balance by recycling CO2 into usable fuels and will represent a promising solution to the above challenges. In the energy storage research, we are developing our niche in high energy density metal-air storage and modular solar thermal storage technologies. Metal-air technology is a highly disruptive and non-classical solution with a huge impact and risk research profile. Our research is based on developing strong theoretical knowledge and building a strong modelling and simulation knowhow to rapidly prototype and test our designs. In the solar thermal storage, we are looking for ways to reduce cost and improve efficiency by introducing modular designs for storing solar thermal energy.
Main areas of expertise: 
High Energy Density Storage; Advanced Fuels (CO2 to liquid fuels) Development; Advanced Energy Harvesting, Circular Economy; Energy Modelling; Innovations in Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) for Developing Energy Infrastructure.
Main objectives of the project and how will they be achieved: 
Disruptive Innovations in Energy Harvesting, Conversion, and Storage
We are developing technologies in three areas of energy research and innovation, namely energy harvesting, conversion, and storage.
Challenges that may determine the impact of the project: 
Radical technologies to develop commercially viable solutions for energy harvesting, conversion, and storage
To bring out radical innovations in the domain of energy harvesting, conversion, and storage, we need to venture into less explored, if not unexplored, areas of science and technology. We need to overcome the limitations and constraints of existing theories with better ones. Furthermore, we need to build and simulate models in a virtual environment that will enable rapid prototyping and testing. The challenges are in the areas of fundamental research, which includes, theoretical knowledge, modelling and simulation of harvesting, conversion, and storage technologies. Our particular interests in these respective areas are in terahertz energy harvesting, CO2 to liquid fuel conversion, and metal-air high density energy storage technologies. The work proposed, if succeeded, will add value to the European Research Area (ERA) not only in technical and economic dimensions, but also in policy and regulation areas of energy harvesting, conversion, and storage.
Profile of partners sought and expected role: 
Corresponding consortia partners
We are looking for consortia partners with complementary skills. At VEBIC, we focus on theory, modelling, and simulation leading to rapid prototyping and testing. We are exploring partners who are strong in fabrication and lab-scale prototype developments in harvesting, conversion, and storage technologies.
Previous, relevant EU project experience: 
HERCULES2, ETH Zurich research in electromagnetic modelling and simulations.
Specific countries/regions/cities you are keen to collaborate with: 
Open for all
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Last Name: 
Name of the organisation: 
Short description of organisation: 
At Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Centre (VEBIC) we are passionate about energy & innovation. Our vision is to be the Mecca of Energy Innovation. We focus on both applied and radical innovation research. The applied research work is driven in close collaboration with our industrial activities. Our radical innovation research leads industry into new directions in energy technology and business. We are a unique player in the Baltic Sea region with a strong nexus of research collaborations with the neighbouring countries in the region.

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