Activities at the Competence Center Integral Intelligent and Efficient Energy Systems began with the search for the 3 litre car.
The development of the Blue-Angel resulted in a consumption of 2.4 litres over 100km and it was the beginning of research activities concerning energy storage systems and batteries as well as supercapacitors, electrical drive technology and power electronics in 1990.
In 1994, the Blue Angel was invited to California, which has just recently implemented the “ultra-low emission vehicle program”, because the car has a phenomenal low consumption of 2.4 litres over 100km. The team of researchers presented “their” car in front of the California Air Resources Board.
Three years later, the Blue Angel was equipped with supercaps. Thanks to the extremely powerful supercaps the Blue Angel managed to pull a locomotive and consequently demonstrated its strength. Even the Swiss television (SRF) was interested in this new innovation and transmitted live for a television documentary Schweiz Aktuell on 22nd April 1997. Unfortunately, the documentary’s link to the SRF website is not available anymore.
The development of supercaps and contactless fast charging, and the inductive power transfer (IPT) for a small bus has been the biggest project so far. The development involved more than 100 partners and suppliers, but the initiative came from the CC IIEE. On 5th February 2003, the Swiss television transmitted a report in its program Schweiz Aktuell.
In addition, the suitability of TOHYCO (Total Hybrid Concept for a Low Energy Vehicle) for daily use was tested in Lucerne in 2004. The Swiss television was part of this event again.
Passengers were transported bidirectional from Lucerne main station to the Verkehrshaus which corresponds to a distance of about 3km. Consequently, it was proved that the concept of fast charging at each stop represents a sustainable alternative to conventional driven buses. The program Menschen Technik Wissenschaft showed the project at its pilot phase on 13th May 2004.
The Bombardier Company put the concept of periodical recharging of buses into practice at the beginning of 2014. Research activities have not been finished yet: within the scope of the Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research, the CC IIEE continues its research activities on supercaps.
In 1998, an additional project to the TOHYCO rider bus was started. The collected know-how about super caps was used to combine their strength with the preferences of conventional accumulators: the Super Accumulator Module (SAM) was born. Within these research activities, the foundation stone for a universal battery management system was laid. Many other projects continued as it was developed further.
The experiences of the TOHYCO rider bus project and the further developed battery management system led to collaboration with the Carosserie HESS AG, a bus manufacturer from Bellach. Together, an “energy pack”, which allows trolley buses to replace their diesel emergency generators and drive electrically with full performance, even if there are no overhead wires as is the case while bypassing sites or on short tracks without overhead lines, was developed. An additional advantage of a fully electric vehicle is that there is no strain on the network while breaking, as the breaking energy can be easily regenerated.
Nowadays, the CC IIEE is engaged in energy research in the framework of the energy strategy 2050 and it is part of the Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCER).
In 2013, the SCCER mobility started to do important development work. In collaboration with ETH Zürich, the CC IIEE coordinates the Capacity Area B1 which deals with the integration, operation and optimization of mobility systems. The CC IIEE team engages within the topics of integration, infrastructure and new urban transportation.
The integration of hard- and software of decentralized energy storage systems into micro grids including e-mobility and the corresponding charging infrastructure is part of the SCCER Grids (FURIES).