The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding SEKO with 6.5 million euros. The funds will be used, among other things, to conduct research on how to control the fluctuating energy supply from wind or solar energy systems or how to flatten consumption peaks that arise when millions of electric vehicles are charged at the same time. In a real-world laboratory at KIT, which also includes the Institute's property and energy grids, the scientists aim to develop methods to interconnect different energy sectors. Excess heat from industrial processes could, for example, be converted into electricity for electromobility or energy generated by wind turbines could be used to produce synthetic natural gas (SNG) , which would then be fed into the natural gas grid.
SEKO consists of four subprojects: the electricity subproject will investigate the coupling of heat pumps and electric vehicles with photovoltaic systems by integrating electricity storage systems. The gas subproject will investigate the interplay between gas and heat grids, while taking into account an energy-intensive industrial process as well as the dynamics of power-to-gas processes. The heat/cold subproject looks into methods for generating heat load curves for buildings and the conversion of electricity into heat (power-to-heat). Finally, in the sector coupling subproject, researchers will work on the overarching interconnection of the various systems at the level of information and communication technology.