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Extended in-service service of advanced functional materials in energy technologies (capture, conversion, storage and/or transmission of energy)


Specific challenge: Functional materials are enabling the large scale market penetration of secure, sustainable and affordable energy based on low-carbon, decentralised power generation. The benefits of using advanced functional materials can often be demonstrated in terms of, e.g. more efficient energy generation, storage or transmission, under controlled conditions. The high up-front investment costs of new power plants or decentralised sources requires lifetimes of the order of 20 to 25 years, with minimal down and service time. However, not enough is known about the degradation of such materials during long-term service. This can seriously hamper the industrial uptake of such materials, increase initial investment costs due to the over-specification of the material requirements; or increase the exploitation costs, either by increased downtimes due to materials related failure or because of more intensive maintenance schedules.

Scope: Proposals should investigate the long-term in-service degradation of functional materials that have already demonstrated enhanced performance in terms of energy capture, conversion, storage and/or transmission, and the capability of a production at a scale that could warrant an industrial uptake. Proposals must include relevant modelling and testing under realistic conditions at pilot level. They should focus on improving the practical understanding of long-term in-service degradation on the performance of the functional material and its impact on the overall performance of the technology components and systems. The development of improved materials solutions, as well as relevant roadmaps and a catalogue of good practices, should be included.

For this topic, proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans, which will be developed further in the proposed project.

Activities expected to focus on Technology Readiness Level 6.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

                   Reduction of the capital (CAPEX) and/or operating (OPEX) expenditures in specific low carbon energy technologies;

                   Implementation of relevant parts of the Materials Roadmap Enabling Low Carbon Energy Technologies (SEC(2011)1609); and relevant objectives of the SET-Plan (COM(2009)519).

Type of action: Innovation Actions