Energy Storage Research: A Commitment to Excellence

The National Research & Development Institute for Cryogenic & Isotope Technologies (ICSI) focuses its activity on new energy technologies. Tracing its roots back to the 1970s with its involvement in the Romanian nuclear programme, ICSI Ramnicu Valcea is a major player in Romania’s energy-technologies sector, both nuclear and renewable. Beginning in 2009, a new research facility – the National Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research – was created within the Institute with the mission of pushing forward Romania’s research and development in new hydrogen energy and related technologies. Rethinking its mission and positioning itself at the forefront of energy research in Romania, ICSI has made huge steps towards becoming a modern, European research facility.

It is time for new challenges and transformations in energy, and the National Research & Development Institute for Cryogenic and Isotope Technologies is determined to be a flagship of Romanian energy research. Relying on its scientific background and guided by its belief that the drastic transformations required by new energy concepts require a return to basic science, the institute has developed a new approach: using the experience it has acquired in other fields and applying it in supporting new energy implementation. Moreover, ICSI emphasises real-world business applications in its research, and most of its projects have a direct impact on the actual marketplace.

One of the most important recent accomplishments by  ICSI Ramnicu Valcea is the new ROM_EST – Romanian Energy Storage Technologies facility, a natural continuation of the institute’s achievements in the field of hydrogen-based energy research. With this new facility, ICSI is leading Romania’s contributions to research and development in the emerging field of energy storage, including but not limited to battery storage.

Involved in all aspects of energy storage, from materials to customised solutions and applications, the ROM_EST centre was formed with the mission of bringing together the Institute’s expertise in energy storage, fostering collaboration, and providing a focal point for research and education activities. ROM_EST seeks to establish next-generation electricity storage through a new research paradigm that unites discovery science, battery design, research prototyping and manufacturing collaboration.

The research group particularly focuses on beyond-lithium-ion energy storage, but other energy-storage technologies are also considered. ICSI’s vision is to make Romania a member of an elite group which is in the process of transforming energy transport and the electricity grid by developing high-performance, inexpensive electricity storage that enables the widespread deployment of electric cars as well as broad penetration of wind and solar electricity.

Pursuing its concept “from materials toward applications”, ROM_EST intends to add three major accomplishments to its legacy: a hybrid, low-cost solution for a vehicle-propulsion system; a nano-integrated concept for battery and fuel-cell devices; and a stationary energy-storage solution, available at different scales, which when scaled to manufacturing is capable of meeting ICSI’s performance and cost targets.