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Project »ZO.RRO« - Zero Carbon Cross Energy System

1   Background

After the first phase of the energy revolution with the establishment of renewable energies was completed and their expansion progressed worldwide, we have now entered the second phase. This phase not only includes the phasing out of fossil fuels in the power plant park, but above all the provision of flexibility in a system with cross-sector grid management, which is characterized by fluctuating power generation through wind and solar energy, i.e. the demand for energy must be adapted to the availability of the energy.

"ZO.RRO" - the Zero Carbon Cross Energy System - starts at this point and uses Thuringia as an example of how producers and consumers interact and participate in an ideal system.

Therefore, within the framework of the planned project, approaches for a cross-sector energy supply are to be researched in an exemplary manner that make it possible:

(1)  To ensure CO2-neutral industrial production considering system services.

(2)  To guarantee security of supply on a permanent basis.

(3)  To guarantee a stable price level for energy as a component of production.

(4)  To guarantee participation in the energetic added value for all participants

2   Objective

The project uses a case study to develop an infrastructure for a systemic turnaround of the energy system. This will go beyond the usual and much too short-sighted accounting approaches and aims to provide the complete range of system services CO2-free. The objectives are:

  • Development of concepts, methods and solutions for a future-proof CO2 -free energy supply, especially of the necessary system services by using CO2 emissions as a control parameter

  • Validation of the ability to maintain and provide CO2-free system services in cross-sectoral energy systems considering consumption flexibility

  • Development of prototype concepts for realistic testing of basic technologies for cross-sector network structures characterized by a multitude of technologies (energy storage, power-2-gas, electromobility, power-2-heat, flexibilization of consumption, novel IT solutions, novel network resources)

3   Scopy of study

The scope of the project comprises the energetically combined energy systems electricity, gas, heat/cooling and their connection to the energy markets and the production and transport sectors.

Such an approach will only be possible with an adaptation of the energy systems, whereby the extent of the changes, e.g. in the area of networks and storage, always depends on the concrete application cases to be supported.

Within the framework of a cross-sectoral energy system analysis, the requirements for electrical short- and long-term storage and the energy flexibility potentials (demand response, demand side management) are defined. This includes power-to-heat, power-to-gas, power-to-products and power-to-liquids and their contributions to the regulation of fluctuating feed-ins and the stabilisation of the electricity grid. The possible realization of "power-based" production processes that can be influenced, e.g. in the raw materials and chemical industries, is also considered in order to be able to open additional flexibilities for the short-term sector in the future. Figure 1 shows the scope of the study.

Figure 1: Scopy of the study project »ZO.RRO« (image source: Fraunhofer IOSB-AST)

4   Project consortium

At the TU Ilmenau, the project is carried out at the Centre for Energy Technology. Consortium partners are:

  • TU Ilmenau, Power Systems Group (consortium management)
  • TU Ilmenau, Group for Energy Usage Optimization
  • Fraunhofer IOSB-AST
  • Trianel GmbH
  • KoCoS Messtechik AG
  • IfE - Ingenieurbüro für Energiewirtschaft GmbH
  • University of applied sciences Nordhausen
  • Thüringer Erneuerbaren Energien Netzwerk (Theen e.V.)

5 Status

The project started on 1. April 2019 and was presented to the public on 15. May 2019 (

First results will be available in the near future.


Dr.-Ing. Steffen Schlegel
Fachgebiet Elektrische Energieversorgung (
Institut für Elektrische Energie- und Steuerungstechnik (
Zentrum für Energietechnik ( )