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Energia Connecticum 2024 - Solar fuel production - hydrogen, CO2 reduction and artificial photosynthesis

Energia Connecticum 2023 - Best Poster and Best Pitch winners

On April 10th and 11th , 2024, our 5th scientific colloquium of energy technology the ENERGIA CONNECTICUM will take place at the Technische Universität Ilmenau with the aim of professional exchange and interdisciplinary cooperation between the research groups. Over two days, discussions will be held on research and innovation in interdisciplinary cooperation in the field of hydrogen. This year we like to talk about "Solar fuel production - hydrogen, CO2 reduction and artificial photosynthesis" and we are very pleased that Prof. Dr. Wolfram Jaegermann from TU Darmstadt, a specialist in the field of surface science, has agreed to give a keynote speech. Hydrogen is an important driver of innovation and cooperation for everyone. Its broad practical application makes a significant contribution to sustainable economic development. Green hydrogen enables the combination of electrification and decarbonization and thus a sustainable transformation of the economy.

We are also happy to have Prof. Dr. Frank E. Menzel from Evonik Industries AG as guest speaker.

In addition to the keynotes, the ThEFI will present a poster exhibition with Best Poster Award and its current research work in short lectures with Best Pitch Award. We cordially invite you to the TU Ilmenau. Please register until April 8th, 2024


Location: TU Ilmenau, Oeconomicum, Room 5007 and 5018

Parking P1, F2(


Date: April 10, 2024 from 1:00 p.m. until April 11, 2:00 p.m.

Preliminary program 10.4.2024

01:00 p.m. Registration 13:30 Welcome and introduction Prof. Hannappel, TU Ilmenau
1:45 p.m. Keynote - Prof. Dr. Wolfram Jaegermann, TU Darmstadt
2:45 p.m. Keynote - Dr. Agnieszka Paszuk, TU Ilmenau
3:45 p.m. Coffee break
4:00 p.m. Poster session
05:00 p.m. Award ceremony / Best Poster Award
05:30 p.m. Stand-up reception
07:00 p.m. end

Preliminary program 11.4.2024
9:00 a.m. Welcome
9:05 a.m. Lecture Prof. Dr. Frank Menzel Evonik Industries AG
10:00 a.m. Pitch 1st part (approx. 10 presentations)
11:00 a.m. Short coffee break
11:15 a.m. Pitch 2nd part (approx. 10 presentations)
12:15 p.m. Best Pitch Award
12:30 p.m. Summary and outlook Prof. Hannappel
01:00 p.m. End with small snack


Soiree - ThEFI Tech Update

On March 11, 2024 from 17:00-19:30, the first "ThEFI Technology Update" of the Thuringian Energy Research Institute (ThEFI) will take place in the new conference and event room of the TU Ilmenau at Willy-Brandt-Platz 1 in Erfurt.

We welcome Mr.

Wilfried Breuer, Managing Director of Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH since 2019, with a presentation on:

"Solutions for the energy transition in the German distribution grid" and

Thomas Simon, Senior Sales Engineer Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen, Erfurt branch:

"Requirements for reactive power exchange in distribution grids, compensation systems in transmission grids - requirements and solutions regarding VDE application rules 4110 and 4142-1 & MSCDN systems in HöS grids".

Since the company was founded in 1868, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen has always been at least one step ahead of the competition in terms of technology. With inventions that have become established worldwide and continue to set the standard in energy technology today. Whether the on-load tap-changer VACUTAP®, the voltage regulator TAPCON®, the transformer operating system ETOS®, the intelligent dehumidifier MTraB® or the Asset Performance Management TESSA® - five examples from their innovative product portfolio that set the standard worldwide.

The "ThEFI Technology Update" event is a regular series of lectures on insights and outlooks into the cooperation between research at TU Ilmenau and industrial partners.


Energia Connecticum 2021 - Cognitive Energy Systems

This year, our scientific colloquium presented itself under the theme Cognitive Energy Systems. On October 1, 2021, scientists and guests from politics and industry met in a hybrid format to exchange information about current research work at the Thuringian Energy Research Institute.

The Energia Connectium is as a scientific colloquium a platform for interdisciplinary exchange on current topics related to energy. In this year's theme year of energy at the TU Ilmenau, the technical focus of the event is on the topic of Cognitive Energy Systems. The program included expert presentations on innovative AI projects for the transformation to a cross-sector, flexible and sustainable energy system based on renewable energy sources, highlighting the current state and future potential of research in this field. Afterwards, scientists from TU Ilmenau presented their PhD and project proposals at ThEFI in pitches. The event was opened and moderated by the head of the Department of Energy Use Optimization at TU Ilmenau and head of the Cognitive Energy Systems (KES) department at Fraunhofer IOSB-AST, Professor Peter Bretschneider.

We heard the following presentations:

  • InSignA - Pilot Project Cross-site Real-Time Simulation Platform,Steffen Nicolai, Deputy Head of the Cognitive Energy Systems Department, Fraunhofer IOSB-AST.
  • Joint project virtual parking garage storage, Dr. Stefanie Eckner, TU Ilmenau FG EEO and Sebastian Flemming, Fraunhofer IOSB-AST
  • Growth core smood, Matthias Oettmeier, Project Manager, Fraunhofer IOSB-AST
  • Bauhaus.MobilityLab; Lucas Richter, scientific MA, Fraunhofer IOSB-AST
  • Reactive power-free energy exchange by using four-phase active filters, Prof. Petzoldt, TU Ilmenau, FG LEST [via Webex].
  • Siamese recurrent neural networks for open classification of operational disturbances, Mr. André Kummerow, Fraunhofer IOSB-AST [via Webex].
  • KITE artificial intelligence for energy transition technologies, Ms. Nadja Hiersemann, Mr. Nizam Halawi, TU Ilmenau FG EEV.
  • Contribution of machine learning to the control of converter-dominated distribution grids, Ms. Hui Cai, TU Ilmenau, FG EEV
  • Control of a permanently excited synchronous machine with matrix converter, Mr. Jun Xie, TU Ilmenau, FG LEST
  • Modeling and simulation for the optimization of a contact system of low-voltage DC switching devices, Mr. Maximilian Schima, TU Ilmenau, FG EGA
  • DC hybrid switching devices for the low voltage level, Mr. Arno Bernhardt, TU Ilmenau, FG EGA
  • Development of demonstrators for direct solar water splitting, Mr. Daniel Hanke, TU Ilmenau, FG Fundamentals Energy Materials
  • Knowledge and attitudes of the population towards new technologies in the context of the energy transition, Prof. Wolling/ Dr. Arlt, TU Ilmenau, FG EMPK

Many thanks to all speakers and contributors especially to the Förderverein für Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik der TU Ilmnenau for the successful event.


DC Technologien - Vorhaben von der Carl Zeiss Stiftung gefördert

Im Rahmen des Programms "CZS Durchbrüche" der Carl Zeiss Stiftung wird unser neues fachgebietsübergreifendes Vorhaben VERNEDCT "Ressourceneffizientes Energieverteilernetz durch DC-Technologie" mit knapp 5 Mio. Euro gefördert. Wir starten im Juli 2023. Vielen Dank an die Jury!


Energia Connecticum 2023 - Future Grids

on March 9 and 10, 2023 at the TU Ilmenau

Program on 9.3.2023
Where: Oeconomicum, Sr 5007

14:30 - Arrival / Registration
15:00 - Welcome & Introduction to Networks of the Future Prof. Dr. Dirk Westermann and Prof. Dr. Stefan Sinzinger (Vice President Research TU Ilmenau)
15:30 - Prof. Dr. Stefan Niessen MBA, TU Darmstadt, Department of Technology and Economics of Multimodal Energy Systems
16:15 - Coffee Break
16:45 - Dr. Hartwig Stammberger, Eaton Industries GmbH
17:45 - Poster Session
18:15 - Get-Together

Program on 10.03.2023
Where: Oeconomicum
, Sr 5007
09:00 - Arrival / Registration Day 2
09:30 - KEYNOTE StS Feller, Thuringian Ministry of Economy, Science and Digital Society
10:15 - Short presentations / pitches by members of ThEFI Part 1
11:15 - Coffee break
11:45 - Short presentations / pitches by members of ThEFI Part 2
12:45 - Best Pitch and Poster Award and Outlook
13:15 - End.


The ThEFI goes international ...

... this time at the IEEE PES ISGT Europe 2022 in Serbia. The hostsIEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) and the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Novi Sad, invited specialists from all over the world from October 10-12, 2022 . Under the conference theme "Together Towards Digitized, Decarbonised, and Distributed Smart Grids", Hui Cai (left) spoke on "Reinforcement Learning-assisted Controller Parameterization based on Improving Oscillatory Stability in Converter-Dominant Power System", Franz Linke on "AC System Restoration Using Embedded MT-HVDC" and Mr. Sennewald (both center) on "Assistance System to Consider Dynamic Phenomena for Secure System Operation". Ms. Elisabeth Feldhoff (right) presented her research in the area of "Cross-sectoral Provision of Ancillary Services in coupled Electricity and Gas Sectors on a Real-Time Simulator." All are research associates at the Department of Electrical Power Supply at TU Ilmenau, headed by Prof. Dr. Dirk Westermann.

Opening Mixed Voltage Mixed Current Test Facility


2. May 2022 at the Thuringian Energy Research Institute

  • 11:00 am - Welcome and introduction - Prof. Dr. Dirk Westermann
  • Keynote "Electrical power engineering in transition - research options at ThEFI" - Prof. Jürgen Petzoldt
  • 12:00 "Experimental basis AC grids" - Dr. Uwe Rädel
  • 12:20 p.m. "Experimental basis DC grids" - Prof. Dr. Jürgen Petzoldt
  • 12:40 p.m. "Medium voltage high current system - function and application" - Prof. Dr. Michael Rock
  • 13:00 - Laboratory tour and get-together

Today we opened our new Mixed Current Experimental Facility (MMV) -funded by the State of Thuringia and the TU Ilmenau in the framework of a TAB project- and presented scientists new research opportunities for experimental investigations on DC technology and transition technologies in the change of energy supply. On the one hand, the existing alternating current grid is being optimized by integrating additional energy storage systems, and on the other hand, the power grid is being expanded. In this context, direct current technology is of particular importance. This is because, with its high transmission capacity and low material input, it is seen as a promising option for making future electrical energy systems efficient, low in resources and thus ecologically acceptable.

In order to test these potentials of direct current technology in practice and to develop and implement cost-optimal transition scenarios such as the parallel operation of alternating current and direct current networks up to the simultaneous transmission of alternating and direct current in only one line system, so-called mixed current transmission systems, several departments at the TU Ilmenau have been working together intensively since the 1980s with departments that are close in content, such as mechanical engineering, automation technology, computer science, physics or economics. The research focus in electrical power engineering is on experimental investigations of low- and medium-voltage AC and DC networks, their components and their system behavior. "This makes TU Ilmenau one of the three to four leading institutions in this field in German-speaking countries," said Prof. Jürgen Petzold. In his keynote address at the opening colloquium, the professor emeritus of power electronics and controls in electrical power engineering and long-time prorector for education at TU Ilmenau outlined the research opportunities offered by the new experimental facility, particularly for experimental studies in the medium-voltage range for all components of a DC and mixed-voltage transmission system - for scientists at TU Ilmenau, but also for research and industry partners as well as students at the university. "The experimental infrastructure installed with the help of the MMV project and various predecessor projects is unique in its interaction and offers the best conditions for already ongoing and upcoming research projects at the TU Ilmenau," says Prof. Petzoldt.

The new experimental facility consists of several parts that can be used together or independently. At the opening colloquium, Prof. Michael Rock, head of the Lightning and Surge Technology Department, demonstrated its performance capability by means of a recorded commissioning test: the largest and most powerful sub-system, the so-called medium-voltage mixed current test system MMP, is capable of generating direct currents and surge currents of up to 100 kiloamperes with a maximum stored energy of two megajoules at up to 20 kilovolts. As a result, it can be used for research on electromechanical, power electronic and hybrid DC switches, as well as for studies on high-voltage, high-current arcs with square-wave and surge pulses, among other applications. "The modularity and interchangeability of these individual components up to the medium-voltage level is probably unique in the world and of great benefit both for basic and applied research and for industry-related research services," said Prof. Petzoldt. Already today, the research infrastructure at ZET is used intensively, especially by start-up companies that have emerged from TU Ilmenau, and has produced important joint research results with the university and other research partners, which have even led to joint patents. "With this successful symbiosis and the excellent infrastructure at ZET, ThEFI on the one hand makes a significant contribution to industry-oriented research transfer and to securing skilled labor for regional industry, and on the other hand contributes significantly to the implementation of the energy transition and to solutions for closely related issues of electromobility."


Every Wednesday, theEXPLORATORIUM series of events is held to present qualification work and interesting topics. In line with current infection control measures, the event currently uses a digital environment.

If you would like to register a presentation, please contact Susan Oxfart

For more information and the current program, please visit the Research section.


On September172019, the scientific colloquium was held for the first time under the heading "ENERGIA CONNECTICUM". 23 PhD and project theses were presented in pitch format (3-minute short presentations) to the approximately 50 participants from the IEAU's fields of expertise.

Logo Themenjahr Energie

After the success in 2019, the scientific colloquium on the theme year "Energy" could be hosted again on September 30, 2020 under corresponding conditions of the infection control. On this varied event day, an extensive repertoire of specialist lectures was offered, representing the current state and future potential of research.

In the context of the colloquium, Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Jürgen Petzoldt was given a ceremonial send-off into university retirement. Prior to this, he looked back on 60 years of research and teaching in the field of power electronics and control systems in electrical power engineering, which he had headed for many years, in his closing lecture at the colloquium.


May 2021 Prof. Thomas Hannappel interviewed by Renate Ell on BAYERN 2 radioWissen about the background and goals of his research into artificial photosynthesis.

"The goal is to eventually develop an artificial leaf that is scalable, robust and competitive, so that you would have different solar fuels available."

To the interview (German only)