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Physics Summer in Ilmenau

Main Topic: Physics of energy supply

September 12-16, 2022 is the project week for high school students!

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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."


Energia Connecticum 2021 This year our scientific colloquium presented itself under the topic 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 Connecticum is a scientific colloquium and a platform 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 Department Cognitive Energy Systems, Fraunhofer IOSB-AST Collaborative 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.

Presentations Part 2

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 v. Betriebsstörungen, Mr. André Kummerow, Fraunhofer IOSB-AST [per Webex] KITE Artificial Intelligence for the Technologies of Energy Transition, Ms. Nadja Hiersemann, Mr. Nizam Halawi, TU Ilmenau FG EEV Contribution of Machine Learning to the Control of Converter-Dominated Distribution Networks, 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, Daniel Hanke, TU Ilmenau, FG Fundamentals Energy Materials Knowledge and attitudes of the population towards new technologies in the context of 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.


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)