Within the scope of its research activities, the group makes it its task to investigate the protective effect of existing concepts and protective devices and to develop the fundamentals for new protective solutions.

  • Basic research on and further development of surge protection devices (based on spark gaps, non-linear voltage-dependent resistors and power electronic components).

  • Surge protection devices for direct current (DC) systems (electrical power generation, DC transmission in the low- and high-voltage range, decentralized DC networks)

  • Generation of reproducible currents with pulse current systems for basic investigations as well as for testing protective devices and protection concepts

  • Simulation of transient processes in electrical networks

Research focus

Further development of surge protection devices
  • Surge arresters for alternating and three-phase current systems
  • Surge arresters for direct current systems (DC networks, backup and emergency power supplies, PV systems)
  • Spark gap and varistor principles
  • Optimisation of arresters (triggering; use of special alloys and high-performance plastics; power semiconductors)
  • Alternative arrester principles
Lightning and overvoltage protection of regenerative power supply systems
  • Determination of failure quantities and threat values
  • Protection concepts for photovoltaic, wind power and biogas plants


Comprehensive intelligent system-compatible lightning and surge protection
  • Interaction of surge protection devices with other system components and protective devices (overcurrent protection devices)
  • Protection concepts for power supply of mobile systems (traffic systems)
Generation of reproducible surge currents
  • High-energy currents (positive first flash 10/350 µs up to 200 kA)
  • Very steep currents (target: negative subsequent flash 0.25/100 µs up to several 10 kA)
  • Steep, moderately energetic currents (target: negative first flash 1/200 µs to 100 kA)

Range of services

  • Testing and evaluation of surge protection devices
  • Determination of the behaviour of materials and arrangements under the direct influence of lightning currents and lightning arcs as well as under the influence of pulsed magnetic fields (induction effects)
  • Testing and qualification of lightning protection components and assemblies


  • Experimental investigations with high aperiodic and oscillating surge currents as well as high long-term currents (combination of surge and long-term components; combination with mains-frequency short-circuit currents)
  • Investigation of transient electrical processes in networks and systems
  • Calculation of static and transient electric and magnetic field problems, temperature distributions and multiphysics

Special equipment

  • Digital storage oscilloscopes and special measuring equipment for recording transient electrical processes
  • DC voltage source (220 V d.c. or 440 V d.c. at 50 A)


Co-use of the following equipment:

  • Pulse generator (positive first flash 10/350 µs up to 150 kA).
  • Small pulse current generator (positive first flash 10/350 µs up to 10 kA)
  • Pulse generator (negative subsequent flash 0.25/10 µs up to 12.5 kA)
  • Surge current generator (8/20 µs to 50 kA/100 kA or 1.2/50 µs to 40 kV)
  • Transportable hybrid generator (8/20 µs up to 5 kA or 1.2/50 µs up to 10 kV at 2 ohms)
  • Direct current system (900 V at 100 A ... 8 kA at 3 s ... 50 ms)
  • Marx generator (1.2/50 µs up to 400 kV)