11/08/2017
Author: Kai Uwe Bohn
News no.: 2017080

Key component of the energy transition: A new research group called “Power Electronics”.

The supply of wind energy into the power grid fluctuates, so it depends on good power electronics. A new group in the BCM will do research in this field in the future.

The use of wind energy is a success story in Germany – and that is not least to due to excellent research, including from the University of Bremen. This is now being further strengthened: With a grant of 1.5 million euros, the University is setting up a new research group for the high-performance electronics in use with wind turbines.

Goal: To firmly anchor the competence field in Bremen

The goal is to establish the competence field of power electronics sustainably and permanently in the federal state of Bremen. The transfer-oriented research group “High-performance electronics of wind turbines” will be embedded as a new research area in the Bremen Center for Mechatronics (BCM). It is to cooperate closely with companies in the industry and other research institutions. The money comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF-funded project that will create the research group will run for four years.

At the interface of drivetrain and grid

The focus is on the development and optimization of power electronic systems for wind energy in onshore and offshore operation. Power electronics play an eminently important role at the interface between the drivetrain and the power grid, adapting to the physical characteristics of the wind, but also meeting the requirements of the electricity grid. Power electronics is at the heart of converting alternating current into direct current and vice versa. In the case of wind energy, the feed is irregular and the electricity supply system is very sensitive to fluctuations in the balance between generated and consumed power. That’s why it depends on functioning, trouble-free electronic solutions. These are now to be further developed by the Bremen research group.

Positive effects for Bremen and the region

BCM director Dr. Holger Raffel is extremely positive about the effects the new group will produce for the state of Bremen and the metropolitan region of Bremen Oldenburg: “Power electronics will be firmly anchored here as an important key technology for the grid integration of wind energy. It will create jobs in the innovation field of high-performance electronics, develop attractive service offerings for the industry, and strengthen the wind energy cluster. "