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New key research area for energy research at Leibniz University Hannover

New key research area for energy research at Leibniz University Hannover

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Innovative solutions for transforming the energy system

How can the transition to a climate-neutral energy system succeed? How should we heat our buildings in future? Which drive technologies will we use to get from place to place? And which energy sources will we use to supply our industrial sector? Can we keep our energy system stable and affordable in the process? And how do we reduce dependence on fossil fuel energy imports? At Leibniz University Hannover (LUH), approximately 300 scientists from across the faculties are jointly working on and researching these issues. Energy Research is now the sixth key research area at LUH. It supplements the five previously established key research areas: Biomedical Research and Technology, Optical Technologies, Production Engineering, Quantum Optics and Gravitational Physics, and Interdisciplinary Studies of Science. 

The focus of the work in the new key research area includes the continued development of selected technologies for the provision, storage, transportation and use of energy as well as the examination of systemic linkages and interactions with the environment and society.

LUH has a long history in the area of energy research – for example, in power plant technology, electrical power engineering, and wind and solar energy. These competencies have been intentionally strengthened in recent years through the appointment of new professors. LUH has set itself the goal of using its research competence to support the transformation of the energy system to sustainable energy sources. In 2013, the Leibniz Research Center Energy 2050 (LiFE) was founded to bundle the research activities within lines of research, to build an interdisciplinary network and to serve as a specialist partner for society and industry. “I am very pleased that our scientists are working on these topics, which are highly relevant for society, in our now official new key research area. Outstanding research is bundled here across disciplines in an exemplary way,” said President Prof. Dr. Volker Epping.

Numerous very timely research projects are under way at various LUH facilities. For example, scientists at the Large Wave Flume at the Coastal Research Centre and at the Test Centre for Support Structures are working on making offshore wind turbines more stable. Re-use strategies for ageing wind turbines are an additional focus in the wind energy research area. The focus of the solar energy research at LUH is the development of highly efficient solar cells and the reduction of production costs. In tomorrow's aviation and many other fields, green hydrogen will play a crucial role as a clean energy source. This and other topics related to energy-efficient and sustainable flying are also being investigated at LUH. In the area of photovoltaics, research on the integration of photovoltaic systems on building façades, which are intended to supplement the use of rooftops, is under way in cooperation with the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hameln (ISFH).

The key research area also examines energy transportation, conversion and storage, particularly with respect to biological, chemical, mechanical and thermal procedures. In the Dynamics of Energy Conversion research building, power generation systems are being tested as a means of compensating for fluctuations in wind and solar energy. Technologies such as heat pumps and electrolysers are being used for energy conversion, as well as for the coupling of energy sectors such as electricity, gas and heat.

All this will only succeed if the pathways to transformation are supported by all. To facilitate this, LUH researchers are studying aspects related to acceptance. For example, in the Immersive Media Lab the acoustics of wind turbines are being reproduced and simulated in order to investigate how the noise emissions are perceived. To encourage societal and political discourse, researchers are developing digital experimental games to promote dialogue between citizens, administrators, politicians and interest groups.

Networking on energy research in Lower Saxony takes place through the Energy Research Centre of Lower Saxony (EFZN), a joint academic centre operated by the universities of Hannover, Braunschweig, Clausthal, Göttingen and Oldenburg. As a central research, networking and communications platform, it bundles the universities’ energy research competencies and brings together those actors from academia, business, politics and civil society who are transforming the energy system.

Additional information about the key research area is available here: www.uni-hannover.de/en/forschung/profil/schwerpunkte/energieforschung

This film provides a brief overview of research activities in the energy research area at LUH.

Detailed articles about projects in the energy research area at LUH are available in a Unimagazin on the topic.


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For further information, please contact Mechtild Freiin v. Münchhausen, head of Communications and Marketing and spokesperson for Leibniz University Hannover (tel. +49 511 762 - 5342, email: kommunikation@uni-hannover.de).