Energy transition in the spotlight

Research group under Professor Marco Liserre

© pur.pur

Technology transfer has direct benefits for society, especially in terms of the energy transition. When it comes to the digitalisation of everyday life and transport, electricity generation is not the only key issue – the network load is also critical to success. The working group headed by Professor Marco Liserre at the Faculty of Engineering is conducting pioneering research in the field of semi-conductor technology. This was one of the issues addressed in President Professor Simone Fulda’s keynote speech at the reception for the German Council of Science and Humanities.

"How can we bring energy from alternative sources to consumers? How can new systems be integrated into the existing power grid to do this? We are addressing these and other questions in my research group," explained Marco Liserre. For society’s energy needs are constantly increasing. Electricity is a means of bringing energy to consumers. "We are also endeavouring here to include alternative energy sources in the equation." Hydrogen, for example, has only a limited range of application.

A major goal is to make power generation as sustainable as possible at all levels. "We are also looking into the components necessary for generating electricity. Are these stable and easy to obtain? Are they fairly produced? Can we prevent monopolisation?" In power electronics, for instance, experts are already working on reducing copper requirements. An interdisciplinary approach is the key here. "In the priority research area KiNSiS, Kiel Nano Surface and Interface Science, we are working on solutions with materials scientists, for example. Chemistry also plays a part in this." The more implementation progresses, the greater the role of information technology becomes. "Artificial intelligence, big data – these are topics that are part of digitalisation."

Liserre confirms that Schleswig-Holstein as a region for research has good credentials for innovative approaches to the energy transition. "We have a lot of wind energy here, and are close to the Nordic countries which are very strong in terms of digitalisation. I would like us to collaborate more closely here, bring together individual actors. This is essential for being competitive at a global level." Funding programmes such as KOPERNIKUS, DFG, Interreg and networking with former doctoral graduates abroad: regional, national and international exchange ensures a steady flow of fresh ideas. "The number of publications alone makes it difficult to keep an eye on all the current research being conducted in an area at any time." Closer ties would also help to mitigate the lack of skilled workers. In addition, the cooperation with the Fraunhofer ISIT aims to overcome borders and barriers. "The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology is a mixture of company and university. We have concluded an agreement with them to promote research topics," said Liserre. This includes incorporating the use of new components in design and use, for example.

Author: Christin Beeck