Energy Laboratories

IuK Energy Laboratory

The challenge

European energy systems have evolved over decades and have been optimized according to their technical and economic constraints. For some years now, they have been subject to profound change, brought about by the liberalization of energy markets and by measures for the cost-effective, environmentally sound and sustainable provision and use of energy. This has resulted in new business models with extensive electronic business and communication processes and thus increased competition for economical, efficient and secure processes. These new challenges must be mastered and require suitable strategies and tools.

In this context, information and communication technologies (ICT) will play a central role in tapping further efficiency potential. The goal is to create "intelligent" energy systems by linking them with information and communication technologies, if possible within the framework of an integrated application structure. To this end, new I&C technologies as well as methods and procedures for the seamless interaction of all operating resources must be developed in order to ensure a consistently economically and ecologically optimal energy supply in the future. In particular, this includes increasing grid stability, optimally integrating existing electrical systems and new, decentralized small generators, avoiding grid bottlenecks, minimizing energy costs, and automatically reconfiguring the grid in the event of a fault.


The I&C Energy Laboratory for Intelligent Energy Systems is located at the Institute of Applied Systems Technology AST and at the Department of Electrical Power Supply of the Ilmenau University of Technology. At the institute section Applied Systems Technology AST, mainly the energy management tasks and market processes, especially questions concerning energy management, energy data management, supplier switching process and automated metering are investigated. For this purpose, the AST's I&C Energy Laboratory has state-of-the-art IT systems, such as those found in municipal and regional energy supply companies in the areas of metering and measuring, sales, procurement and network. They provide functions for automatic data acquisition, remote control, forecasting and optimization and enable the investigation of a wide range of R&D topics such as virtual power plants, operation management of island/area grids, demand response and demand side management. In the field of electrical energy supply, the focus of the IuKEnergie laboratory is on energy technology topics, especially on issues of grid operation management and system integration. For this purpose, a training and simulation system for electrical transmission and distribution networks, consisting of a process control system, real-time network simulator (RTDS), physical network model and digital protection devices, has been set up. Other partners involved are the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT Oberhausen,SWE Energie GmbH and the solar village Kettmannshausen. Their support consists of providing selected measured values on the current generation and demand situation for the computer-aided simulation of an experimental and test field that is as real as possible.

Research focus

  • Innovative ICT technologies and concepts for the management, supervision and monitoring of energy systems for liberalized energy markets
  • Algorithms and technologies for holistic energy management for electricity, gas and heating/cooling
  • Virtual power plants through coordinated operational management of decentrally distributed feeds such as wind power or photovoltaic systems
  • Real-time capable acquisition, transmission and management of mass data for optimal integration of fluctuating distributed feeds
  • Investigation and development of I&C technologies for demand-side management and for the energy exchange connection of private households
  • Home portal interface for billing and visualization of household consumption
  • Fully digital protection and control technology, especially for decentralized power generation plants
  • Anti-hazard training for electrical power systems and test platform for control technology components of industrial suppliers.

Research Platform Intelligent Energy Systems

Intelligent charging station for the electric vehicles

The research platform "Intelligent Energy Systems" provides the infrastructure for a variety of R&D projects in the field of intelligent energy systems. It is composed of the ICT Energy Lab and the Energy Park established in 2009 and is the basis for the development of future IT solutions for transmission and distribution system operators, in particular energy management systems as well as forecasting and optimization tools. Also for numerous research projects such as eTelligenceRESIDENS or the Fraunhofer System Research for Electromobility the research platform "Intelligent Energy Systems" can be applied. On the generation side, it consists of several local, decentralized components. These include a small wind turbine (20 kW) and tracking and stationary PV systems (18 kWp). In addition, the research platform has two different energy storage systems, a redox flow battery with a capacity of 100 kWh for medium-term storage of electrical energy and two flywheel mass storage systems with a total rated power of 25 kW for short-term storage.

The research platform "Intelligent Energy Systems" is complemented by two electric vehicles, intelligent "white goods" and a geothermal heat pump with 10 kW thermal power. All components are connected at the Ieittechnische level with the IuK-Energy-Laboratory which in turn provides functions for automatic data acquisition. This will enable research into future energy industry tasks and market processes such as forecasting and optimization, balancing group management, virtual power plants, automated metering and demand side management. The network status of the Ilmenau municipal utility will also be taken into account by means of phasor measurement units.

Technical data:

  • Small wind turbine 7 kW
  • Photovoltaic, tracking: 10 kWp
  • Photovoltaic, stationary: 8 kWp
  • Ground source heat pump: 10 kWth
  • Vanadium redox flow battery with 100 kWh storage capacity
  • Two flywheel mass storage systems, each with 10 and 15 kW nominal power respectively
  • Electric vehicle: BMWi3 for various research projects
  • Fully digitalized control system
  • Weather station
  • Controllable consumers: washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, dryer
  • Optionally grid-connected operation and stand-alone operation possible
  • Control connection to the I&C energy laboratory
  • Flexible, programmable AC load
  • Test stand for thermal storage
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