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Research

The field of power electronics and electrical drives, which is assigned to be part of the classic power engineering, is more up-to-date than ever before and there is also a strong demand for it.

The motion control by electrical drives affects all areas of life. Often, this happens unnoticeably and automatically and is taken for granted by the users. Variable speed drives are state of the art even for home appliances. More sophisticated drives can be found in elevators, paper and steel mills, or rail vehicles, to name just a few examples. In total, 65% of the electric energy produced in Germany is used by electrical drives in the end. Furthermore, electrical drives become more and more important in mobile systems such as ships and road vehicles. It seems that the time is even ripe for pure electric vehicles.

Power electronics is not only an essential element of controllable electrical drives, but is by now also a technological key component in the efficient generation, distribution and use of electrical energy. The grid connection of renewable energy sources such as wind power or photovoltaics is hardly imaginable without power electronics. Variable frequency conversion of electric energy as required e.g. for powering the railway grid is no longer performed with rotating machines, but with power electronic means. New impetus is given by IT systems like server farms, where electronic power supplies of highest efficiency and smallest size are demanded. It is estimated that in a few years up to 80% of the total electric energy will be converted by one or even several power electronic stages on their way between generator and user.

The University for the Information Society