Infrastructures within LiFE 2050

The sustainable importance of energy research for Leibniz Universität Hannover is underlined by the establishment of large research infrastructures in the various focal areas, which are presented below.

The test center is used intensively in research projects for testing large structural components of onshore and offshore wind turbines under multi-axial loading conditions. Furthermore, a generator-inverter test rig was realized with the GeCoLab through a BMWi grant, which enables investigations of steady-state and dynamic properties of electrical machines and converters, including converter-machine interactions.

TFD brings a test field for thermal power plants consisting of the following test rigs to the research center:

  • 4-stage axial compressor (1 MW)
  • Air turbine in 1.5 to 7-stage configurations 
  • Large centrifugal compressor (250 kW) 
  • Low-speed axial compressor 
  • Lattice wind tunnel 
  • Test rig for labyrinth seals 
  • Axial diffuser test rig 
  • Atmospheric gas burner (AHB450; jointly with ITV)

The test rigs reproduce the components of the thermal-mechanical energy conversion in a power plant on a pilot plant scale and thus allow in particular the further development of turbomachinery and gas turbine combustors (AHB450) for dynamic power plant operation. The test rigs of the test field are supplied with drive air by a central compressor station.

Institute laboratories

The IAL has a laboratory area of about 700 m2 with feeds up to 200 kVA per workstation and up to 850 kVA in total. The following experimental facilities are available:

  • Direct current feeders with up to 440 V and 90 kW 
  • Load test benches for electrical machines and power electronics with outputs up to 90 kW 
  • Water cooling with 10 KW cooling capacity, temperature range from -5 to +80°C

The main part of the laboratories for solar energy research is brought in through the Chair of Solar Energy in the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics and the ISFH. The following resources are available:

  • 35 developers in the subject area of solar thermal energy and solar systems technology for the partial solar heat supply of buildings; 90 developers in the subject area of crystalline silicon photovoltaics (wafer to module). In 2012, the institute's third-party funding in the area of solar energy amounted to €7.3 million, 40% of which was in the form of industrial contracts.
  • Laboratories for solar research with an area of 2975 m2. In addition, there are 360 m2 of experimental roof space.
  • SolarTec research line for the production of Si solar cells and PV modules with industry-relevant machines.
  • Extensive measurement equipment for (imaging) characterization of solar cells.
  • Laboratory (under construction) for Integrated Solar Energy Systems with test benches for the analysis of components and systems, to be further developed by a newly appointed professor. The professorship will be filled by a joint appointment of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the ISFH.

The Schering Institute (SI) (High Voltage Engineering Department in IfES, Prof. Dr.-Ing. P. Werle) has a laboratory area of about 1,000 m2, including the high voltage hall with about 600 m2.

  • Test facilities for 800 kV AC, 700 kV DC and 2,500 kV impulse voltages
  • Aging tests on insulation systems at temperatures up to 230 °C including mechanical stresses (shaking table) at room temperature
  • Various endurance test rigs for aging times of up to 5,000 hours with simultaneous thermal and electrical loading

On approx. 1500 m², the Institute for Technical Combustion (ITV) has 6 test benches for engines and gas engines, which can be used for research of efficiency improvement on vehicles, commercial vehicles and stationary engine applications. Among them are various devices, for example an optically accessible test engine, injection test benches and combustion laboratories.

For research into automotive powertrains, the Institute of Machine Design and Tribology (IMKT) operates a wide range of performance and efficiency test rigs for transmissions (torque up to 300 Nm, speed up to 8000 rpm) as well as function, friction and service life test rigs for drive components on an 800 m² test area. A new type of powertrain test rig with two separately temperature-controlled 100 kW machines for battery-electric traction drives and component test rigs for experimental analysis of the influence of damaging current flows on tribologically stressed drive components are used for special issues in the field of electromobility.

Research Institutions

For the Lower Saxony Research Center for Vehicle Technology (NFF), a research building with workstations and laboratory facilities for 11 professors will be completed in Braunschweig in 2014, which the IAL can access on a project-related basis. Temperature-controlled test benches for electric vehicle drives with outputs of 80 kW and 250 kW are being set up there (funding approved via large-scale equipment application, Prof. Ponick and Prof. Mertens are co-applicants). The operation has been running since 2015.