Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology
Objectives and Main Areas of Work
The research activities of the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology IWES cover all aspects of wind energy and the integration of renewable energies into energy supply structures. The main areas of research are:
- Technology and operational management of wind turbines and wind farms
- Dynamics of wind turbines and components
- Component development for rotors, drive trains, and foundations
- Test and evaluation methods for wind turbines and components
- Environmental analysis of wind, sea, and seabed for utilization of wind energy and marine energy
- Control and system integration of decentralized energy converters and storage systems
- Energy management and grid operation
- Energy supply structures and system analysis
Development of Fraunhofer IWES
Fraunhofer IWES was founded at the start of 2009 through the merger of the former Fraunhofer Center for Wind Energy and Maritime Engineering CWMT in Bremerhaven and the Institut für Solare Energieversorgungstechnik ISET e.V. in Kassel.
By agreement with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the institute directors also hold professorships at the universities in Hanover and Kassel. Fraunhofer IWES in Bremerhaven is headed by Prof. Dr. Andreas Reuter, who is Professor of Wind Energy Technology at the University of Hanover. Director of the Kassel site is Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmid, who has been chairman of the ISET Executive Board since 1998. A new Director is expected to be appointed in the Autumn of 2012, at which time Professor Schmid will retire.
The growth of the institute was considerably accelerated in 2011 and revenues were increased to approx. 31 million euros in total. Of this sum, 9 million euros were invested in infrastructural expansion. Income from industry grew from 3.5 to 4.6 million euros. In order to meet its new challenges, Fraunhofer IWES was able to start 2012 with more than 370 employees as opposed to 300 in 2011. Currently, about 500 scientists, staff and students are employed by Fraunhofer IWES.
Key Area of the Future: Wind Energy
Targeted collaboration instead of individual actions. The highly networked research alliance between Fraunhofer IWES and ForWind is able to carry out long-term, strategically important projects in the area of wind energy research. April will mark the first anniversary of the operation of the alpha ventus offshore test wind farm. Fraunhofer IWES is coordinating the rave initiative which is carrying out research activities at the test wind farm. The findings will benefit the whole sector. These developments are being supported by cross-system research at Fraunhofer IWES.
Key Area of the Future: Energy System Technology
The further expansion of regenerative energies and consequent replacement of conventional generating capacity requires sustainable reorganization of the energy supply structures by using modern power electronics and the networking and coordination of generators, grids, storage systems, and consumers. The objective of future R&D work must be to design supply structures such that grid stability and reliability of supply remain guaranteed for the situation with a growing number of fluctuating energy generators, and even without large capacity reserves.