Energy and Resource Engineering
The transition to a sustainable and resource-saving energy supply is one of the major challenges facing society today. The Faculty addresses the need for research in the most diverse fields in a variety of ways. Based on the understanding of existing technologies of energy conversion and resource use as well as the analysis of current and foreseeable problems, new scientific approaches and technologies are to be developed to contribute to solutions.
The use of fossil fuels for power generation will continue to play a major role worldwide. However, it will lose importance in favor of other primary energy sources, especially in Germany, as part of the energy system transformation. Due to the time mismatch between energy supply and energy demand, this will lead to many new questions that will probably not be answered by a single technology, but will have to be tackled with a bundle of technologies.
Energy storage in the form of chemicals, batteries, pressure or heat storage systems can be just as much a solution as use in the form of energy-intensively processed resources. Because of the distance between the places of production and use, questions of energy transport, regulation, and grid stability are also of great importance. Future mobility also requires new concepts, from electro-mobility to autonomous driving and new logistical concepts at all levels.
All these concepts have a strong energy and resource-related component. For example, the entire system can be optimized in terms of material and energy using a significantly higher sector coupling in the future.
Finally, in the generation of electricity and heat or the conversion of resources, it must be assessed whether new or modified processes and technologies make sense and are accepted by society. The assessment concerns several levels, starting with the thermodynamic-exergetic analysis, the life cycle assessment, the economic analysis, and the ethical-sociological assessment.
The inclusion of systemic aspects such as stability considerations of complex networks or the conformity of the technologies required in the context of the reorganization of energy supply structures with the requirements of society is a further focal point.