Demand-led supply of electrical energy is a globally important issue. In the smart power grid of the future, a number of energy sources, storage options, and grid levels will be linked together in complex infrastructures. The energy will be used in a very wide range of areas of application and power classes: Largely regenerative, decentralized energy production; high-efficiency sub-grids; and the coupling of electrical energy with other types of energy (chemical, mechanical, thermal) are becoming more and more important. At the same time, electrical and secondary storage options are being more heavily integrated into the grid and load shifting effects are exploited. Large overall systems with a high degree of independence (industry, large building complexes, towns, etc.) need new types of energy concepts.
The Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics develops high-efficiency systems and components to provide the technology needed for sustainably efficient yet cost-effective energy supply. The strategic core competence "Power Electronics and System Technologies for Energy Supply" bundles the specialist knowledge of the member institutes in the areas of power electronics and information technology for the smart grid as well as energy harvesting, energy storage, and energy management. The main thematic focuses of the cross-institute platform are:
System development for power electronics (power grids, energy conversion, and energy storages)
Information and communication technology for smart grids, including sensors
Energy storage technologies and battery management
Technologies for ubiquitous energy harvesting
Electric drive technology
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
Material development, device technology (active/passive), circuit development, and packaging
In addition to minimizing energy losses and lowering costs for the use of renewable energy in the long term, the focus is placed particularly on issues of reliability and robustness as well as increased grid quality and stability. Application-specific optimization of installation space, weight, and material consumption is another aim of the research and development.