Energy sources are referred to as renewable if the energy they provide is inexhaustible by human activity. Among our renewable energy sources, the sun and its energies play the most essential role, utilized by us not only in the form of solar radiation (i.e. light), but also in the form of wind, precipitation, ocean currents and biomass. "Geothermal energy", harvesting the earth’s natural heat, is another kind of renewable energy source. Besides their inexhaustible potential, renewable energies are defined by their eco-friendliness, as the consistent use of renewable energy does not contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions destroying the environment. Renewable energies are primarily used in heat and power generation, but can also be converted for use in the mobility and gas sectors.
Besides hydroelectric energy, which has been well-established for decades, photovoltaic and wind energy are the most common renewable sources in the power sector. In the heating sector, the use of solarthermic energy, geothermic energy and biomass energy (e.g. pellet stoves) is predominant. Besides these uses, a range of technologies exist which facilitate renewable energy use (e.g. combined heat and power generation and electrolysis) across multiple sectors. Nowadays, one out of ten engineering jobs has something to do with renewable energy.
At Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (University of Applied Sciences), renewable energies are an integral part of the Electrical Engineering and Information Technology department's research and study. A broad introduction to the field "Renewable Energies" and related technologies is provided as a compulsory course of the same name to students of the specialization field "Electrical Engineering for Renewable Energies" (ERE) and as an elective course of all other specialization fields of the "Electrical Engineering and Information Technology" Bachelor's program. Moreover, said lectures are accompanied by a laboratory course in which our students can gain first-hand experience in hardware installment of renewable energy generation facilities as well as their simulation. Our students can benefit from the department's numerous relationships with industry and grid operators when working on projects and theses related to renewable energies.
Furthermore, renewable energies and their related technologies are an integral part of the following courses:
- Renewable Energies (Regenerative Energien)
- Power Electronics for Renewable Power Systems (Leistungselektronik für regenerative Energien)
- Smart Grids and Energy Storages (Smart Grids und Energiespeicher)
- Regulation and Grid Integration of decentralized Energy Generation Facilities (Regelung und Netzintegration dezentraler Energieerzeugungsanlagen), starting 2017/04
- Energy Economics (Energiewirtschaft)
- Electrical Machines (Elektrische Maschinen)
- Electrical Engineering 3 (Elektrotechnik 3)
With the Institute for Power Electronics and Electric Systems our department is part of a scientific center overarching the entire Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen and unifying study and research concerning the field electrical energy engineering. Its primary focus lies in the grid connection of renewable energy sources, improving the high-performance electronic transformers' energy-efficiency scales and improving grid integration via contributions to grid regulation as well as grid stabilization.