Intelligent Systems for Energy and Mobility

The object of research is intelligent systems for managing integrated system components in the area of energy management and supply, vehicle dynamics, electrical drives, driver assistance and integral vehicle safety. In the energy area, the focus is on the use of renewable energies.

 

The following are actively engaged in the research area:

  • Faculty of Electrical Engineering
  • Faculty of Automotive Engineering
  • Faculty of Computer Science/IT
  • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Transport-Sports-Tourism-Media
  • Faculty of Supply Engineering

 

Researchers give an insight into their work

In interviews, the researchers present the research area and one of their research projects.

 

Intelligent Systems for Energy and Mobility - Prof. Bikker and Prof. Cerbe

Prof. Bikker and Prof. Cerbe in dialogue about the research area

"We are making our contribution to the major future topics"

Energy and mobility are important areas – economically, socially, ecologically. In this interview, the professors Gert Bikker and Thomas Cerbe explain why the research area "Intelligent Systems for Energy and Mobility" has such a high value at Ostfalia. And they discuss in which projects they shape the developments and why their teaching also benefits from the research.

 


Professor Bikker, Professor Cerbe, at Ostfalia research activities in the fields of energy and mobility play a major role. What distinguishes your research area from the others?

Gert Bikker: It is true that the topics of energy and mobility are also strongly represented in other research areas. There our scientists deal primarily with the technical development of components and sub-systems. We, on the other hand, consider it rather in overarching interactions: Our job is to adroitly combine these subsystems, also through informational systems and digitisation – in order to arrive at new functions.

Thomas Cerbe: E-carsharing is a good example to illustrate this. Carsharing is a system of communication that combines sophisticated technologies with one another from GPS to digitisation. It offers people the opportunity to share a vehicle and use it as needed – that’s intelligent mobility. And what happens during the time the vehicles are not required? Then the fleet, which has a lot of storage at its disposal, can supply excess energy into the network and thus become an energy supplier. Consequently, we combine an intelligent system for mobility with an intelligent system for energy.

 


Which requirements must be met in order for such a system to succeed?

Thomas Cerbe: We need a functioning business model, because an operator must be able to earn money with the system. The technique is one thing, the acceptance by the users and the efficiency are another. At the Institute for Traffic Management at the Ostfalia Salzgitter Campus we have initiated projects in which we work on how these systems can be accepted by people. Not only engineers are at home in our research area, but also social scientists. This is our great advantage.

Gert Bikker: Electromobility is a topic that connects us all – in contrast to earlier, when every discipline worked in a very specialised manner. Today, interdisciplinarity is solidly anchored in our research area. Also through the Centre for Electromobility at Ostfalia, in short CEMO. Here researchers from six faculties work together: Electrical Engineering, Automotive Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Transport-Sports-Tourism-Media and Supply Engineering.

 


What does the networking outside the university look like?

Gert Bikker: With automobile manufacturers, energy providers and many citizens, we are participating in a project of the District of Wolfenbüttel. Here we ask ourselves: What does electromobility mean for rural areas? Here the roads and ranges are different than in large cities. In the towns we test concretely how an intelligent networking can improve the mobility in the countryside – through the establishment of a charging infrastructure, E-car sharing systems and others. Our project partners benefit from the know-how that is present in CEMO.

Thomas Cerbe: The collaboration between universities has increased as well: in the area of energy with Clausthal University of Technology and in the area of mobility with Technical University Braunschweig. We have many cooperative doctoral projects, and we all benefit from the exchange of experience.

 


What are you currently working on?

Gert Bikker: Electromobility is only one topic. Other topics include energy management and supply, driving dynamics, driver assistance – and also integral vehicle safety. The vehicles are opening up outwards. They network with one another and with the infrastructure in order to be able to communicate with each other. With our research projects we are accompanying this development. We respond to the question which applications arise through the open interfaces and how we can realise them technically. And we investigate what this development means for the safety of the vehicle: for the reliability of the system and for ensuring that no unauthorised persons can gain access.

 


Why do the topics of energy and mobility have such a high value at Ostfalia?

Gert Bikker: Because energy and mobility secure the economic success of our region. We are making our contribution to the major future topics …

Thomas Cerbe: …and because the two systems can increasingly grow together – also in our home, where in the future we will be able to connect our vehicle with our energy system. In the fields of energy and mobility, great changes are coming, and we want to help shape this development. And there is another good reason.

 


Which one?

Thomas Cerbe: We carry out research not only for others, but also for ourselves, so that Ostfalia gathers new experience and continues to develop. It is wonderful when I learn something in a research project and I can pass my knowledge on to the students. In the fields of energy and mobility, research and teaching are especially connected.

 

 

Intelligent Systems for Energy and Mobility - Prof. Bikker

Prof. Bikker talks about the research project ZuFOR

Through the interaction of many: Drive for new vehicle technologies

Digital, low emissions, autonomous: This is the vehicle of tomorrow. Ostfalia is providing the impulses for new ideas in the field of electromobility, for greater vehicle safety and for innovations in lightweight construction – through the interplay of many forces.

When a task is addressed from several perspectives, then this can only be advantageous for its resolution: this is the working principle of the researchers in the ZuFOR project. Together, researchers from the Faculties of Mechanical Engineering, Automotive Engineering and Transport-Sports-Tourism-Media at Ostfalia are working to answer technical, economic and social questions – in view of intelligent systems for mobility.

The research topics range from vehicle systems for active and integral security to the range extension of electric vehicles to innovative polymers for lightweight automotive construction.

Not only the disciplines are overlapping: Ostfalia integrates the experience and know-how of partners from industry, administration and society into the project. What do the research results mean for the development of the region and its businesses? Do they have the potential for new business models? The integration of many different actors in an Open Region Lab aims to bring ideas to maturity – and ensure that they are applied. The integrative cross-sectional project is investigating precisely these regional network structures.

The ZuFOR project (" Zukünftige Fahrzeugtechnologien im Open Region Lab") is funded by the Niedersächsisches Vorab Programme (Volkswagen Foundation) and the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony.

 

Prof. Dr. Gert Bikker, vice president for research, development and technology transfer:

"In a few years, the vehicle will look very different than we know it today. The project gives us the opportunity for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary reflection on the future of intelligent mobility. And also on how the region can play a crucial role in the development of new vehicle technologies."

 

Matthias Brandt, IAV GmbH:

"For our company a good relationship with Ostfalia is important because here experienced experts conduct application-oriented research – for example, in the field of mechatronics. The ZuFOR project gives us and Ostfalia the opportunity to learn from each other. In the coming years, fewer individually used vehicles will be on the road, while the mobility of people will increase. Our joint project should bring to light which mobility solutions we need for this future."

 

Lower Saxony

Volkswagen foundation

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