Oldenburg's internationally renowned energy research has a history of more than 30 years – characterized by interdisciplinary exchange with other universities in Lower Saxony in the research centers ForWind (wind energy) and EFZN (networked energy systems). In addition, energy informatics is key in the Lower Saxony Future Energy Laboratory "ZLE" as part of the Center for Digital Innovations Lower Saxony (ZDIN) coordinated from Oldenburg.
At the UOL, energy research is organized in two clusters:
The Cluster Material is organized in the "Center for Nanoscale Dynamics" (CeNaD – approx. 100 scientists from 15 working groups). The overall goal is to investigate fundamental energy conversion processes and their quantum dynamics in nanostructures, which often take place on extremely short spatial and temporal scales and are in many cases still not understood. The transport of electrons, nuclei, spins and electromagnetic radiation on the nanoscale is essential for future applications of nanomaterials in quantum cryptography, quantum information processing (e.g. in quantum computers), quantum sensing, but also in ultra-fast optical computers, optoelectronic devices, solar cells or batteries and is investigated with innovative experimental and theoretical methods. CeNaD has been strengthened and positioned for the future in the past two years by five strategic and research-strong new appointments - two Lichtenberg professorships, one professorship in the federal and state professorships program, and two appointments of ERC-Starting Grants grantees). Building on the DFG Research Training Group "Activation of Chemical Bonds", an application for an SFB "Spatiotemporal Quantum Dynamics in Nanostructures" is currently being prepared.
In addition to the research centres of wind physics and energy informatics, the Cluster Systems and Networks also integrates in particular the non-university players such as the university-based OFFIS institute and the DLR Institute for Networked Energy Systems – i.e. a total of around 300 scientists. The overarching goal of the cluster is the networking of energy system components, technologies, materials and models – which have been successfully researched in Oldenburg for decades – into large-scale systems and the transition of existing structures into networked, digitalized systems – a relatively new field of research and development in which substantial gains in knowledge, new system theories and leap innovations can be expected and which is supported by energy-related economic and social sciences at the Oldenburg location. The cluster has been strengthened in recent years by strategic new appointments – professorships for "Numerical Fluid Dynamics in Wind Physics", "Digitalized Energy Systems" – and is currently being further expanded – "Distributed Control of Networked Systems", "Fundamentals of Turbulence and Complex Systems" and "Wind Energy Research". The focus is involved in the SFB 1463 "Offshore Megastructures" led by Leibniz Universität Hannover, in the recently submitted DFG-GRK "Concepts and Algorithms for Self-Explaining Digitally Controlled Systems" and in the SFB application "Safety-Critical Systems Engineering for Human-Cyber-Physical Cooperation".
The scientists conducting research in Oldenburg in these two clusters are integrated into a large number of (inter)national research networks that cover the entire research spectrum from the fundamentals of energy conversion and technical conversion systems to systemic networking and evaluation. This comprehensive research approach is complemented by unique and internationally unique experimental fields (wind tunnel, smart city real laboratory, cyber-resilience laboratory, attosecond laboratory, ultrafast electron microscope), which are anchored in teaching in profiling courses of study. In the transfer of research results into practice, the focus benefits from long-standing cooperative relationships with regional companies in the energy industry (e.g. EWE, Enercon), which are organized together the Oldenburg Energy Cluster (OLEC).