The BMBF Research Campus Flexible Electrical Networks (FEN) is an association of institutes of RWTH Aachen University and industrial partners from different disciplines. In order to successfully meet the challenges of our future energy supply, a high degree of transdisciplinary research and collaboration with industry partners, as well as society, is essential. In FEN, this transdisciplinary research between science and industry takes place under one roof.
The aim of FEN is to research and further develop the flexible power grid as a response to the changes in the electrical supply system in recent years. The existing three-phase alternating current (AC) supply system was designed for top down energy flows, with few large central power plants. While this used to be an adequate solution for the requirements and available technologies, the situation has changed fundamentally today. Sustainable energy sources and new power electronic energy conversion technologies have now become technically and economically feasible, enabling distributed generation, storage systems and sector coupling. AC grid technology is no longer a must, but is becoming an obstacle. Ultimately, the common aim is a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy supply for the future.
The transdisciplinary research of FEN focuses on the integration and further development of direct current (DC) technology at all voltage levels (low, medium and high voltage) and on grid solutions for flexible hybrid (AC and DC) grids, using communication technology, cloud services, energy storage integration and societal aspects. The research activities of the research campus FEN are located in the middle of RWTH Aachen Campus Melaten.
The FEN research campus is organized into five departments (Standardization, Socioeconomics, Digitalization, Components, Networks & Systems) that combine technical, social, economic and environmental research approaches in an interdisciplinary way. Each department is headed by a representative of RWTH and the FEN Industry Steering Committee.