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Into the Future with Metrology - The Challenges of Energy

Into the Future with Metrology

The Challenges of Energy

With the energy transition, Germany has set itself the goal of creating – within a few decades – a fundamentally new, sustainable, decentralized energy system with hardly any CO2 emissions. The change to this new system is one of the biggest challenges of our society. PTB, as the national metrology institute of Germany, wants to support all stakeholders – from the fields of industry and politics to consumers – in this endeavor. After all, reliable measurements are the prerequisite for safety, efficiency, and consumer protection.

PTB has already developed measurement and calibration capabilities in the fields of solar energy and wind power which, in part, are unique worldwide. However, a successful energy transition also requires powerful transmission and distribution grids, batteries and other storage elements, the development of hydrogen technologies as well as energy efficiency. Together with partners from industry, PTB’s scientists are also developing suitable measuring methods and standards in these fields of work. The focus is, in particular, on the coupling of energy sectors, on the stabilization of the electricity grid, and on hydrogen as an energy carrier. All this will play a key role in the energy system of the future.

In addition to all the challenges, the energy transition gives us the chance of becoming the stage for climate-friendly technologies that are “made in Germany”. This, however, can only succeed with excellent measurement technology. Excellent measurement technology is the key to protecting our environment and climate as well as to supplying energy that is secure, compatible with the environment, and cost-effective.

News (partly in German)

The hydrogen innovation laboratory called “Nachhaltige Verbrennungskonzepte” (sustainable combustion concepts) has been launched. The project is entering its threeyear implementation phase with funding provided by Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Science and Culture totaling 1.2 million euros. PTB is participating alongside Leibniz University Hannover, TU Braunschweig, TU Clausthal and Jade University...

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At present, lithium-sulfur batteries cannot reach their theoretical maximum capacity and lifetime. According to time-resolved, species sensitive and traceable measurements performed for sulfur at the BESSY II synchrotron radiation source, the accumulation of polysulfides at the anode could be the main reason for these shortcomings.

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Schema der Operandozelle

Mit der Elektromobilität nimmt auch die Suche nach Alternativen zu den klassischen Lithium-Ionen-Batterien Fahrt auf. Eine der Kandidatinnen heißt Lithium-Schwefel-Batterie. Um herauszufinden, warum dieser Typ Batterie noch nicht seine maximal mögliche Kapazität und Lebensdauer erreicht, wurde in der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB) ein Messsystem entwickelt, das im laufenden Betrieb...

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A new research project called MELANI is investigating how several tenants in an apartment building could share a photovoltaic system and a storage battery. The Naturstrom and SMA Solar Technology AG companies as well as the elenia Institute for High Voltage Technology and Power Systems of the TU Braunschweig and PTB are participating in the project which is being funded with 2.3 million euros by...

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PTB and the company Salzgitter Flachstahl have concluded a cooperation agreement to test hydrogen volume measurement technology which is already available and to develop measurement procedures further. PTB will use a measurement section at the Salzgitter Flachstahl site to test measurement devices under real conditions. The experiments supplement PTB’s research activities related to the...

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Wind and solar energy are the cornerstone of the energy transition. The following pages provide an overview of how PTB supports the regenerative generation of energy with research projects and services and which - partly world-leading - measurement technology it provides to industry.

  • Competence: Wind energy
  • Competence: Photovoltaics

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In order to balance out the fluctuations in the generation of electricity caused by varying weather conditions, large energy storage systems will be required in the future. Also energy carriers are needed that make regeneratively generated energy available in all areas - keyword sector coupling. PTB offers in this field:

  • Competence: Battery research
  • Competence: Hydrogen technology
  • Competence: Gas measurement technology

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In the future, electricity transmission and distribution systems will be subject to completely new requirements, including: many decentralized energy producers, weather-dependent yields, long transport distances, and a comprehensive charging infrastructure for electromobility. In addition to the creation of further transmission capacities through the expansion of lines, intelligent information and communication technology is necessary here in order to meaningfully network all energy producers and consumers. PTB is working on:

  • Smart meter gateways
  • Further development of relevant measurement technology
  • Charging facilities for electric vehicles 

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PTB's Steering Group for EnergyPTB's Steering Group for Energy



Dr. Fabian Plag

Member of the Presidential Staff

Phone: +49 531 592-2006

 Opens local program for sending emailfabian.plag(at)ptb.de


Members/Contact persons


Dr.-Ing. Frank Härtig (Chair)

Vice-President of PTB

Phone: +49 531 592-2000

Opens local program for sending emailfrank.haertig(at)ptb.de


Dr. Helmut Többen

Head of Department 1.4 | Gas Flow

Phone: +49 531 592-1400

Opens local program for sending emailhelmut.toebben(at)ptb.de


Dr.-Ing. Enrico Mohns

Head of Department 2.3 | Electrical Energy Measuring Techniques

Phone: +49 531 592-2300

Opens local program for sending emailenrico.mohns(at)ptb.de


Dr. Bernd Güttler

Head of Division 3 | Chemical Physics and Explosion Protection

Phone: +49 531 592-3010

Opens local program for sending emailbernd.guettler(at)ptb.de


Dr. Stefan Kück

Head of Division 4 | Optics

Phone: +49 531 592-4010

Opens local program for sending emailstefan.kueck(at)ptb.de


Dr. Steffen Rudtsch

Head of Department 7.4 | Temperature

Phone: +49 30 3481-7650

Opens local program for sending emailsteffen.rudtsch(at)ptb.de