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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)

Wind turbines and PTB's flying measurement platform.

For the first time worldwide, PTB has succeeded in showing how, to what extent and under which conditions wind turbines influence the signal integrity of air navigation systems. These findings have made a forecasting tool possible that could speed up the decision- making process for hundreds of building applications that are stuck in the ”approval backlog“.

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Over its surface of 2.40 m × 4.70 m, the LED-based solar simulator is equipped with a total of 16 320 LEDs. On the measurement plane, the colored light of the LEDs mixes to yield a spectrum similar to that of the sun.

PTB has recently started using an LEDbased solar simulator that is capable of varying the spectral composition, the brightness and the duration of the simulated solar irradiance independently of each other. The instrument thus provides decisive advantages over its conventional xenon counterparts. At PTB, solar modules can now be examined with a broad array of tests that are closer to real...

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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. Jörn Stenger (Chair)

Member of the Presidential Board

Phone: +49 531 592-3000

Opens local program for sending emailjoern.stenger(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