Laboratory for EPE



Various processes relating to energy conversion, energy storage and energy transfer are demonstrated in the newly established Energy process engineering laboratory. In the following courses, students not only learn about the laws and phenomena of different subject areas, but also about the importance of and methods for optimizing experimental procedure, such as selection of the test parameters, measurement technology and measurement uncertainty, documentation, presentation of results, and critical discussion of the knowledge gained.

  • Energy process engineering placement (bachelor’s degree)
  • Energy engineering placement (bachelor’s degree)
  • Fuel cells placement (master’s degree)

The Energy process engineering laboratory has the following facilities for demonstration purposes and application-oriented research with third party-funded projects and industrial companies.

  • Steam generator and steam turbine
    Using the two pieces of equipment, it is possible to demonstrate the entire Rankine vapour cycle, including the necessary components such as feedwater tank and pump, firing system, steam generation, superheating, condenser and condensate pump, cooling water circuit, and all measuring circuits, control systems, and safety devices required for operation.
  • Gas turbine
    Using this test rig, students can familiarize themselves with the open Joule cycle, including the components compressor, combustion chamber, turbine, generator, and all necessary subsystems (such as lubrication oil system). The operating behaviour is experimentally investigated by varying a number of test parameters and compared in characteristic diagrams.
  • Calorimeter
    This apparatus makes it possible to experimentally determine the calorific value of different fuels. The reaction heat generated during the oxidation of a fuel with pure oxygen can be measured in an adiabatically closed system by means of the temperature rise in a water bath. The exact mass of the fuel used is also required. This is measured with a precision balance. This is followed by the comparison and discussion of the experimentally determined calorific values with the values from the literature.
  • Radial blower
    The blower controlled by the frequency converter makes it possible to generate different (pump) characteristics. The system characteristic curve is varied by different throttle settings. This results in numerous experimental operating points which can be compared with the known affinity laws. The mobile setup means that it is also possible to carry out the demonstration in the lecture theatre.
  • Energy transfer by radiation
    Using this test rig, various laws of heat transfer by radiation can be reproduced experimentally (Lambert’s laws, Stefan-Boltzmann law, Kirchhoff’s laws).
  • Wet cooling tower
    The 1:150 scale model provides a realistic representation of the operating behaviour of a wet cooling tower. Important test parameters such as the temperature of the water to be cooled, the flow velocity, or the packing density of the internals can be studied experimentally. The results are entered into a Mollier diagram (h-x) and consequently the cooling capacity of the model is determined.
  • Water turbines (Pelton and Francis)
    A free-jet turbine (Pelton) can be examined experimentally with regard to the optimum operating point (circumferential velocity versus free-jet velocity). The Francis turbine has variable guide blades for volume flow control. Consequently, the problem of impact losses with non-congruent blade flow can be verified experimentally and theoretically here using the velocity triangles.
  • Fuel cells with 50 W output (learning modules)
    The 50 W fuel cell learning system is used to teach the foundations of engineering as well as advanced knowledge of the overall context of a fuel cell system: structure and functional principle, characteristic curves, setting up and evaluating balance equations for energy and entropy, energetic and exergetic efficiencies, system and power electronics. The core of the modular system is an air-cooled 50 W PEM fuel cell with open cathode.
  • Fuel cells with 1.2 kW output
    The combination of hydrogen storage, fuel cell, and battery technology to form hybrid systems makes it possible to design self-sufficient energy or backup systems. With the help of the system, students learn about designing energy systems with fuel cell technology based on industrial system components. It is a fully-fledged energy system for the operation of consumers with a rated output of up to 1.2 kW.
  • Solar hydrogen production
    The combination of this unit with the fuel cell learning systems makes it possible to conduct experiments along the entire energy conversion chain from solar radiation energy to the end user of the electricity. This allows the complete energy conversion chain to be examined and evaluated using efficiencies. The direct current generated by the solar modules charges the unit’s batteries via a charge controller. The system controller operates the hydrogen generator (PEM electrolyzer).
  • Metal hydride storage test rig
    The students learn about the operating behaviour of metal hydride reactors, which are used as hydrogen and heat storage systems. Data on the equilibrium of the chemically reacting gas-solid system are acquired and the effective reaction kinetics are modelled.
  • Fuel cell cogeneration plant
    The demonstration plant consists of the main components fuel cell, electrical consumer, and heat consumer. The aim is to give the students a clear understanding of the principle, the mode of operation, and the most important properties of the technology of combined heat and power generation using the example of a fuel cell cogeneration plant. During the course of the evaluation, the operating characteristics and internal consumption of the fuel cell are determined, as well as the utilization factor, the power-to-heat ratio, the energy yield, and the primary energy savings of the overall system.

In the Energy process engineering laboratory, systems for energy conversion, energy storage, and energy transmission are used for final theses and application-oriented research with third party-funded projects or collaboration with industrial companies.

W at Wassertorstraße
Room WD.108