Research at INEM

The ever greater effort being directed towards a sustainable future is leading to climate-friendly mobility concepts and sustainable energy systems becoming increasingly popular. The changes this entails present a great many challenges and the Institute for Sustainable Energy Technology and Mobility (INEM) takes up these challenges with its research activities. It conducts basic research and tackles real issues in the field of sustainable mobility and energy systems.


Current INEM research projects


Neue Weststadt - a climate-neutral urban district

An urban model district with more than 600 apartments, offices and commercial units plus a new building for Esslingen University of Applied Sciences is to be created on the site of Neue Weststadt in Esslingen. The project titled “Klimaneutrales Stadtquartier Neue Weststadt Esslingen” has now received funding approval from the German federal government for the innovative realisation of the energetic concept for the district.
In Neue Weststadt, the use and possibilities of P2G (Power to Gas) is to be tested in an urban environment. It involves converting the surplus electricity from wind and solar power plants nationwide into hydrogen and storing it. When electricity is required, the CO2-neutral hydrogen can be converted back into electricity again by means of a fuel cell and fed into the grid.
Further information on the project can be found at


Innovative Predictive High Efficient Thermal Management System

The objective of this project is to draw up a concept, and develop and validate an innovative predictive thermal management system which serves to utilise energy potentials and increase the range of electric transport and delivery vehicles.

The project will start by considering how to:

  • Prevent losses occurring during the braking process (aim: 100% recovery of braking energy)
  • Use and distribute waste heat intelligently
  • Provide an optimum thermal environment for maximum component efficiency
  • Achieve needs-based and predictive control of the energy and heat flows of the vehicle drive and the interior.

It will also investigate a modular architecture for the thermal management system which comprises several decentralised energy storage systems.

Zero emission local public transport ÖPNV2

Scientific development of a concept to establish a regional, zero emission scheduled bus network in a metropolitan area

Increasing volumes of traffic mean metropolitan areas in particular are being required to develop a CO2-neutral and extensive infrastructure for local public transport in addition to building new roads.  The use of buses which utilise hydrogen and fuel cell technologies is to be investigated in a transport region near Stuttgart with the aim of creating an attractive local public transport system. A close collaborative approach is to be employed to develop and analyse a concept to extend one bus route initially into a neighbouring town on behalf of a regional bus company and the municipal utilities. The results obtained on the advantages of an electric bus fleet over a fleet powered by combustion engines will then serve as a recommendation to expand more of the company’s bus routes.


Satellite Mobility Hubs Esslingen University of Applied Sciences

The main aim of the SaMoHubs-HE project  is to draw up a concept to create so-called Satellite Mobility Hubs at the three university campuses located at ES-City Centre, ES-Flandernstrasse (and ES-Weststadt) and Göppingen. It will then be possible to reduce or improve the utilisation of motorised private means of transport and bring about a shift in mobility towards public means of transport or other mobility provisions, such as car & bike sharing. These are primarily:

  • Creating traffic infrastructures, such as a parking and charging infrastructure, which are dimensioned according to need and can be flexibly expanded or reconfigured.
  • Developing a mobility management platform which brings together and visualises all the mobility and infrastructure provisions and provides users with direct access.

48 V Boost inverter drives

Test rig for 48 V hybrid drives

A test rig is being set up to facilitate the study of 48 V drive systems in hybridised motor vehicles. The load drive in the 30 kW power class has torque and speed levels (300 Nm/8,000 rpm) which are designed for integrated-gear hybrid drives. The work will include the mechanical setup, the setting up of the load drive, the mechanical adaptation of the device under test, the implementation of a test rig control and the setting up of a 48 V supply system.


Industrial dismantling of battery modules and electric motors to secure economically strategic raw materials for E-mobility

The Circular Economy Act and the Batteries Regulation stipulate that HV traction batteries must be examined to see whether they can be used a second time or can be recycled following customer complaints, when they have been damaged in an accident, or the classic case of them having reached their EoL. This project sets out to investigate a method for the sustainable reprocessing of the raw materials with the emphasis on obtaining NMC recyclates. The method comprises the process or production steps of characterisation, automated dismantling, material recycling and material characterisation. The method will be applied to NMC Li-ion battery cells. The characterisation, dismantling and recycling steps should be economically viable and be designed so as to be environmentally sustainable


Testing a fuel-cell powered goods vehicle as the starting point for the diffusion of innovation of a scalable use of hydrogen in Baden-Württemberg

To acquire knowledge about technical organisation and transformation in the context of the energy transition and the further development of hydrogen and fuel cell technology, the project consortium plans to construct and undertake the trial operation of a fuel-cell powered truck intended to supply, deliver and dispose of goods. To this end, the prototype of a fully electric truck with a total weight of 26t with fuel cell propulsion will be constructed and its scalability investigated in the Hy-Lix-B real-world laboratory. The overriding goal is therefore to equip the 26t truck with fuel cell propulsion and to produce data relating to its practical suitability, economy and social acceptance by means of testing, measurements, stakeholder discussions and surveys.


AI-based network-oriented charging management when parking under various use scenarios

The aim of the project is to investigate the optimisation of the dimensioning of the grid connection point, and the smart operation of (modular) charging points in parking scenarios with large numbers of charging points with local and also remote load management. This will involve the investigation of three use scenarios: charging at the place of work, at a shopping centre or place of work, and in rural areas using modular storage devices. The research approach employed by Esslingen University aims to explore methods of load and charging management on the basis of (control) methods by taking into account status logging and classification algorithms from artificial intelligence (AI), which are intended to lead to a reduction in the load peaks occurring and to minimise the investment for future charging concepts.

Wieslauf Valley Railway

Concept study of a zero-emission public transport solution for the train line between Schorndorf and Rudersberg

Study of zero-emission public transport concepts in the Rems-Murr district placing particular emphasis on the establishment of a hydrogen-based or battery-powered operation of the train line for the Wieslauf Valley Railway. The study will focus on:

a) Market sounding of suitable concepts & associated framework conditions
b) Design and calculation of the project (incl. profitability calculation)
c) Compilation of draft proposals in collaboration with our partners and the municipalities and authorities responsible


Esslingen rural district - zero-emission highways department

Local authorities and highways departments, and municipal material and maintenance depots, too, are now finding themselves confronted with new challenges: they are being required to implement climate-change targets and meet demanding regulatory standards. Against this background, the suggestion is to design, construct and test a fuel-cell powered road service vehicle in the three-stage research project outlined here. Moreover, recycling possibilities and infrastructure requirements are also to be investigated. As a zero-emission technology, fuel cell technology is particularly suited to this application because it can guarantee the high performance, operational flexibility and ability to cope with winter conditions which are required for snow-clearing work.


Real-life laboratory for autonomous driving at the Hess Technologie- und Zukunftspark in Waiblingen

The overall aim of the Hess Technologie- und Zukunftspark project in Waiblingen is to establish an innovation platform in the form of a real-life laboratory for the development and study of autonomous, zero-emission powered transport vehicles and their integration into the operation of the local public transport network while paying consideration to special groups of people. Our present infrastructure and the current state of the art mean that the use of autonomous vehicles still poses a great deal of risk for all road users and passengers. This provided the impetus for this project to analyse the autonomous driving system and progressively improve it, and to be involved in its development. The real-life laboratory is to go into operation in 2021.

Design of an EMC-optimised HV/LV DC-DC converter for electric vehicles

Design of an EMC-optimised HV/LV DC-DC converter for electric vehicles

When designing DC/DC converters, the focus is usually on the power transmission, the thermal regulation, the control and the sensors. EMC filters are added into the circuit to meet the EMC limits. This normally means that the background noise levels are accepted as inevitable, to be damped by means of large and expensive filtering measures. As the miniaturisation of the drive advances apace, the filtering measures become ever larger and more and more expensive by comparison.


The project aims to develop an integrated 48V propulsion module (>50kW) comprising an electric motor and power electronics which is characterised by a novel design of stator: the stator of the motor is broken down into individual tooth modules, the electronic power actuator being assigned directly, both mechanically and electrically, to each one. The end result should be an initial functional model and also a demonstrator of such a propulsion module which is superior to existing solutions in respect of its overall power, power density and especially its EMC behaviour and operating characteristics. The target power specified should make this propulsion system suitable as a traction drive for smaller cars as set out in the call for applications.


The traction drives currently being used in hybrid and electric vehicles are predominantly three-phase motors (synchronous or asynchronous motors). However, there are various reasons why it can make good sense to equip these drive units with an even higher number of phases (e.g. five or six phases). Several applications are already making use of such motors. This project is investigating, selecting and improving such “multiphase drives" especially in respect of their suitability for use in electromobility, since the drives of electric vehicles must take account of several requirements which have so far not been described in sufficient detail in the literature.


The aim here is to develop a sensor module to be used in series production in the automotive field which for the first time combines the sensor values of an electric drive system and thus determines parameters which are typically still not being recorded at present. By combining various measurement functions in particular, this smart sensor module will thus clearly exceed the functionality of the sensors which are currently available. The sensor module will enable the power electronics to be optimised in respect of the efficiency of the electric motor, improvements to the noise, vibration and degree of comfort, possibilities for the operational and functional safety and also innovative, geometric design measures for engineering, assembly and maintenance.

Degradation of fuel cell components and battery cathodes

Study of the degradation of fuel cell components and battery cathodes with an atomic force microscope

Material sensitive and conductivity analyses of nanoscale materials, especially polymer-electrolyte membranes, gas diffusion electrodes, and electrodes and battery cathodes, to clarify the degradation mechanisms in fuel cells and batteries.

Apply for summer semester 2021!

Application period for programmes starting in the summer semester 2021
Bachelor’s programmes: 1 December 2020 to 15 january 2021
Master’s programmes (German): 15 October 2020 to 15 January 2021
Applicants to our international programmes should please see the Graduate School website for deadlines

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