University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)

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Creative inspiration between the Rhine and Ruhr: the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) is at the heart of the European region with the highest density of institutions of higher learning. Created in 2003 by the merger of the universities of Duisburg and Essen, the UDE is the youngest university in North Rhine-Westphalia and one of the ten largest universities in Germany.

The University has five main areas of research: Nanosciences , Biomedical Sciences, Urban Systems, Empirical Research in Education, and Change of Contemporary Societies.


Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management

Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management

The Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management is concerned with a variety of water-related issues, including the management and use of water, flood protection and the protection and preservation of natural bodies of water. The main areas of interest in this context include hydropower and water quality. In teaching, the Institute offers national and international Bachelor and Master courses dealing with basic and in-depth principles of planning hydraulic structures, hydraulics and sediment transport, and water management concepts.

The Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Niemann is responsible within the project for overall management and three different work packages. In work package 2.1, the aim is to develop a technical concept for the construction and machinery of the plant. This concept is influenced considerably by the choice of location and environmental conditions. Work package 2.2 involves developing a water management framework concept that among other things deals with the issues of initial filling, the overall hydrological balance, water losses and changes in salt and suspended solids. In work package 2.4, the Institute will be concerned with scaling  the machinery and electrical engineering. Specific requirements must be established before all these elements can be integrated. In view of the structural constraints and the need for revisability, the concepts developed must be innovative as well as technically and economically viable.


Department of Geology

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The Department of Geology, headed by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schreiber, is responsible for geological and geographical issues in the project. The geological aspects include recording and assessment of the ground in which the UPS is to be built, including its stability and structure. Its task also includes identifying structurally unfavourable areas so that they may be excluded as potential sites in advance. Tectonic evaluation of the entire area in question and other affected areas is also particularly important in preventing damage to the equipment and infrastructure of the UPS.

Geographical work primarily includes analysis and evaluation of conditions above ground and their relationship with the facilities and plant already existing or to be built underground. For example, suitable areas for overground storage must be identified for the plant on the ground. Optimal integration of the existing infrastructure, such as traffic and electrical transport routes, required for construction and operation of the UPS is desirable.


Department of Geotechnics

The Department of Geotechnics at the University of Duisburg-Essen researches and teaches on soil mechanics, foundation engineering, and tunnel construction. Teaching focuses on foundations, excavations and water control, the geotechnics of tunnel construction, constitutive laws of soil mechanics, rock mechanics, groundwater flow and numerical modelling. In research, priorities include energy issues (offshore structures such as wind turbines, pumped storage plant), with further areas of research concerning excavation and groundwater flow and their numerical computation, part saturated soil, soil liquefaction and hydraulic heave, and the application of numerical methods (FEM) to demonstrate the stability of geotechnical structures such as pits.

The "Investigation of geotechnical aspects" work package (WP2.3) contains an initial evaluation of site-specific geological characteristics and the resulting geotechnical difficulties and possibilities for the construction of UPS in the considered locations. The goal is to classify the effects of geological faults, mining damage and special conditions relating to ground and pit water in order to identify sites with the best possible geomechanical conditions and therefore lower construction costs. Information is also to be gathered on the geomechanical properties of the rock and ground at the relevant location. Assessment of the site in terms of water storage and transport is another important part of this task. The final aim of this work package is to identify and establish the relevant geotechnical conditions for the construction of a UPS at a specific location.


Department of Aquatic Ecology

The Department of Aquatic Ecology at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) has two professorships and 30 research assistants and has led the field for many years in ecological water body assessment as required under the EU WFD and in natural water development .

Current work focuses on the impact of hydromorphological degradation and climate change on aquatic and semi-terrestrial organisms in an aquatic environment through experimentation and modelling. A further focus is on the influence of ecotoxicologically relevant substance groups on biological communities.

In the present project the Department will address the potential impact of pumped storage on the ecology of surface waters and the groundwater.


Institute of Electrical Power Systems

The Institute of Electrical Power Systems at the University of Duisburg-Essen is concerned with the calculation, adjustment and operation of electrical distribution networks, particularly in relation to the integration of renewable energy and above all wind energy. The Institute cooperates with various industry partners and participates in several publicly funded projects.

The research work focuses on the simulation of power grids, analysis of network faults, the integration of renewable energy, innovative power system control and energy management. Various software packages for network analysis in static and dynamic state and measurement systems for power quality analysis are available in this context.