Dynamics, stability and resilience of complex hybrid infrastructure networks

The dynamics, stability and resilience of complex hybrid infrastructure networks, with a particular focus on highly renewable power grids.

Infrastructure networks constitute one of the defining features of the Anthropocene. These continental scale systems exhibit all properties expected of complex systems that span dozens of spatio-temporal scales. The working group "Dynamics, stability and resilience of complex hybrid infrastructure networks", develops tools to study such systems from a complex systems perspective. The main focus is on power grids, where the ongoing energy transition introduces new dynamic actors and time scales, and poses complex coordination problems.

Due to the historic focus on power grids, the internal group name is COEN for COmplex Energy Networks.

Speaker Frank Hellmann

Alumni Dominik Baier, Philipp Baslik, Reyk Börner, Jonathan Hirdes, Kirsten Kleis, Marie Krause, Maria Jarolin, Jan Nitzbon, Caspar Roos, Benjamin Ünzelmann

Honorary member Jobst Heitzig


Student projects: Topics for Bachelor's or Master's Theses

Lecture: Complex Network Dynamics

Tools: In context of the "Long Night of the Sciences" we developed an interactive, browser-based simulation to demonstrate complex dynamic phenomena in power grids.

So far, the interface is not aimed at unexperienced users, i.e. undergraduate physics is necessary for understanding the model. Hence we suggest that "experts" assist the experiments and offer detailed explanations. We are currently working on a version that is accessible on the level of high-school physics and can be used in school for teaching purposes.


Current Projects



Oct. 2017 – Oct. 2020

CoCoHype: "Consistent modeling, design and analysis of multi-layered hybrid power systems with distributed control"

In this project, we cooperate with the Control Systems Group at TU Berlin. 

The project is embedded in the DFG Priority Programme 1984 (German: “Schwerpunktprogramm”, SPP)

"Hybrid and multimodal energy systems: System theoretical methods for the transformation and operation of complex networks"

Paul Schultz

Jan. 2019 – Dec. 2021 CoNDyNet 2 -Emergent non-linear dynamics of power grids  (BMBF) Frank Hellmann
July 2019 – June 2022 ExSyCoGrid - Generalized Synchronization for Renewable Powergrids (DFG/NSFC) Frank Hellmann
Jan. 2020 – Dec. 2022 open_plan - BMWi Frank Hellmann

Past Projects

July 2015 – Dec. 2015 Model reduction for CO(2) optimisation - EU EIT Climate-KIC
Frank Hellmann
2014  2017 CoNDyNet - Collective Nonlinear Dynamics on Networks (BMBF) Frank Hellmann
2014 - 2015 SWIPO - EU EIT Climate-KIC
Jobst Heitzig

Research Transfer

A crucial part of our work is to ensure that our methodological and theoretical work gets used to solve real world problems. Alumni of our group have founded the start-up Elena International Gmbh that is building on open source tools coming out of academic research to provide grid developers and electricity providers with the know-how they need to build reliable grids with a high share of renewable energies. For more information see elena-international.com.

COEN's Software Projects


Currently, we initiate an open source software project for the dynamical simulation of power grids in close cooperation with our partners at elena international



PowerDynamics.jl is based on the underlying package NetworkDynamics.jl, which provides the means to conveniently build heterogeneous networked dynamical system models.