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    Virtual further development of system technology

    A current challenge for the wind industry is to counter the economic pressures from the electricity market with innovative concepts. However, the route that needs to be taken until new turbines and components reach market maturity is long. In order to save time and expensive phases on the test rig, many investigations can be simulated in advance on the computer. The new WindMUSE simulation environment is multidisciplinary, integrates existing submodels using a common language and enables real-time testing. The aim is to depict wind turbines with a precision comparable to that customary in the aviation industry.  more...
     

    Sphere storage system receives German Renewables Award

    One year ago, scientists sank a concrete sphere one hundred metres below the surface of Lake Constance. The three-metre-diameter hollow body provided a functional model for an offshore pumped storage power plant. Now they have received the “German Renewables Award 2017” for their research work. The developers at Fraunhofer IWES are already planning the next step.  more...
     

    Ten outstanding concepts awarded

    On 6 December 2017, ten outstanding and innovative concepts were awarded prize money totalling 280,000 euros at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin. The respective juries awarded five winners in both the “Concepts for Future-oriented Buildings and Districts” category and in the “Ideas for an International Energy Competition” category in the ideas competition held by the EnEff.Gebäude.2050 funding initiative.  more...
     

    Better insulation ensures more reliable operation

    If the receiver insulation is damaged, the efficiency of solar tower power plants decreases. Repairing or replacing the insulation takes time and money. In conjunction with industrial partners, scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have developed cavity insulation that utilises new material combinations. Tests show that the market-ready insulation is more robust than previous models.  more...
     

    Differentiated assessment of economic benefits

    Nowadays, it is relatively easy from an engineering viewpoint to construct buildings with extremely low energy requirements. However, is it also possible to achieve this energy level, which is ambitious in terms of planning, building technology and commercial considerations, with existing buildings on a large scale? And is this advantageous from a financial point of view? In the BINE interview, Professor Thomas Lützkendorf from the Centre for Real Estate at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) discusses the statutory framework conditions, calculation methods and data bases for transparently determining the economic benefits of energy-optimised buildings.  more...
     
    News 22.11.2017

    Ring generators are slimming down

    Gearless wind turbines have weight issues. The weight of a generator increases disproportionately with its output. With the current concepts, it will be difficult to pass the 10-megawatt threshold -a class of turbines that is of particular interest to offshore wind farms. In order to solve this problem, researchers are developing a new type of ring generator with a larger diameter but significantly lower weight. A scaled down test generator showed some promising results on the test rig.  more...
     

    On-roof insulation made of cattail plants in development

    Energy-saving in the production, pressure-resistant and compostable: Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics have high expectations for the insulation boards made from the leaves of the Typha plant. Together with industrial partner Saint Gobain Isover, they are now further developing a board for insulating rafters and preparing its series production.  more...
     
    News 19.10.2017

    “Solar thermal energy is becoming an integral part of district heating”

    Traditional district heating is converging with solar thermal energy: researchers and engineers presented new technologies for integrating solar thermal systems into the heating provision at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy's status workshop entitled “Solar thermal energy in district heating”, which was held at the end of September in Dresden. In addition, the workshop also provided insights into current developments in Europe and worldwide.  more...
     
    News 17.10.2017

    Refrigerators stabilise the electricity grid

    Refrigerators that consume electricity precisely when the wind and the sun provide excess electrical energy, and which during slack periods maintain their cooling temperature without additional energy input, would greatly relieve the grid. Scientists from ZAE Bayern are investigating the costs and benefits of such a load shift together with industrial partners. For this purpose they are increasing the thermal inertia of an efficient standard refrigerator by installing latent heat storage units. The test device can thereby bridge longer standstill times.  more...
     

    Large-scale solar thermal systems in long-term testing

    Can solar thermal plants achieve a consistently high yield for more than ten years? In order to answer these and other questions, scientists from Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences have surveyed the operators of 76 large-scale solar thermal plants and monitored ten of these systems for one year. All systems were funded at the turn of the millennium as part of the Solarthermie2000(plus) programme.  more...
     

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