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Archive – Press releases

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Research in the international technology network

The International Energy Agency (IEA) enables scientists and other experts to share energy research on a global basis. The IEA’s Technology Network provides the necessary organisational framework for this. The recently published BINE-Themeninfo brochure “Researching in the global network – Germany’s contribution to the International Energy Agency” (I/2014) describes a selection of initiatives in which German institutions are actively involved. Themes include energy-efficient buildings, smart grids, energy storage systems and renewable energy sources.  more...
 
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Saving energy while warming up snacks

In modern ovens, heated air circulates evenly throughout the oven space. When cooking small quantities of food such as frozen pizza, this creates unnecessarily high energy costs. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Creating microclimates in ovens” (10/2014) describes the development of a demonstration oven that can save up to 40% of the energy.  more...
 
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Energy efficient use of domestic waste water

The faeces contained in domestic sewage, so-called black water, can be used for producing biogas. Until now this has been mostly conducted at the end of the sewage channels at the waste water treatment plant. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Energy from waste water supplies urban district” (09/2014) presents an alternative concept for the new Jenfelder Au district in Hamburg. Here the individual domestic waste water flows are no longer mixed but are drained separately. This enables the concentrated black water to be utilised in a particularly efficient manner in a decentralised biogas plant. The separately discharged rainwater is used to fill a pond.  more...
 
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Wind power stabilises the electricity grid

A balanced ratio between the production and consumption is constantly required in electricity grids. To compensate for the unavoidable fluctuations and to ensure the grid frequency of 50 Hertz, network operators require a reliable power reserve, known as control reserve. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Stabilising the grid with wind power” (08/2014) presents a new concept as to how wind farms can also participate in future in bidding for control reserve. This will enable a pool of wind farms to provide part of the balancing power required in the German electricity grid.  more...
 
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Efficient production of feed for farm animals

Cost pressure in the market for meat and dairy products is increasing. This also raises manufacturers’ interest in lowering energy consumption for the production of feed for cattle, pigs, and poultry. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Producing animal feed with less electricity and heat” (07/2014) presents the optimised production process for a compound feed plant. A computer-aided control program allows the energy-efficient processing of different batches of natural raw materials into a compound feed with a specified ratio of fats, proteins, and trace elements.  more...
 
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Compact engine consumes less fuel

With lightweight construction and the common-rail fuel injection system, a Lower Bavarian engine manufacturer succeeded in reducing the fuel consumption of its industrial diesel engines. Combined with an exhaust gas recirculation system, the emission of nitrogen oxides is decreased significantly. The involved research activities are presented in the Bine-Projektinfo brochure “Durable diesel engine with electronic control” (06/2014).  more...
 
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Purging the impurities from glass

The production of glass requires high temperatures and consumes a lot of energy. Thanks to a newly developed method, the energy demand can now be lowered by up to 40 % in a central part of special-purpose glass production — the refining process. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Energy-saving production of special-purpose glass” (05/2014) introduces the concept. The central component is a crucible made of the high-temperature resistant metal iridium, which can withstand high temperatures without cooling.  more...
 
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Laying pipelines in a more environmentally friendly manner

The near-surface installation of pipelines usually causes massive disturbance to the environment. It can create corridors up to 50 metres wide. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Swift construction of pipelines” (04/2014) presents a method that requires less than one fifth of the usual width. The steel or concrete pipes can be used for heating networks and can connect more distant customers faster and in a more environmentally friendly manner.  more...
 
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Increasing the efficiency of metal-cutting machining centres

Modern machine tools offer a diverse range of possibilities: they drill, mill, saw, turn and grind fully automatically. These production steps, which comprise the different metal-cutting processes, often only make up around 20% of the machine’s energy consumption. Most of the energy is consumed by peripheral systems such as the hydraulics, cooling and lubrication. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Making machine tools work more efficiently” (03/2014) presents a research project that analysed the energy consumption of the individual machine components and developed optimisation concepts. Energy savings of up to 50% are possible. In some cases the additional measures pay for themselves after just a few months.  more...
 
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Photovoltaics with full concentration

The development of photovoltaics is far from over. The prices are dropping and their external appearance today ranges from textiles furnished with thin-film cells to large-scale free-standing plants based on silicon. Progress is also being made with the technology. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Energy from a thousand suns” (02/2014) presents modules made of multi-junction solar cells, which are combined with optical concentrator systems and track the sun. This concept focuses the sunlight by up to a thousand times and a solar cell has reached a record efficiency of 44.7% in the laboratory.  more...
 
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Capturing CO2 from power plants with lime

The flue gases from coal-fired power plants contain considerable amounts of CO2. This greenhouse gas can be captured. Researchers and industry are testing various methods for this. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “CO2 capturing using lime” (01/2014) presents the “carbonate looping” method. Here, CO2 is bound by lime in coal-fired power plants and then separated again using heat, whereby it costs 15 euros to capture one tonne of CO2. This value is well below the cost of other retrofittable capturing processes.  more...
 
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Using mines as pumped storage power plants

Pumped storage power plants are firmly established in the German power grid: surplus electricity can be stored for a moment and then quickly supplied during a demand peak. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Storing wind energy underground” (18/2013) presents a concept of how to reuse abandoned ore mines as pumped storage power plants. This type of underground electricity storage could expand the storage capacity of the power grid considerably. Unlike aboveground power plants, larger landscape interventions would be avoided.  more...
 
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Long-term forecasts for geothermal energy in Southern Germany

The alpine foreland is experiencing a geothermal energy boom. In the Greater Munich area alone, 15 geothermal heat stations and power plants are currently either in operation or under construction. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Sustainable use of deep geothermal energy” (17/2013) presents the results of a fundamental survey on regional impacts. This developed simulation model can be used to better predict the interplay between power plants, long-term operation and exploration risks of new plans.  more...
 
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“TEK-Tool” software supports energy consultants

Until now, analysing the weak spots of the architecture and building services equipment of existing non-residential buildings has been a very labour-intensive process. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Energy performance analysis of complex existing buildings” (16/2013) presents the new TEK-Tool developed for just this purpose. It lightens the required workload significantly. The program helps energy consultants understand actual consumption, evaluate partial energy consumptions, identify weak spots and calculate potential savings.  more...
 
Projekt Info 1513 engl quer1000

Assessing windows with a mobile measurement device

Until now, planners have lacked suitable tools for assessing whether to replace windows when refurbishing buildings. The newly published BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Making well-informed decisions when refurbishing windows” (15/2013) presents the Uwin software program. Uwin determines possible savings when refurbishing windows and facades. The base data for the calculations is provided by a mobile measurement device that measures the thermal insulation value Ug for the glazing.  more...
 
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Producing electricity with concentrated sunlight

The use of high-temperature solar heat for generating electricity has become an established technology. Scientists are now currently working on further optimising the components and concepts. The BINE-Themeninfo brochure “Solar thermal power plants” (II/2013) presents the main research areas. The authors describe the bases for solar thermal power plants, storage technologies and quality assurance processes.  more...
 
Projekt Info 1413 engl quer1000

Energy requirement contracts as Berlin-Adlershof expands

According to forecasts, by 2020, the relocation of businesses to Berlin-Adlershof will double today’s energy requirement at the expanding science and business park. A comprehensive energy concept has been developed to counter this trend. The newly published BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled “Technology park grows efficiently” (14/2013) presents a number of approaches to reducing the primary energy consumption by around one-third. Central to these approaches is the energy-efficient improvement and interlinking of buildings and supply systems and the introduction of an energy management system.  more...
 
Projekt Info 1313 engl quer1000

Heat from a mine

In the future, accumulating pit water will still need to be pumped out of former hard coal mines in the Ruhr area. This way, RAG ensures the ground’s stability and protects drinking water. The BINE Projektinfo brochure "Thermal heat from pit water" (13/2013) presents a pilot project at the Robert Müser mine in Bochum-Werne in which the heat energy of the pit water is decoupled and used for energetic purposes. Starting one year ago, it is being used to heat two schools, one swimming pool, a canteen and the main fire station of Bochum.  more...
 
Projekt Info 1213 engl quer1000

Reducing power losses in power supply units

High-frequency power supply units are used in almost every electronic device such as television sets, computers and monitors. In conventional devices, three to six per cent of the power supplied is lost in coils and transformers. The new BINE Projektinfo brochure “Increased efficiency for power supplies” (12/2013) presents optimised high frequency litz wires and windings with a higher degree of efficiency. Given the proliferation of electronic devices among consumers, every small advancement of any single device adds up to significant energy savings.  more...
 
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Offshore wind energy: Drilling instead of driving

The intention is to develop offshore wind energy in the German parts of the North and Baltic seas in an environmentally compatible manner. In order to reduce the noise emissions when erecting the wind turbines, a new drilling method has been developed for installing the foundation piles. The new BINE Projektinfo brochure “Low-noise anchoring of offshore wind turbines” (11/2013) presents the drilling rig and a concept for the subsequent construction sequence.  more...
 
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New production processes increase efficiency

The recently published BINE-Projektinfo brochure "Development of high-efficiency solar cells and modules" (10/2013) describes processes that make photovoltaic modules more durable and efficient. Scientists in the SONNE research consortium are working on increasing current module outputs of around 250 watts to more than 300 watts.  more...
 
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Tapping geothermal energy in inner cities

When new tunnel structures are constructed in inner cities, this provides an excellent opportunity to also tap geothermal energy parallel to this and with little expenditure and effort. This energy can be used, for example, for heating and cooling buildings. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Metro tunnels enable geothermal air-conditioning” (09/2013) presents a research project in Stuttgart. The aim is to research the effects of extracting heat from the surrounding ground.  more...
 
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Optimally marketing electricity from CHP plants

Combined heat and power (CHP) plants can also base their electricity generation on the fluctuating market prices. This means that the plants are oriented in accordance with the electricity demand but require other concepts for the local heating requirement. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Intelligently controlling CHP plants” (08/2013) presents a model project in which around 800 mini-CHP units are controlled at their respective, decentralised locations by a joint control room. The plants preferably work at times when the prices are high on the Energy Exchange. Surplus heat is stored.  more...
 
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Using solar heat in office and administrative buildings

Many modern office and administrative buildings attract the attention of passers-by with their large facades and glass surfaces. In order to put these surfaces to further use for heat and daylight provision in the future, researchers have developed a new facade system into which high performance evacuated tube collectors have been integrated. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Facade collectors with perspective” (07/2013) presents the research project and a first pilot system.  more...
 
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Saving energy for discount stores

Customers entering the energy-efficient pilot supermarket will first notice the unusual amount of daylight in the sales area. Behind the scenes, there are many innovative ideas waiting to be discovered in the freezers, heating and ventilation systems and the lights. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “The supermarket of the future saves energy” (06/2013) presents a research project in Rastatt and the experience gathered over two years of operation. The aim of the project is to save one-third of the primary energy used in conventional shops.  more...
 
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Continuous optimisation of heating systems for building management

In large buildings, a great deal of energy can be saved when heating systems and other building services equipment are more precisely adjusted. For this reason, a research project has focused on developing procedures and instruments which ensure automated recording of operating data, analyse errors and display optimisation options. The BINE Projektinfo brochure, “Optimum operation of heating systems in buildings” (05/2013) presents the concept and initial operational results in demonstration buildings.  more...
 
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Faster degreasing of aluminium foil

Aluminium which is almost completely airtight is used in households and industry in order to keep food fresh and warm. For this purpose, a foil thickness of less than 0.007 millimetres – even thinner than a human hair – is already sufficient. In order to achieve this degree of thinness, the aluminium foil is rolled in two layers. To ensure that it does not become stuck, separating grease which is not suitable for consumption is applied.  more...
 
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Efficient precision grinding of machine components

In mechanical engineering, maximum precision is required for the final machining. Therefore in order to ensure the quality of the workpieces, it is important that as little frictional heat as possible is created and the unavoidable rash is removed. The latest BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Energy efficient finishing in mechanical engineering” (03/2013) presents a new grinding process for the automotive industry that requires minimum amounts of lubricants and coolants. In comparison with the previously standard flood cooling, the new process halves the energy consumption.  more...
 
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Fuel cells supply parked trucks with electricity

Truck cabins provide both the workplace and home for drivers for days and even weeks. The communications technology, lighting and air conditioning in trucks therefore also require onboard power supplies during rest periods. The current BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Low-emission energy supplies at truck stops” (02/2013) presents a high-temperature fuel cell that has been developed for this purpose. For the first time, a system using diesel fuel has been developed, which was previously problematic because of the sulphur content.  more...
 
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Borehole thermal energy storage system integrated in solar heating network

Via a heating network, the Stadtwerke Crailsheim municipal utility company has used the opportunity to provide the new Hirtenwiesen housing estate with solar thermal energy right from the beginning. This has resulted in Germany’s largest solar thermal collector array, which in combination with two buffer storage tanks and a borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) system meets half the local heating requirements. This BTES system provides seasonal heat storage to meet requirements in winter. The latest BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Storing solar energy in the ground” (01/2013) presents the initial findings of the research project, with a particular focus on the storage system.  more...
 
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Open championships for energy-plus buildings

The decathlon is deemed a blue ribbon event in track and field athletics because of the versatility that is required. Precisely this ability to meet different requirements as comprehensively as possible is required with the Solar Decathlon. In this competition for completely solar powered homes, university teams from all over the world compete with their demonstration buildings. The latest BINE-Projektinfo brochure “In competition for the best energy-plus building” (17/2012) presents the two German entries at this year’s European event in Madrid. Adopting quite different approaches, teams from Constance and Aachen universities achieved fourth and fifth places among 18 participants.  more...
 
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Heating and cooling with improved heat transfer media

Until now water has usually been used as the heat transfer medium for transporting heat and supplying cooling ceilings with cooling energy. However, competition is now growing in particular application areas. Researchers have developed new heat transfer fluids (PCS – phase change slurries) that have at least double the energy density. The new BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Phase change stores heat” (16/2012) presents the fluids. Phase change materials such as paraffin, which are finely distributed in water, store heat when they melt and release it again when they solidify.  more...
 
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An urban district becomes energy efficient

The Freiburg district of Weingarten-West is well on the way to requiring less energy in future: the buildings are undergoing refurbishment and the district heating provision is being adapted. The first high-rise building that has been refurbished to the passive house standard stands out as a flagship project not just in visual terms. The latest BINE-Projektinfo brochure “On route to a low-energy urban district” (15/2012) presents this building in relation to the comprehensive district concept. The measures also include an information campaign for the residents.  more...
 
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Success contracting enables 15-year guarantee

Success contracting is a new approach for achieving and guaranteeing permanent quality during the building operation through the use of a modified tendering procedure. This is because building services equipment is complex, and new and fully renovated buildings provide no guarantee that the heating and ventilation systems automatically achieve the target values in practice that were specified during planning. The newly published BINE-Projektinfo brochure "Ensuring sustained user quality in buildings" (14/2012) presents the concept and the initial practical experience.  more...
 
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Future electricity provision in rural regions

The energy revolution cannot succeed without a modern and suitably adapted electricity grid, whereby nationwide concepts are required, and not just for the urban conurbations. Electricity networks in scarcely populated rural regions must be able to cope simultaneously with the small local requirements and continual increase in decentralised electricity generation. That is a consequence of the expansion of wind energy and PV systems in rural areas.  more...
 
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Superlubricity conserves materials and energy

Whenever components move in machines this creates friction. This friction wears down the materials and increases the energy consumption. A new carbon-based material with very low friction losses has now been tested, by way of example, in the automotive industry. The aim is to make it suitable for mass production purposes. The new BINE-Projektinfo brochure "Superlubricity in vehicles" (11/2012) presents the physical principles and the material properties of the diamond-like carbon coatings. The practical tests were conducted on axle drives.  more...
 
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Combining photovoltaics and solar thermal energy

Homeowners interested in utilising solar energy usually used to have to decide between generating solar thermal energy using collector systems or producing solar power with photovoltaic modules. However, new hybrid collectors now enable a joint solution. They combine both forms of solar energy in a single housing and thus create a uniform appearance on the roof. The new BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Using solar roofs twice over” (10/2012) presents the systems, two pilot projects and concepts for future technological optimisation. Solar energy systems with hybrid collectors are particularly suited for buildings with high heating requirements throughout the year.  more...
 
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Better light in interior spaces

Living in sufficiently lit spaces is an important factor for the wellbeing of people. Good lighting makes it easy to read and fosters a well-balanced day and night rhythm. Based on the example of schools and care homes, it was investigated how optimised lighting concepts and new lamp, luminaire and ballast technology can help to improve the light provided. The new BINE-Projektinfo brochure "Placing rooms in the right light" (09/2012) presents the results of various investigations. A main aim of the researchers was to lower the energy consumed for lighting purposes.  more...
 
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Lightweight roof structures reduce heat losses

With many historic buildings and in specific urban situations it is not possible to span internal courtyards and similar spaces with glass roofs. Such roofs could help, however, to reduce the heat loss from buildings. Nevertheless new possibilities are provided by lightweight and highly transparent structures made from textile membranes. The newly published BINE-Projektinfo brochure "Lightweight envelopes for old buildings" (08/2012) presents the innovative concepts and components as well as their demands on the building management. The films and membranes can also be printed or equipped with thin-film solar cells, whereby the incident light can be controlled.  more...
 
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Air-conditioning and cooling buildings with heat

The economic and ecological success of heating networks and large-scale solar thermal systems very much depends on a reliable heat output during the summer months. This makes the cooling and air-conditioning of buildings using thermally operated chillers an increasingly interesting market. The new BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Cooling with heat” (07/2012) presents a new generation of particularly compact absorption chillers with small outputs for cooling, air conditioning and heating operations.  more...
 
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Investigating underground corrosion processes

Deep geothermal plants in northern and southwestern Germany often work with highly saline thermal waters. The high salt content and pressure, dissolved gases and the temperature level mean that all plant components are at a high risk of corrosion. At the geothermal research plant at Groß Schönebeck, the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam is systemically investigating this issue. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Corrosion in geothermal plants” (06/2012) presents this work, which involves continually monitoring the physical and chemical parameters of the underground water and testing the corrosion resistance of different materials.  more...
 
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Field-testing fuel cell heating units

Fuel cells enable electricity and heat to be generated in a single process. In contrast to previous domestic heating systems, fuel cell heating units can supply both existing and new buildings with heat while also generating electricity as well. The new BINE-Projektinfo brochure “New approaches to supplying domestic energy” (05/2012) presents the initial findings from a research project in which natural gas-operated fuel cell heating units are being tested with private customers under realistic conditions. The aim is to further improve the systems in both technical and economic terms.  more...
 
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Efficiently driving industrial machines

In automation technology, every conveyor belt and robot arm requires drive energy. Without this and comparable systems, in particular the heavy components would remain at a standstill in the production. If the efficiency of electrical and pneumatic drive technology could be increased, the electricity requirements of industry would drop. The latest BINE-Projektinfo brochure, “Getting things moving with little energy” (04/2012), presents a potential study on energy efficient automation. In a joint project, three research institutes and three industrial companies have systematically researched and assessed the possibilities.  more...
 
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Washing, ironing, folding and saving energy

Enormous mountains of dirty linen are produced in hotels, hospitals and care homes. These are cleaned and ironed in laundries using considerable amounts of energy. For this purpose, textile service providers use flatwork ironers. A newly developed chest ironer manages that with a considerably reduced amount of energy. The ironer and the initial results are presented in the recently published BINE Projektinfo brochure “Ironing bed sheets in economy mode” (03/2012).  more...
 
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Generating electricity and heat from lean gas

Foundries in the metal industry produce considerable amount of lean gases. These have a low heating value and until now have only been used for generating heat. Cupola furnaces, which use large amounts of coking coal for melting metal, produce a combustible process gas called cupola furnace gas. In a research project, a dual fuel engine was modified in order to enable this gas to be used for the combined production of electricity and heat. The new BINE Projektinfo brochure “Generating electricity and heat from lean gas” (02/2012) provides an overview of the findings so far.  more...
 
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Utilising more green electricity for rail travel

With 12 billion kilowatt-hours per year, the German railway company Deutsche Bahn is one of the largest electricity consumers in Germany. What possibilities does rail transport therefore have for using more green electricity in future? A study from the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) has investigated the technical and economic options for this. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Rail travel with water and wind” (01/2012) presents the main findings.  more...
 

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