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    Solar thermal and photovoltaic power plants in comparison

    How will the market for photovoltaic and solar thermal power plants develop in the coming decades? Which technology is economically more efficient? And what opportunities are offered by combined power plant systems in sunny regions? A study carried out by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) has investigated the development of these power plants until 2030.  more...
     
    News 26.10.2016

    Learning and working in an energy-plus school

    Uhland School in Stuttgart, which dates back to the 1950s, no longer accorded with today's structural and energetic standards. The renovation work is now almost complete and the City of Stuttgart is getting its first energy-plus school. A photovoltaic system on the roof and façade of the building covers the electricity requirement.  more...
     
    News 11.08.2016

    Pilot production of thermoelectric modules

    Thermoelectric generators convert waste heat directly into electricity. They utilise temperature differences and are paving the way for more energy-efficient production processes. However, the technology has previously led a niche existence because the module production is labour-intensive and therefore expensive. Researchers from Freiburg now want to improve this.  more...
     
    News 26.07.2016

    Hydrogen – storing energy in metals

    Metal hydrides store hydrogen and heat. Their use in thermochemical storage systems is hampered, however, by the material's poor heat conductivity. To increase the charging and discharging performance, researchers are pelletising the material together with graphite, which has a high thermal conductivity. With different metal hydrides they can cover the temperature range from room temperature up to 400 degrees Celsius.  more...
     
    Projektinfo 10/2016

    Fuel cell generates electricity and heat for homes

    Highly efficient, low-emission and quiet: as small-scale combined-heat-and-power stations, new fuel cell heating units produce heat energy and electrical energy with an efficiency of over 90 per cent. They have proven themselves in extensive tests in single and two-family homes, and their operation and design have been improved incrementally. The first units are now on the market. They run on natural gas, and on hydrogen and methane produced using renewable energy or biomass. Decentralised fuel cells can generate demand-oriented electricity, and they can be used in a grid-friendly or grid-independent way.  more...
     
    News 18.07.2016

    First liquid salt storage facility with one tank

    High-temperature heat storage tanks ensure that power plants work more flexibly and industrial process heat can be temporarily stored. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have therefore developed a heat storage tank for temperatures up to 560 degrees Celsius, which stores the heat in molten salt. Construction work on the testing facility began at the start of July 2016.  more...
     

    Dry lignite increases flexibility

    Shoulder to shoulder with the energy transition: Coal plants are becoming more flexible to enable more energy from renewable sources to be used to supply the electricity grid. The output from renewable sources is currently not enough to meet the entire energy demand in Germany at all times. But their share is growing. This is transforming the role of conventional power plants: instead of providing constant base loads, they now have to cover fluctuating residual loads. To achieve this, pilot burners with integrated plasma ignition are being used for the first time in the world at a power plant in Jänschwalde in Brandenburg. These are using dry lignite as the fuel.  more...
     

    Generating syngas from plastic wastes

    A newly developed gasification process utilises waste plastics, carbon-containing sorting residues and rubber parts as well as shredded materials in the automotive industry. It can also process chlorine-containing plastic streams with PVC fractions in an environmentally friendly and efficient manner. It produces a purified syngas without flue gas emissions. In the process, lime serves as a transport medium and simultaneously binds halogens and other harmful substances. The gas generated in the shaft kiln can replace valuable primary energy sources such as natural gas in high-temperature processes or be used to generate electricity in efficient gas engines.  more...
     
    Themeninfo I/2016

    Thermoelectrics: power from waste heat

    Waste heat is produced in all areas of daily life – in industry, homes and transport. In Germany alone, this adds up to a waste heat potential of 300 TWh per year. This energy volume corresponds to nearly half the total energy consumed by German industry. Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) can tap into this huge energy reservoir and transform the "waste energy" without moving parts into a higher form of energy.  more...
     
    News 03.02.2016

    Coal gasification – efficient and flexible

    Taken together with renewable energy sources, conventional power plants are of particular importance. Although the share of solar and wind energy continues to rise, conventional power plants will still remain necessary for the time being. But they need to be more flexible now: on the one hand, flexible in terms of their performance, and on the other in terms of fuel. Gasification of solid fuels is one way in which conventional power plants could be operated in the future. In the HotVeGas research project, scientists are examining the possibilities of this technology on a fundamental level. The third project phase is starting in January 2016.  more...
     

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