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    Research funding for the energy turnaround increasing

    Energy research contributes towards the development of the processes and technologies necessary for achieving the goals of the energy turnaround. The German government has been continuously increasing funding for energy research since 2006. In 2013 alone, it spent 100 million euros more on this than in the prior year. This reinforced above all the research areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. It provided just under 300 million euros for each of these subjects.  more...
     

    CO2 capturing using lime

    CO2 can be separated from the flue gases from power plants. However, the processes developed for this have been very expansive until now. When capturing CO2 using quicklime, on the other hand, the costs are much lower – around 15 euros per tonne of CO2. These plants for capturing CO2 from exhaust gases can be retrofitted in existing power plants. The Technische Universität Darmstadt has demonstrated the process using a one-megawatt pilot plant. The solid material produced – quicklime – could be interesting for cement plants, since this would reduce their energy consumption.  more...
     
    News 13.02.2014

    Where renewable power plants pay off

    With the FreeGreenius simulation programme, engineers can calculate which yields can be achieved by a renewable power plant project at a specific location. In addition, the tool also enables them to plan how the installation must be designed and sized in order to feed in the desired amount of electricity into the grid. Designers of solar power plants and wind turbines can therefore gain an initial insight into whether a power plant is viable and under what conditions. The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) offers the software free of charge for downloading.  more...
     
    News 07.01.2014

    Efficiently capturing carbon dioxide with spray scrubbers

    Spray scrubbers have been successfully used in power plants for years for desulphurising flue gas. Now it is intended that they should scrub another material – namely climate-harming carbon dioxide (CO2). Until now a hurdle preventing large-scale CO2 capturing has been the high investment costs for the plant technology and the considerable amount of energy required for the operation. The University of Stuttgart is therefore working with partners to improve this process.  more...
     

    Thinner tube walls make power plants more flexible

    A consortium from science, manufacturers and power plant operators is investigating the new materials under real conditions at the GKM power plant in Mannheim (Grosskraftwerk Mannheim). Professor Karl Maile, Commercial Director of the Materials Testing Institute at the University of Stuttgart (MPA Stuttgart), is heading the scientific support research on the high-temperature material test facilities (HWT I and II). In the interview, he talked about the importance of the ongoing material development for the flexibility and efficiency of power plants.  more...
     

    Solar thermal power plants

    The annual solar irradiation on the earth provides more than 8,000 times the world’s energy requirements. Mathematically speaking, about 1 % of the surface area of the Sahara Desert is sufficient in order to meet the world’s electricity requirements with solar thermal power plants. A solar thermal power plant was already constructed close to Cairo at the beginning of the 20th century. Using parabolic mirrors, the power plant captured and concentrated solar energy and used it to heat oil for boiling water. This in turn was used to drive steam turbines and produce electricity.  more...
     

    Ceramics reduce energy needed to separate air

    Cryogenic air separation, a process employed to produce oxygen, requires a lot of energy. This high energy consumption impairs the efficiency of a number of industrial processes and procedures used to separate carbon dioxide from exhaust gases. In the context of the MEM-OXYCOAL research project headed by RWTH Aachen University, scientists have developed membranes that improve the energy efficiency of oxygen separation.  more...
     

    Compact design for decentralised gas turbines

    Small gas turbines are relatively inefficient. In the wake of the energy turnaround, demand for intermediate electricity storage systems is increasing. Scientists at RWTH Aachen and TU Freiberg are working on a new design concept to increase the efficiency of current small gas turbines.  more...
     
    News 11.09.2013

    An island becomes power-independent

    The North Frisian island of Pellworm has been a showcase for energy research since the early 1980s. The largest solar farm in Europe was installed there in 1983. In 1989, wind turbines were added to create Europe’s largest hybrid power plant. Now, the island is due to become power-independent, with an intelligent electricity grid with large-scale storage facilities and a large number of home storage systems.  more...
     

    Power plants become partners of renewables

    The “Partner-Dampfkraftwerk” research project, which has now begun, aims to significantly improve the demand-driven integration of electricity from fluctuating energy sources. For this purpose, their goal is that existing power plants will reliably balance out the fluctuating power from wind turbines or photovoltaic systems, in order to ensure grid stability. The optimisation measures could already be installed in the short term in existing power plants. With this aim in mind, four power plant operators are collaborating with three research institutes and two components manufacturers, under the project management of VGB PowerTech.  more...
     

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