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    Greater efficiency: Generating steam in receivers

    On the Plataforma Solar de Almería in southern Spain, scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have developed a new way of generating solar steam. In the installation, the steam used for producing electricity is generated directly in the receiver tubes in the parabolic troughs. This therefore eliminates intermediate steps using heat transfer media and also enables higher operating temperatures of up to 550 degrees Celsius. This should therefore enable parabolic trough power plants to produce electricity more efficiently and cheaply.  more...
    News 29.07.2015

    Energy thanks to lunar power

    Researchers are developing a new approach for generating energy from tidal currents. Here they are combining a semi-submerged platform with several small-sized instream turbines. This means that the tidal power plant requires less maintenance than is usually required. However, in order to achieve the highest possible energy yields it requires strong water currents. Canada’s Bay of Fundy has an exceptionally high tidal range exceeding 15 metres. This is where it is planned to build the hydropower plant so that it can provide the first electricity in 2017.  more...
    News 24.06.2015

    Nickel alloys allow for higher temperatures inside power plants

    Higher temperature differences can increase the efficiency of power plants, and thus lower CO2 emissions. The lower limit is determined by the outside or ambient temperature, and the upper limit depends on material properties. As part of the research project HWT II (high-temperature material test track II), experts examined the behaviour of thick-walled pipe and fitting components during the required flexible operation at temperatures of up to 725 °C.  more...
    News 25.03.2015

    Biomass in coal-fired power plants can improve carbon footprint

    Using simulations for fuel flexibility, researchers hope to uncover the true extent of potential improvement to the carbon footprint of existing power stations. One option that exists is to add biomass to coal in the form of woodchips. Though at higher rates of co-combustion in particular, electrical power consumption in the crushing process increases enormously. This can be reduced with the proper pretreatment.  more...

    Thermochemical storage systems for continuous load

    Through the “Thermochemical energy storage unit for thermal power plants and industrial heat” project (TcET), researchers at TU Munich hope to increase the flexibility of fossil fuel power plants. The trick in all of this: If no or a reduced volume of electrical power is required, the plant does not power down. The surplus energy rather is temporarily stored in thermochemical storage systems.  more...
    News 24.10.2014

    COORETEC celebrates 10 years of power plant research

    In October, the COORETEC research initiative organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy celebrated its tenth anniversary in Berlin. In recent years, around 500 research projects have been initiated and funded with more than 500 million euros invested by both the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and the industry.  more...

    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...
    Themeninfo I/2014

    Researching in the global network

    International research collaborations are becoming increasingly important. Germany is involved in a variety of ways in international energy research. An important pillar in this regard is its involvement in the International Energy Agency (IEA). Germany is a founding member of this organisation. An IEA field of activity particularly relevant to energy research is its energy technology network.  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...


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