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    Degreasing aluminium foil using corona treatment

    Rolls of aluminium foil commonly used in households have already been in the oven for up to one hundred hours before coming into contact with food. The heat causes the separating agent needed during production to evaporate. Without the grease, the foil cannot be rolled so thinly, and the consumption of aluminium, which requires a considerable amount of energy, would be greater. The aim is to replace the costly degreasing procedure with a corona treatment. During this procedure, high-energy electrons come into contact with the foil. The method can be integrated inline, in other words directly, into the production flow.  more...
     

    Long-term storage system in lime

    What potential is provided by thermochemical storage systems? Researchers at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have been pursuing this question. With a new test plant they are investigating the extent to which solar heat can be stored thermochemically for industrial processes and solar power plants.  more...
     

    Solar heat for a cool draught

    The privately-owned Hofmühl brewery in Eichstätt is doing it - and so is the Hütt brewery in Kassel-Baunatal. They use solar heat to support their production processes. With around 1,300 breweries in Germany, there is significant potential here for solar-supported brewing processes. The Department of Thermal Power Engineering at the University of Kassel has published a guide on using solar process heat which describes how this potential can be exploited. Now, scientists are following suit with a detailed concept for the sector.  more...
     

    Using solar roofs twice over

    Instead of screwing various module and collector types for solar power and solar heat on the roof, an obvious idea would be to use a hybrid collector that can do both and which creates a uniform appearance. In addition to generating photovoltaic electricity, which only utilises 15-20 % of the incident solar radiation, a so-called PVT collector can use the remaining radiation energy for generating heat. Researchers are working on optimising the output and production of these systems.  more...
     

    Cooling with heat

    The economic and ecological success of many CHP plants, district heating networks and large-scale solar power systems very much depends on the utilisation of heat outside of the heating periods. An increasingly interesting market for low-temperature heat is cooling and air-conditioning buildings as well as generating process cooling energy with thermally driven chillers. Scientists from Berlin and Bavaria have developed a new generation of particularly compact, efficient absorption chillers with small capacities for cooling and heating operations.  more...
     

    Generating electricity and heat from lean gas

    Large volumes of carbon (coke) are used for the melting process in the cupola furnace, whereby a combustible process gas is formed as a by-product. This so-called cupola furnace gas has a low heating value and has previously been completely combusted for generating the hot blast in the cupola furnace's recuperator. However, in this process only around 35 % of the contained energy is used thermally. Now it is possible to utilise the remaining 65 % of the chemically bound energy that was previously not used in most foundries: a modified biogas combined heat and power plant runs with cupola furnace gas (CFG) from the melting furnace.  more...
     

    Storage systems increasingly in the research spotlight

    Technologies for storing energy will play a decisive role in future. They are essential not just for balancing out the supply of fluctuating renewable resources such as solar power and wind energy but also for continuing to ensure a reliable energy provision. At the same time, storage systems in electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles are paving the way for a mobile future beyond the fossil fuel era. Future storage systems formed the focus of attention at the first "Energy Storage Symposium", which was held by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) at the beginning of March.  more...
     

    Climate award for synthesis gas

    A special purpose project company founded by Fels-Werke GmbH from Goslar in Germany has won the Innovation Award for Climate and Environment for a process that uses lime to produce pure synthesis gas from pollutant-rich waste and biomass. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology provided 4.5 million euros of support for this project. Since 2009, this award has been honouring concepts from Germany that contribute to climate and environmental protection and, at the same time, strengthen the country as a business location.  more...
     

    The sunny side of saturated steam

    While the amount of process heat produced from solar sources is still low, the potential is high. Heating chemical baths, generating solar cooling and using hot air in a drying oven: these are classic examples of process applications. Now a metal finishing plant near Wuppertal has achieved first time worldwide by connecting its own steam network to parabolic trough collectors in which steam is generated directly in the absorber pipe. This simple technology eliminates the need for thermal oil as a heat transfer medium and saves on fossil generated energy.  more...
     

    Highly-efficient flow of current

    Copper cables only conduct electricity under resistance, meaning the cable heats up and energy is lost. In contrast, superconductors conduct electricity without loss. Their use in cable and generator projects thus increases the efficiency of the electricity supply infrastructure. With this in mind, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is promoting the cost-effective production of superconductive band conductors at the manufacturer Zenergy Power with funding of 3.5 million euros.  more...
     

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