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    Storing solar energy with new materials

    The interdisciplinary NEOTHERM junior research group at Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg is developing new materials for storing thermal energy. Using new composite materials, the scientists at the Faculty of Process and Systems Engineering (FVST) want to recover and store unused solar thermal energy and waste heat from industry. This energy can be used, for example, for heating domestic hot water or for space heating.  more...
     

    “Heat pumps are ready for the smart grid”

    Over the last few years, heat pumps have become more efficient. In a recent interview, Marek Miara, head of the heat pump unit at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, talked about research results and future development potential. His team has completed three large-scale monitoring projects in old and new buildings.  more...
     

    Bee and bumblebee begin field tests

    As part of a joint project with Vattenfall and ZAE Bayern, scientists from the TU Berlin have developed two new absorption chillers. The 50-kW unit, which the researchers have nicknamed Bee, and the larger 160-kW unit called Bumblebee use heat at a low temperature level for generating cooling energy. The prototypes are smaller, lighter and more powerful than comparable systems on the market. A field test is now starting.  more...
     
    Projektinfo 03/2013

    Energy-efficient finishing in mechanical engineering

    When producing machine components, the grinding stage is a production process with comparatively low energy efficiency. Up to 90% of the energy deployed is released as frictional heat. Large amounts of lubricants and coolants flood the workpieces and tools to cool them. The supply of coolants and their processing require enormous expenditure, including in terms of the energy. Researchers from industry and science have therefore jointly developed new processes that produce significant savings potential with minimum lubrication.  more...
     

    Getting things moving with little energy

    47 per cent of the net electricity consumed in Germany is used by industry. Particularly in automation technology, robot arms would not move without drive energy and heavy components would remain at a standstill in the production. A potential study recommends new solutions for energy optimised system operations. The intention is to increase the energy productivity of the electrical and pneumatic drive technology by up to 50 per cent.  more...
     

    Ironing bed sheets in economy mode

    Laundries consume a total of around 2 kWh of energy per kg of linen; 90 % of this energy is used for generating heat. A flatwork ironer manufacturer from eastern Westphalia has therefore adapted its heat generation system by using a gas burner. In addition, an improved control system manages the temperature of the thermal oil-heated heating band technology that substantially determines the ironer performance. In order to recycle heat, an air-water heat exchanger is used that utilises the warm exhaust air for heating the fresh water.  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...
     

    Transforming waste heat into electricity

    Anyone generating electricity or operating high-temperature industrial processes produces waste heat. This waste heat is often not utilised, since its economic use does not seem viable. Small plants using the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) promise help here: they make the waste heat usable in the form of electricity, improve the cost-effectiveness and reduce CO2 emissions. Researchers from Saarland have developed an engine that uses low-temperature heat to generate electricity very efficiently for a large range of uses.  more...
     

    Researching facts for energy research

    The Internet offers rapid and convenient access to information - including for energy research. However, when it comes to obtaining reliable, complete and quotable information for research purposes, there is no real alternative to using specialist databases. This is the conclusion of scientists from the ETDE (Energy Technology Data Exchange). In a study they compared the search results provided by their ETDEWEB database with those from Google and Google Scholar, whereby they used search terms from different areas concerned with energy transformation and utilisation. The main thematic focus was on renewable energies, but energy efficient technologies such as recycling waste heat or utilising daylight in office buildings were also looked at.  more...
     

    Efficient heating

    Several industrial products have to go through fire during production. In the metalworking industry, in the production of glass, ceramics and building materials as well as in parts of the food industry, heating processes are key production steps. About 65% of the industry's final energy requirement is expended on it. In Germany, industry furnaces are chiefly produced by small and medium-sized companies and close to every second furnace is exported.  more...
     

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