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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...

    World record for both sides-contacted silicon solar cells

    With a new process for backside contacting, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have set a new record for both sides-contacted silicon solar cells. The scientists achieved an efficiency of 25.1 per cent with an ultra-thin, tunnel oxide back contact. This is applied over the entire surface and does not require complicated processing steps for texturing the cell’s rear side.  more...

    Rotor blade, nacelle and foundation put to the test

    Whether on land or in the sea, wind turbines are getting bigger and the towers higher. All components undergo various preliminary tests, in order to ensure that they can withstand the strains that wind and weather place on them. In recent years, large test facilities have become available in Germany, in which complete rotor blades, nacelles, and foundations are tested. On 21 October 2015, centres will present their supply ranges at a workshop for experts.  more...

    Safely navigating jets close to wind farms

    Until now, it has been difficult or even impossible to construct wind turbines near radio range beacons or radar systems used for navigating air traffic. These systems block what would otherwise be suitable locations. The extent to which rotors deflect or change signals has, however, not yet been studied in any scientific detail. Two research teams in Braunschweig are therefore working in separate projects on these basic data.  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...
    Projektinfo 06/2015

    Stable grid with 100 per cent green electricity

    In a power grid, the energy provided must always be equal to the power demanded. Only then can frequency and voltage remain stable. Ensuring this is the task of grid operators. But when volatile — meaning not arbitrarily adjustable — energy sources are the main sources of electrical energy, grid operators face a challenge.  more...

    Testing towers and foundations

    Manufacturers are offering ever larger and more powerful wind turbines for utilising wind power. As the wind turbine sizes increase, the wind and weather take an increasing toil on the structures and turbine components. Hanover University’s Test Center Support Structures opened in 2014 to enable the components used for the tower and foundations to be tested and optimised in advance.  more...

    Solar houses scientifically evaluated

    With more than 1,700 buildings realised, solar active houses are no longer a marginal phenomenon. However, what has been lacking until now is a scientific evaluation of this heat supply concept. For this reason, researchers have measured nine solar houses over several heating seasons. Project manager Gerhard Stryi-Hipp has now presented the interim results at the OTTI Symposium on “Thermal Solar Energy”.  more...

    Steel beats copper

    The so-called embossing stretch forming process is an established method used in the manufacture of radiators. Researchers have now adapted this process for the production of solar absorbers. Instead of using expensive copper, this method also enables steel and aluminium to be processed in large numbers and with flexible lengths. An adapted channel design compensates for the lower thermal conductivity of steel. This enables them to achieve the same thermal efficiency as conventional absorbers – and also save money.  more...

    Standardised feed in of solar heat

    Solar thermal systems are very suitable for retrofitting into existing buildings. However, a lack of standardisation exists when coupling the system to a district heating network. Viessmann and the Technical University of Dresden are therefore developing suggestions for future standardisation. This should help to reduce the planning effort required and save costs through unification of the various circuit variants.  more...



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