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    News 17.07.2014

    Database shows output from renewables

    The sources of renewable energy –sun, wind, water and biomass – account for a large share of the electricity production in Germany. At the beginning of July 2014, solar energy covered the entire peak load. This is shown in the new online “Energy Charts” database at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.  more...
     
    News 19.05.2014

    Rotating receiver heats up ceramic beads

    Until now, tube receivers have been used in solar tower power plants to absorb the concentrated solar rays and convert them into heat. The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is now pursuing a new approach. In a rotating receiver, ceramic particles are evenly heated up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. The advantage of this is that the beads also act as a storage medium. The centrifugal receiver at the Jülich solar tower is scheduled to enter operation from mid-2015.  more...
     

    “Wind energy has excellent prospects inland”

    One of the highest wind measurement masts in Europe has been standing on top of a wooded hill near Kassel since 2011. The mast is being used to investigate the wind layers between 100 and 200 metres in height and the influence of forest cover and terrain inclinations on the wind profile and generation of turbulence. The measured values, which are obtained using conventional sensors on the mast, are also used to validate and further develop laser-based LiDAR methods. In the interview, Paul Kühn, Group Manager for Onshore Site Assessment at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology IWES, talks about the project’s initial results and future prospects.  more...
     

    Accelerated ageing of collectors

    In the desert, in the Alps and along the coast: at these locations, solar collectors are exposed to a combination of high UV radiation along with salty and humid air. That stresses the components in solar thermal systems and makes them age faster. Until now, however, this has not been adequately investigated. For this reason, Fraunhofer ISE is now developing tests to accelerate the ageing of collectors in different climate conditions. The preliminary findings are being provided by the SpeedColl project.  more...
     

    “Secure provision of data centres with renewable energies”

    The RenewIT project is researching how data centres can make greater use of renewable energies. That is an important goal for project partner Thorsten Urbaneck, who is a private lecturer at Chemnitz University of Technology. This is because it is estimated that data centres consume two per cent of the electricity used in Europe – and the trend is increasing.  more...
     

    Storing summer heat until winter

    In the SolSpaces project, researchers from the Institute for Thermodynamics and Thermal Engineering at the University of Stuttgart are developing a new heating concept for compact residential buildings. This includes a collector system with a thermochemical storage system that can store the solar thermal energy from summer until winter. The scientific monitoring has begun.  more...
     
    News 01.04.2014

    Less expensive production of thin-film modules

    In the CIGSfab project, the developers have managed to both improve the production of thin-film modules and make them less expensive. In its innovative production line, the Manz AG engineering company has reduced its manufacturing costs by ten per cent. In addition, the company has also made greater use of laser technology and has thus increased the efficiency of the modules by 0.5 per cent. The new production plant therefore makes thin-film photovoltaics a serious competitor for multicrystalline silicon modules.  more...
     
    Projektinfo 04/2014

    Swift construction of pipelines

    The laying of pipes, for example for heating networks, has previously been a labour intensive and time consuming occupation. With the newly developed “Pipe Express” method, a special tunnel boring machine drills through the ground at speeds of up to 1.2 metres per minute and conveys the soil directly to the surface instead of displacing it sideways. At the same time, the steel or concrete pipe is inserted into the horizontal borehole. In comparison with the open cut method, the process requires less than a fifth of the normal trench width and can also be used without lowering the groundwater level.  more...
     

    Energy from a thousand suns

    Multi-junction solar cells were originally developed as energy sources for space flight applications. Their output is high but their manufacture is complex. With their perfectly matched layers, the cells utilise a much wider spectrum of sunlight than silicon cells. For terrestrial use, the multi-junction solar cells are combined with concentrator systems. Like a magnifying glass, these focus a hundred- to thousand-fold concentrated beam of light onto the pinhead-sized solar cells. For this purpose, a solar tracker is used to enable the entire system to track the precise position of the sun. A new record solar cell has achieved an efficiency of more than 44 per cent.  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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