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    Identifying risks and minimising them through regulations

    How safe and reliable are photovoltaic installations with lithium-ion storage systems? In order to find out, scientists are investigating different plant systems. The intention is to identify possible weak points – such as during transport and installation – so that they can be taken into account in future standardisation work.  more...
     

    Quadruple solar cell achieves record-breaking efficiency

    Researchers have developed a quadruple solar cell that converts 46 per cent of sunlight into electricity. The high-performance cells achieve this record-breaking efficiency in connection with optics that concentrate the light 508 times. If these cells were built in concentrator modules, energy would be produced even more economically in regions with high levels of sun.  more...
     
    News 15.12.2014

    Heating system keeps rotor blades ice-free

    In cold climate zones, the wind is particularly strong meaning best conditions for a wind turbine. However, in the cold temperatures there is the danger of ice that can freeze onto rotor blades. This can lead to imbalances, impairment of the rotor blade’s aerodynamics and a drop in the efficiency of the turbine. The so-called carbon-nanotube coating offers a solution.  more...
     

    Combining compost and biogas

    A new method improves the energy balance and processing capacity of composting plants. With the usual composting process, considerable energy is consumed to provide the required mechanical ventilation. In the new method, the liquid organic components of the organic waste are separated in advance and are used for producing biogas. This enables energy to be generated in the plants. For the project, a new biofilm digester has been designed which provides cost advantages relative to other digestion processes.  more...
     

    Fast-track testing of nacelles

    In Bremerhaven, a test rig is being developed that can test complete wind turbine nacelles in the multi-megawatt class. Unprecedented: a load transmission system mechanically simulates the wind loads occurring in the field. The researchers are investigating the electrical components using a simulated electricity grid. Laboratory tests are also providing information on how wind turbine concepts can be improved. With these properties, the test rig has the world’s most powerful grid simulation system.  more...
     
    News 11.11.2014

    Low-cost collector integration in buildings

    To promote the spread of solar thermal energy further, the cost of system components must come down. Under the stewardship of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, scientists have developed collectors with absorbers and coverings produced from low-cost plastic. Over 30 terraced houses in the Mortensrud neighbourhood near Oslo in Norway have been fitted with the new technology and showcased recently to the public.  more...
     
    News 05.11.2014

    New coating protects masts from corrosion

    Submerged sections of offshore plants provide the ideal habitat for colonisation by mussels and microorganisms. This can lead to biologically-induced corrosion and premature wear. To inhibit this, new coatings and surface structures are being developed by 14 partners from science and industry in the Foulprotect project. These are intended to protect plant foundations against "biofouling".  more...
     

    Vacuum tank stores heat

    An efficient long-term heat storage tank boosts the shares of fraction of solar thermal energy systems in buildings. Staff at Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research and at steel and metal engineering company Hummelsberger have developed a storage system that minimises thermal losses and optimises temperature stratification. A vacuum between the inner and outer tank combined with a perlite powder filling reduces the thermal conductivity of the storage tank shell.  more...
     
    News 06.10.2014

    Optimal integration of photovoltaic systems in the grid

    More and more photovoltaic systems feed electricity into the distribution grid. If the electricity generated locally is not used locally by consumers, this can increase the voltage in the grid. In the PV-Integrated research project, scientists are developing inverter control systems which help stabilise the grid. The new models are currently being evaluated in field tests.  more...
     

    Making district heating renewable

    Three research teams have investigated how the proportion of renewable energies can be increased in district heating networks. Custom strategies were developed in this respect for the model regions Jena and Ulm. The key lay in identifying the appropriate renewable energy sources and in understanding the potential these exhibit and the effect their inclusion would have on the efficiency of the networks. The project also comprises a survey of existing heat networks with best practice analyses.  more...
     

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