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    “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...
     
    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...
     

    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...
     

    Tapping foreign markets with business trips

    The two Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency export initiatives help small- and medium-sized enterprises to open foreign markets. In order to make contact with potential cooperation partners, they are offering diverse business trips to Europe and the rest of the world this year. The service includes an analysis of the specific interests of the companies taking part. Based on this, the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce Abroad (AHKs) are organising individual meetings for the participants with representatives from business, science and administration.  more...
     
    News 16.01.2014

    More powerful solar cells go into pilot production

    In the SONNE joint project, researchers and companies have cooperatively developed high-performance solar cells and integrated them in glass-glass modules. The process has enabled the module capacity to be increased by more than 20 per cent. In the pilot production, an output of more than 300 watts has been achieved. By way of comparison: modules with 60 cells currently usually have a rated output of between 240 and 260 watts.  more...
     

    Predicting material fatigue of solar modules

    Snow loads, temperature fluctuations and wind gusts: solar modules are exposed to a variety of environmental factors which lead to material fatigue over the years. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM have developed a method of calculating the effects of these influences. Their simulation model predicts when a material will break or peel off.  more...
     
    News 11.09.2013

    An island becomes power-independent

    The North Frisian island of Pellworm has been a showcase for energy research since the early 1980s. The largest solar farm in Europe was installed there in 1983. In 1989, wind turbines were added to create Europe’s largest hybrid power plant. Now, the island is due to become power-independent, with an intelligent electricity grid with large-scale storage facilities and a large number of home storage systems.  more...
     

    Power plants become partners of renewables

    The “Partner-Dampfkraftwerk” research project, which has now begun, aims to significantly improve the demand-driven integration of electricity from fluctuating energy sources. For this purpose, their goal is that existing power plants will reliably balance out the fluctuating power from wind turbines or photovoltaic systems, in order to ensure grid stability. The optimisation measures could already be installed in the short term in existing power plants. With this aim in mind, four power plant operators are collaborating with three research institutes and two components manufacturers, under the project management of VGB PowerTech.  more...
     

    Development of high-efficiency solar cells and modules

    Research institutes, photovoltaic producers, system manufacturers and solar industry suppliers are working together to produce more powerful and durable modules in a more efficient manner. In the SONNE project, companies and researchers are optimising the output and production of modules made of crystalline silicon cells, whereby they are covering the entire production chain and are making the new developments ready for production in a short time. With their developments they want to reduce the costs of solar power by a third.  more...
     

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