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    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...
     

    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...
     

    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...
     
    News 18.09.2014

    Molten salt transfers heat

    At the PE1 power plant in southern Spain, a demonstration plant has gone into operation that uses inorganic molten salt as the heat carrier. The advantage: Salt is inexpensive and can also be used as a heat storage medium. In addition, operating temperatures above 500 degrees Celsius can be achieved, which increases the efficiency by ten per cent.  more...
     

    Research funding for the energy turnaround increasing

    Energy research contributes towards the development of the processes and technologies necessary for achieving the goals of the energy turnaround. The German government has been continuously increasing funding for energy research since 2006. In 2013 alone, it spent 100 million euros more on this than in the prior year. This reinforced above all the research areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. It provided just under 300 million euros for each of these subjects.  more...
     
    Themeninfo I/2014

    Researching in the global network

    International research collaborations are becoming increasingly important. Germany is involved in a variety of ways in international energy research. An important pillar in this regard is its involvement in the International Energy Agency (IEA). Germany is a founding member of this organisation. An IEA field of activity particularly relevant to energy research is its energy technology network.  more...
     
    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...
     

    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...
     

    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...
     

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