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    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...
     
    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...
     

    Limiting peak temperatures in collectors

    The stagnation temperature of evacuated tube collectors can rise to 300 °C. That places considerable stress on the components. Researchers at the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) have therefore specifically deployed organic media, such as acetone or butane, in a specially developed test rig for heat pipes. This reduces this temperature to 140 °C while maintaining the high efficiency. The use of aluminium heat pipes also dispenses with the need for expensive copper.  more...
     

    Storing solar energy with new materials

    The interdisciplinary NEOTHERM junior research group at Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg is developing new materials for storing thermal energy. Using new composite materials, the scientists at the Faculty of Process and Systems Engineering (FVST) want to recover and store unused solar thermal energy and waste heat from industry. This energy can be used, for example, for heating domestic hot water or for space heating.  more...
     

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