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    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...
     
    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...
     

    Solar thermal power plants

    The annual solar irradiation on the earth provides more than 8,000 times the world’s energy requirements. Mathematically speaking, about 1 % of the surface area of the Sahara Desert is sufficient in order to meet the world’s electricity requirements with solar thermal power plants. A solar thermal power plant was already constructed close to Cairo at the beginning of the 20th century. Using parabolic mirrors, the power plant captured and concentrated solar energy and used it to heat oil for boiling water. This in turn was used to drive steam turbines and produce electricity.  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...
     

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