Energy and Resources – Renewable Energy

In Germany, wind energy is the number one renewable power source. Offshore wind farms in particular require innovation, since they must be planned and built to withstand the wear of wind, water, salt, UV rays and waves over the 20 years or so of their service lives. Photovoltaic systems and solar thermal systems are what allow us to harness the sun’s energy for our use. Fraunhofer researchers are hard at work trying to make these systems even more efficient. Meanwhile, Germany now has a significant market for biomass energy and one of the primary aims of modern biotechnology is finding a way to produce biomass efficiently.

Energie und Rohstoffe

Projects

How do offshore wind farms change the wind?

Research project X-Wakes “Interaction Between the Wakes of Large Offshore Wind Farms and Wind Farm Clusters With the Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer”

November 1, 2019, saw the start of the X-Wakes “Interaction Between the Wakes of Large Offshore Wind Farms and Wind Farm Clusters With the Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer” research project, which is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to the tune of € 3.4 million over a period of three years. In the scope of X-Wakes, the researchers will be investigating how the wind conditions in the German Bight could change if offshore wind farms are expanded on a large scale. The project team will use data from extensive measurement campaigns and high-fidelity modelling approaches to improve industry models that are afterwards used to analyze the impact of the offshore wind farm cluster expansions.

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Fraunhofer ISE Sets Two Records for the Efficiency of Silicon-Based Monolithic Triple-Junction Solar Cells

August 29, 2019

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have once again succeeded in raising the efficiency value of monolithic triple-junction solar cells made of silicon and III-V semiconductor materials. Using a combination of multiple absorber materials, these multi-junction photovoltaic cells exploit the energy from the solar spectrum significantly better than conventional silicon solar cells. The world record for a monolithic multi-junction solar cell manufactured by wafer bonding has been increased to 34.1% and an efficiency record of 24.3% achieved for a solar cell with the III-V semiconductor layers deposited directly on the silicon..

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SUNRISE – A preparatory action towards a European large scale research initiative

The European Project SUNRISE, “Solar energy for a circular economy”, has been selected as one of the six Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) within the Horizon 2020 programme. Funded with €1M, it will last one year (starting in spring 2019), setting the basis for a European large scale research project.

The SUNRISE Vision is a radical and ambitious scientific and technological approach for solar energy conversion and storage to provide a sustainable alternative to fossil-based, energy-intensive production of fuels and base chemicals. This is fully aligned with the recently released European Commission long-term strategy for a climate neutral Europe by 2050.

SUNRISE joins together stakeholders from academia, industry, policy and society, including NGOs and global players in the energy, chemicals and automotive sectors, to develop the S&T roadmap of a large research initiative in the Energy, Environment and Climate Change area.

Technologies for the Energy Transition

© Fraunhofer ISE / Thomas Klink

"Energiewende": An energy transition. Over 2000 Fraunhofer staff members are researching the widest possible variety of technologies in order to make sure that in the future more electricity enters power grids from renewable sources. One example is the concentrator solar cell.

Fraunhofer ISE Sets Two Records for the Efficiency of Silicon-Based Monolithic Triple-Junction Solar Cells

29.8.2019

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have once again succeeded in raising the efficiency value of monolithic triple-junction solar cells made of silicon and III-V semiconductor materials. Using a combination of multiple absorber materials, these multi-junction photovoltaic cells exploit the energy from the solar spectrum significantly better than conventional silicon solar cells. The world record for a monolithic multi-junction solar cell manufactured by wafer bonding has been increased to 34.1% and an efficiency record of 24.3% achieved for a solar cell with the III-V semiconductor layers deposited directly on the silicon.

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WInD-Pool – Windenergy Information Data Pool

The acronym WInD-Pool stands for Windenergy-Information-Data-Pool. It is a common knowledge base of the wind industry. It is obvious that reliability of wind turbines and subassemblies needs to be improved. Otherwise, availability, especially for offshore application, will not reach suitable results. Improvements have to be achieved in the design of turbines as well as in the organization of maintenance. To do so, it is crucial that the experiences gained in the past will be used as efficiently as possible.

 

Future rotor blade concept

As part of the “Future rotor blade concept” research project, scientists at Fraunhofer IWES are developing new methods to test rotor blade prototypes that provide significantly more realistic data and allow a load-appropriate design to be produced. At the conclusion of the first phase of the research project, which will take five years in total, the infrastructure will be operational and the test methods developed to significantly reduce energy production costs.

Wind Monitor

On www.windmonitor.de Fraunhofer IWES offers a comprehensive outline on the subject of windenergy in Germany and the world.

Recent facts about photovoltaics in Germany

Compiled by Dr. Harry Wirth, Fraunhofer ISE | Last updated: October 14, 2019