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Fraunhofer ISE Strengthens Research Activities for Solar Thermal Systems

Dr. Wolfgang Kramer Takes Position at Solar Research Institute in Freiburg

The solar thermal research area at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE develops not only main system components like collectors, storage and heat exchangers but also works on making the systems more efficient.

A central focus of the R&D is to achieve an optimal interplay between the singular components in the system in consideration of the varying supply of solar heat and the demand for useful heat. Since July 2012, Dr. Wolfgang Kramer is head of the department “Thermal System Technology” at Fraunhofer ISE.

Solar thermal systems are used for heating potable water, for space heating in residential and commercial buildings and as a heat supply for industrial processes. They are also used to provide energy for heat engines or chillers that generate electricity or cold respectively. By adding this staff position, the largest European solar research institute recognized for its long-term success in the development of solar thermal collectors expands its activities in this branch. “Dr. Wolfgang Kramer’s expertise in the field strengthens our team. His many years of experience in the industry complement our focus on applied research excellently,” says Dr. Werner Platzer, Division Director, Solar Thermal and Optics.

The majority of all solar thermal systems are used for water heating and space heating. For agriculture, business and industry, however, process heat from large solar thermal systems is becoming more attractive. Depending on the system, operating temperatures of up to several hundred degrees Celcius can be generated. Here an enormous potential for substituting fossil fuel driven plants with solar thermal energy exists. With the addition of Dr. Wolfgang Kramer and the newly founded department “Thermal System Technology” in 2012, Fraunhofer ISE is now optimally positioned. “The institute has all the necessary components and system competence in place. These include, in particular, the areas of material science, component design and construction, fabrication processes, testing and verification procedures, theoretical modeling and simulation as well as system controls and operation for the various applications. The wide range of services we offer to our customers is unique in the field,” says Kramer about his new workplace.

About the person

The process engineer Dr. Wolfgang Kramer studied at the University of Stuttgart and Manchester. His doctoral thesis entitled “Evaporation of Mixtures on High Power Heat Exchanger Surfaces” was carried out at the Technical University Berlin at the Institute for Energy Technology. He started his professional career at Scheerle AG, an engineering company for pump technology. Afterwards, he was employed by the auto parts supplier Behr GmbH & Co. KG first as development engineer and later as department head in the advanced development for coolant chillers and intercoolers. Before he transferred to Fraunhofer ISE, Kramer worked for six years at Wagner & Co. Solartechnik GmbH, a solar systems supplier. There he first worked as a development engineer for system technology products in the area of solar thermal. Then he became the department head of “Development Solar Thermal, Pellet Technology and Photovoltaics.”

Karin Schneider | EurekAlert!
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