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Energy policies relating to alternative energy

Current energy policies are still based heavily on natural resources. Meanwhile, the trend is increasingly toward alternative resources, such as wind power.

It's only a matter of time before natural resources, such as petroleum, are depleted. Petroleum, a fossil-based energy source deposited across millions of years, is used to produce fuel or electricity. Taking stock of the fact that 260 billion barrels (one barrel = 159 liters) of oil were extracted over the last 11 years, it's evident that the world's petroleum resources will be depleted one day. New developments in solar or wind power are aimed at providing alternative energy sources that will enable us to maintain our current standard of living. Petroleum is also required by the chemical industry to manufacture special plastics.

The advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources

When discussing the subject of petroleum and alternative energy, one must bear the advantages and disadvantages in mind. Our resources are running short . Because we cannot count on petroleum for the future, there will come a time when everyone will rely on the efficiency of wind power and other alternative energy sources . Unlike petroleum, wind power can be managed to ensure that it constantly renews itself. Wind power meanwhile makes it possible to have enough resources to supply entire cities. Petroleum has the additional disadvantage of harming the environment through CO2 emissions. This has resulted in increasing demand for resources such as wind power. Wind power can be classified into different categories. A class 4 wind turbine can meanwhile provide resources in a much more efficient manner than petroleum resources for instance. In addition, unlike petroleum, resources such as wind power offer a decentralized energy supply. This means that in contrast to petroleum, the utilization of wind power does not require a large power plant. Instead, it makes "transporting" the energy easier and faster. Decentralized wind power entails a massive infrastructure change. Resources such as wind power certainly bring disadvantages when it comes to the environment, although they pale in comparison to the disasters that can result from petroleum. The utilization of our resources determines how we continue to maintain our standard of living. This makes it important to continue public discourse on the issues of wind power and petroleum.

Resource shortage

It's only a matter of time before there is no petroleum left. For this reason, from a resource standpoint we should already be moving toward heavy reliance on wind power instead of petroleum. After all, from a pure scientific point of view, new petroleum resources won't be available for millions of years. Unlike petroleum, wind power is a resource that will never run dry. In Germany alone, wind power is serving as a popular alternative resource to petroleum. The demand for wind power will increase in line with the consumption of petroleum. For this reason, it is imperative that we gradually move away from petroleum and make more use of wind power or other alternative energy resources. The environmental pollution caused by petroleum is reason enough for an environmentally-conscious society to use solar or wind power. In contrast to petroleum, wind power is significantly better for the environment and offers a unique resource balance.

Power and Electrical Engineering

This topic covers issues related to energy generation, conversion, transportation and consumption and how the industry is addressing the challenge of energy efficiency in general.

innovations-report provides in-depth and informative reports and articles on subjects ranging from wind energy, fuel cell technology, solar energy, geothermal energy, petroleum, gas, nuclear engineering, alternative energy and energy efficiency to fusion, hydrogen and superconductor technologies.

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Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

18.09.2018 | nachricht Read more

With Gallium Nitride for a Powerful 5G Cellular Network - EU project “5G GaN2” started

The cellular network of the fifth generation (5G) shall enable data transmission between humans, devices and machines in real time. So far, no technology exists that allows for a reliable, fast and energy-efficient 5G network. In the EU project “5G GaN2”, 17 partners from research and industry joined forces, in order to develop cost-effective and high-performance technologies, based on gallium nitride, for the upcoming mobile communications standard. The consortium, which also includes the Fraunhofer IAF, started its work in July 2018.

To date, primary humans communicate via the wireless radio network. In the cellular network of the fifth generation (5G), however, also cars, devices and...

17.09.2018 | nachricht Read more

Effective deposition of thin insulating layers for sensors in hydrogen technology

Scientists at the Fraunhofer FEP have investigated new approaches for depositing low-defect insulating layers, part of the joint project “NaFuSS“ (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research/BMBF promotional reference number 13N13171). The aim is to increase the reliability and durability of pressure sensors for hydrogen technology, an area that is becoming increasingly important.

Electric autmobiles have experienced a real boom in recent years. Due to an increasing change in thinking favoring environmentally friendlier behavior in...

14.09.2018 | nachricht Read more

OLED integration in textiles: functional and eye-catching

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) are mainly known from televisions and smartphone displays. They can be used as lighting objects in car tail lights or lights. The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP as a partner for customer-specific OLED development and production is now presenting OLED elements that can be integrated into textiles at the Electronics System Integration Technology Conference ESTC 2018 from September 18 - 21, 2018 in Dresden at booth no. 29.

The versatile OLEDs can not only light in color, they can also be designed in any shape and even transparent or dimmable. Applied on wafer-thin foils, they are...

10.09.2018 | nachricht Read more

Artificial Intelligence Used to Economically and Energetically Control Heating Systems

Similar to the human brain, artificial neural networks develop action strategies autonomously using examples (i.e. training data) experienced in the practice. The network structure is based on the neurobiological findings on the functioning of the human brain. A logical following is to apply such network structures for the technical control of systems. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has done just that and developed self-learning artificial neural networks (ANN) for controlling solar thermal heating systems in the project “ANNsolar – Neural Networks for the Use in Solar Thermal Systems.”

The system gathers data on the thermal building dynamics, the change in heating demand due to the solar radiation incident on the building envelope, and the...

04.09.2018 | nachricht Read more

IMTS: Real-time layer thickness measurement with terahertz

Terahertz is a key technology for non-destructive material testing. Major advantages are examinations without physical contact and the analysis of complex systems with a low contrast range, in which established methods like ultrasonic usually fail. The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI has successfully developed a cost-efficient and compact measurement system that conducts real-time measurements of the thickness of multi-layer systems for the first time, an essential technology e.g. for lacquering lines. The new terahertz measurement system T-Sweeper will be presented live at the IMTS from September 10th to 15th, 2018 (Fraunhofer booth 121815, East Building).

Terahertz radiation was already a major topic a good ten years ago, in connection with body scanners for inspecting passengers during airport security...

03.09.2018 | nachricht Read more

Dual-layer solar cell developed at UCLA sets record for efficiently generating power

Materials scientists from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have developed a highly efficient thin-film solar cell that generates more energy from sunlight than typical solar panels, thanks to its double-layer design.

The device is made by spraying a thin layer of perovskite -- an inexpensive compound of lead and iodine that has been shown to be very efficient at capturing...

31.08.2018 | nachricht Read more

A paper battery powered by bacteria

In remote areas of the world or in regions with limited resources, everyday items like electrical outlets and batteries are luxuries. Health care workers in these areas often lack electricity to power diagnostic devices, and commercial batteries may be unavailable or too expensive. New power sources are needed that are low-cost and portable. Today, researchers report a new type of battery -- made of paper and fueled by bacteria --- that could overcome these challenges.

The researchers will present their results today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world's largest...

21.08.2018 | nachricht Read more

IHP technology ready for space flights

European Space Agency ESA approves SiGe BiCMOS technology

With the listing of IHP – Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics on the European Preferred Parts List (EPPL), an important development period at the...

21.08.2018 | nachricht Read more

Converting wind power for storage purposes

In the first half of 2018, wind farms in Germany fed around 55 billion kWh into the power grid. 7 billion more than in the same period last year. Scientists are working to improve conversion and storage technologies to temporarily store surplus wind power. The current BINE Projektinfo “Energiepark Mainz” (05/2018) presents a promising process by way of the world's largest Power-to-Gas research facility. Electrolytic hydrogen is produced using wind power, and is then stored and fed into the natural gas network. The aim is to test the processes and novel components on an industrial scale.

Power-to-Gas plant at Energiepark Mainz with positive interim results

21.08.2018 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Working the switches for axon branching

Our brain is a complex network with innumerable connections between cells. Neuronal cells have long thin extensions, so-called axons, which are branched to increase the number of interactions. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have collaborated with researchers from Portugal and France to study cellular branching processes. They demonstrated a novel mechanism that induces branching of microtubules, an intracellular support system. The newly discovered dynamics of microtubules has a key role in neuronal development. The results were recently published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

From the twigs of trees to railroad switches – our environment teems with rigid branched objects. These objects are so omnipresent in our lives, we barely...

Im Focus: Hygiene at your fingertips with the new CleanHand Network

The Fraunhofer FEP has been involved in developing processes and equipment for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification for decades. The CleanHand Network for development of systems and technologies to clean surfaces, materials, and objects was established in May 2018 to bundle the expertise of many partnering organizations. As a partner in the CleanHand Network, Fraunhofer FEP will present the Network and current research topics of the Institute in the field of hygiene and cleaning at the parts2clean trade fair, October 23-25, 2018 in Stuttgart, at the booth of the Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance (Hall 5, Booth C31).

Test reports and studies on the cleanliness of European motorway rest areas, hotel beds, and outdoor pools increasingly appear in the press, especially during...

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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