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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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EU-project SONAR: Better batteries for electricity from renewable energy sources

Electricity from renewable energy sources contributes to combat climate change. One of the challenges is to develop technologies for storing excesses in energy supplies quickly and without loss. Organic redox flow batteries (RFBs) promise a viable route to this end: operated where needed, they rely on matter-bound storage – just in analogy to nature's example.

The benefits of an RFB system depend on many aspects: The perfect, redox-active material should smoothly accept or release electrons, while being soluble,...

17.01.2020 | nachricht Read more

Scientists pioneer new generation of semiconductor neutron detector

Whether you are trying to detect a possible radiation signature from a suspicious package or vehicle, or you are measuring power output in a nuclear reactor, being able to detect neutrons efficiently and precisely represents a significant challenge.

Most neutron detectors work based on one of two different technologies. Some, like those based on helium, are gas-filled. Others, like those based on lithium...

16.01.2020 | nachricht Read more

Not so fast: Some batteries can be pushed too far

Rice engineers find overabundance of intentional defects can cause battery cathodes to fail

Intentional defects in batteries have given Rice University scientists a window into the hazards of pushing lithium-ion cells too far.

15.01.2020 | nachricht Read more

Growing strained crystals could improve performance of perovskite electronics

A new method could enable researchers to fabricate more efficient and longer lasting perovskite solar cells, LEDs and photodetectors.

By growing thin perovskite films on substrates with different compositions, engineers at the University of California San Diego have invented a way of...

10.01.2020 | nachricht Read more

Die cast aluminum coils for efficient electric motors

Whether pedelecs, e-scooters or drones, most types of mobility are powered by an electric motor. In order to make these motors more efficient, there are a number of challenges to be addressed in terms of efficiency, weight, and material and labor costs. In response to this, the researchers at Fraunhofer IFAM have developed a casting technological process allowing the production of lightweight windings made of aluminum with a high slot fill ratio. A study has now shown that aluminium coils increase the continuous output of electrical machines compared to copper windings, reduce the operating temperature and at the same time save weight and raw material costs.

After having already succeeded in producing aluminium coils by investment casting in recent years, it was an obvious goal of the department "Casting Technology...

08.01.2020 | nachricht Read more

Nano antennas for data transfer

For the first time, physicists from the University of Würzburg have successfully converted electrical signals into photons and radiated them in specific directions using a low-footprint optical antenna that is only 800 nanometres in size.

Directional antennas convert electrical signals to radio waves and emit them in a particular direction, allowing increased performance and reduced...

08.01.2020 | nachricht Read more

Stanford researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip

Just as desktop PCs acquired some of the functions performed by room-sized mainframes, a Stanford team has prototyped a silicon chip that packs some of the punch delivered by ginormous particle accelerators.

On a hillside above Stanford University, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory operates a scientific instrument nearly 2 miles long. In this giant...

03.01.2020 | nachricht Read more

New coating hides temperature change from infrared cameras

An ultrathin coating developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers upends a ubiquitous physics phenomenon of materials related to thermal radiation: The hotter an object gets, the brighter it glows.

The new coating -- engineered from samarium nickel oxide, a unique tunable material -- employs a bit of temperature trickery.

19.12.2019 | nachricht Read more

EffiLayers gets organic photovoltaics rolling

Sunny prospects: Under the direction of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, five project partners from industry and research are developing technologies for the roll-to-roll production of organic photovoltaics in the EffiLayers project. This North Rhine-Westphalian lead market project aims to help the machine manufacturers based in North Rhine-Westphalia play a pioneering role in the market for flexible thin-film solar cells and printed electronics.

It is about organic photovoltaic cells (OPV cells), which are less efficient than traditional silicon-based solar cells, but are flexible and transparent....

19.12.2019 | nachricht Read more

Fraunhofer starts development of refrigerant-free, energy-efficient electrocaloric heat pumps

Heat pumps play a decisive role in the energy transition: Sustainably generated electricity provides heat in winter and a good climate in summer. Nowadays, heat pumps work almost exclusively on the basis of compressor technology. Compressors require harmful refrigerants, the use of which will be restricted even more by law in the future. In the Fraunhofer ElKaWe lighthouse project, six Fraunhofer Institutes are developing highly efficient electrocaloric heat pumps, which do without harmful refrigerants.

Heat pumps based on compressors are used for heating and cooling. However, the refrigerants used in the systems can be harmful to climate, health and the...

09.12.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Programmable nests for cells

KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications

Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials....

Im Focus: Miniature double glazing: Material developed which is heat-insulating and heat-conducting at the same time

Styrofoam or copper - both materials have very different properties with regard to their ability to conduct heat. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz and the University of Bayreuth have now jointly developed and characterized a novel, extremely thin and transparent material that has different thermal conduction properties depending on the direction. While it can conduct heat extremely well in one direction, it shows good thermal insulation in the other direction.

Thermal insulation and thermal conduction play a crucial role in our everyday lives - from computer processors, where it is important to dissipate heat as...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IAF establishes an application laboratory for quantum sensors

In order to advance the transfer of research developments from the field of quantum sensor technology into industrial applications, an application laboratory is being established at Fraunhofer IAF. This will enable interested companies and especially regional SMEs and start-ups to evaluate the innovation potential of quantum sensors for their specific requirements. Both the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are supporting the four-year project with one million euros each.

The application laboratory is being set up as part of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project »QMag«, short for quantum magnetometry. In this project, researchers...

Im Focus: How Cells Assemble Their Skeleton

Researchers study the formation of microtubules

Microtubules, filamentous structures within the cell, are required for many important processes, including cell division and intracellular transport. A...

Im Focus: World Premiere in Zurich: Machine keeps human livers alive for one week outside of the body

Researchers from the University Hospital Zurich, ETH Zurich, Wyss Zurich and the University of Zurich have developed a machine that repairs injured human livers and keep them alive outside the body for one week. This breakthrough may increase the number of available organs for transplantation saving many lives of patients with severe liver diseases or cancer.

Until now, livers could be stored safely outside the body for only a few hours. With the novel perfusion technology, livers - and even injured livers - can now...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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