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  • Heat pumps are considered an important building block for the heating system of a decarbonized future, as they heat and cool efficiently with electricity. They are particularly useful in an energy system based on renewable energies, as their consumption is easy to plan and the heat can be stored. This allows the heating system to react flexibly to energy generation from the sun and wind and thus support the power grid. This is the result of a transnational research project of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The Fraunhofer Institutes IEE (Kassel) and ISE (Freiburg) were involved from Germany.

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  • Offshore wind farms with zero-cent subsidy bids and post-EEG wind turbines must generate their income solely from the electricity market. This requires forward-looking operating strategies that take into account not only market prices but also the expected wear and tear on the turbines the next day. The Fraunhofer IEE is now working with the companies MesH Engineering and anemos Gesellschaft für Umweltmeteorologie on the BMWK-funded OTELLO project to develop new tools that can be used to optimize schedules for wind farms. Among other things, the experts are integrating short-term forecasts of turbulence intensity - the key factor for turbine wear and tear.

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  • Today, the service life of inverters in photovoltaic systems is far shorter than that of the modules. As part of the PV4Life research project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology IEE is now working with partners to develop models that map the individual ageing of power converters. This can be used to derive customized, AI-supported operating strategies that promise a longer service life without compromising the performance of the devices.

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  • pandapower is an easy-to-use tool for modelling, analyzing and optimizing power grids with a high degree of automation. It was developed at both the University of Kassel and the Fraunhofer IEE in Kassel. Thanks to its international use and integration into various processes, the software has already achieved 500,000 (partly automated) downloads since its release in 2016. Whether in Germany, Europe, the USA, China or many other countries around the world - pandapower is used by researchers and experts in companies alike and has established itself as one of the leading solutions in the energy sector.

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  • © Kostiantyn | stock.adobe.com

    Research at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft would be inconceivable without its employees, including those with migration backgrounds - they are the foundation of our scientific system. Internationality, diversity, and respect are integral components of the Fraunhofer mission statement and the Fraunhofer Code of Conduct.

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  • Together with its partners, Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology IEE is paving the way for the establishment of large-scale production of green hydrogen and its downstream products in Chile. The project’s research focuses on the production potential of hydrogen and liquid fuels from solar energy. In addition to technical issues, researchers are investigating the economic, logistical, and socio-economic aspects of scaling up, through which they will also support the installation of a pilot plant.

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  • South Africa could play an important role as a reliable producer of green hydrogen - also as a supplier for Germany - in the coming years. However, when it comes to storing and distributing the raw material, challenges arise. This is where the recently launched Fraunhofer joint project "HySecunda", in which nine Fraunhofer Institutes and the Fraunhofer Academy are cooperating, comes in. The project aims to find optimized solutions for the production, storage and certification of green hydrogen. The consortium is also providing support with capacity building in the region and in current projects on hydrogen-based fuels for aviation.

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  • Digital technologies are expected to improve the efficiency and system integration of additional renewable sources, as well as making the entire energy system reliable, smarter, and more efficient. Future digital applications may allow district energy systems to fully optimize the operation of their plant and network assets while realizing immediate and feasible decarbonization of urban heat supply: With data to optimize district heating systems and new business opportunities.

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  • Nahaufnahme einer Photovoltaik Anlage
    © Danny Schöning - stock.adobe.com

    Within the Research Project “PV-MoVe”, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technologies IEE investigated how to use active switching loss reduction networks for power semi-conductors to enable smaller, more lightweight, and more cost-efficient photovoltaic converters. Using newly developed additional circuitry, switching frequencies for a 50 kW PV inverter could be increased by a factor of 2.5 – 3 for the DC input stage and by a factor of 10 – 12.5 for the inverter output stage. The project was worked on in cooperation with project partners Infineon Technologies AG and SUMIDA Components & Modules GmbH from 2019 to 2023, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action BMWK.

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