Wire Structure Heat Exchangers: A Better Design for Air Cooled Condensers?

Wire Structure Heat Exchangers: A Better Design for Air Cooled Condensers?

Air cooled condensers for dry heat rejection are generally enlarged on the air side by different kind of fins, such as louvered fins, wavy fins or offset strip fins. These fins are manufactured by metal sheets and connected to the tube walls by a metal-joining process. However the possible surface area enlargement is in the range of the surface area of the underlying metal sheets.  In order to increase the surface area further on, without using more material, wire structures can be used as fins instead of metal sheets. The diameters of the wire structures are in the range of 50 to 250 µm. In addition fluid flow along wire structures experiences a very high heat transfer coefficient due to the repeating interruptions and small dimensions.

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Major Event for Innovation: MATS Power Plant Officially Opens in Egypt

At the end of February the MATS power plant (Multipurpose Applications by Thermodynamic Solar) was officially inaugurated in Borg El Arab near Alexandria in Egypt. The solar thermal power plant is the first of its kind and was developed in a project with participants from research centers and industry from Italy, France, UK, Germany and Egypt. The project manager Martin Karl was present at the opening ceremony and represented Fraunhofer ISE who provided scientific support for the project.

The MATS power plant with an electrical power of 1 MW is based on parabolic trough collectors with an area of 10,000 m². The plant meets the electricity demand of over 1000 people; the waste heat is utilized to desalinate 250,000 liters of water daily.
The MATS power plant with an electrical power of 1 MW is based on parabolic trough collectors with an area of 10,000 m². The plant meets the electricity demand of over 1000 people; the waste heat is utilized to desalinate 250,000 liters of water daily.

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Thermal Comfort for Electric Vehicles – Longer driving range for electric vehicles through optimized battery management

Thermal Comfort for Electric Vehicles – Longer driving range for electric vehicles through optimized battery management

What is the ideal operating temperature for electric cars? At what temperature do they perform best? The participants of the European research project JOSPEL are addressing just these questions by assessing the optimization potential of electric vehicles. The project aim is to increase the energy efficiency and range of electric vehicles by applying efficient and cost-effective climate control solutions especially developed for battery electric vehicles. Experts at Fraunhofer ISE are working with industry partners on optimizing battery operation, with the goal of increasing battery lifetime through improved thermal management.

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Design Meets Efficiency – Innovative Coating for Colored Photovoltaic Modules

Design Meets Efficiency – Innovative Coating for Colored Photovoltaic Modules

The global photovoltaic market is growing rapidly. While the optimization of the efficiency, service life and price has been the main focus of solar module development up to now, the appearance of solar modules is now gaining more and more attention. A new type of coating process promises new color variety for solar modules, while maintaining high module efficiency.
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Agrophotovoltaics: Harvesting the Sun for Power and Produce

Agrophotovoltaics: Harvesting the Sun for Power and Produce

An old German saying says that the dumbest farmer produces the biggest potatoes. Today we can say in contrast that the clever farmer harvests solar electricity.  In Germany, solar electricity is about ten times more profitable than growing crops. When the first open-space photovoltaic plants were installed on arable land, a hot debate arose: Valuable acreage is being taken from food production and farmers are becoming energy managers. It is true that Germany must open up new land for the production of solar electricity in order to meet the urgent expansion of renewables needed for the energy transformation. Studies show that photovoltaic installations totaling 200 GW are required in order to meet the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 85 % by 2050.
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