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E.ON Research Award 2010 goes to Dresden Fraunhofer Institute

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden convinces with innovative materials for energy storage

Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM) in Dresden, Germany, succeeded at this year's presentation of the worldwide advertised E.ON Research Award in the field of "Heat Storage for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)". Through the use of novel storage materials, solar thermal energy can be made available around the clock - also if the sun is not shining. On "Energy Day", September 25, 2010, the Fraunhofer team headed by Dr. Lars Röntzsch together with their cooperation partner, the Fuel Cell Research Center (ZBT) GmbH in Duisburg, Germany, were bestowed with the E.ON Research Award, one of the most highly endowed awards in international energy research. The five laureates from Europe and the USA altogether receive a total of about five million Euros for a project period of three years starting from January 2011. The main objective of Fraunhofer IFAM's and ZBT's project "Metal Hydride Heat Storage System for Continuous Solar Power Generation" is to use nanostructured hydride-carbon composites for heat storage. By adding carbon to metal hydrides, a two-stage chemical process is extremely accelerated by means of which thermal energy produced from solar radiation is stored during the day and is being released for power generation at night. Thus, a storage material is introduced which makes solar energy available according to the actual demands of the consumer. The project partners will implement these materials and processes on a demonstration scale as a basis for later up-scaling to an industrial level. Besides the storage of thermal energy from solar power, the nanostructured hydride-carbon composites may also be used as storage medium for other types of renewable energy which are converted into heat. Likewise, they can be used for high-temperature excess heat storage at industrial plants.

idw :: 19.11.2010