Electricity

A major area of nanotechnology application is that or energy collection, generation and storage. This topic entails articles under these mentioned topics.

  • “Electricity as a Raw Material” at ACHEMA 2018: Green Energy for Sustainable Chemistry

    Demonstrator for the production of ethene from CO2. Fraunhofer IGB

    Hydrogen peroxide, ethene, alcohols: The Fraunhofer lighthouse project “Electricity as a raw material” is developing electrochemical processes that use renewable electricity to synthesize basic chemicals - with the aim of making the chemical industry more sustainable. From June 11 to 15, Fraunhofer UM-SICHT will be presenting the results together with eight other Fraunhofer Institutes at ACHEMA 2018.

  • A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction

    A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction picture 1 | Electrochemistry in a drop: Superposition of seven dynamic contact angle measurements of a drop of water on a surface; diameter of vertical tube capillary 0.85 mm. UZH

    Physicists at the University of Zurich have developed a system that enables them to switch back and forth the adhesion and stiction (static friction) of a water drop on a solid surface. The change in voltage is expressed macroscopically in the contact angle between the drop and the surface. This effect can be attributed to the change in the surface properties on the nanometer scale.

  • A hydrophobic membrane with nanopores for highly efficient energy storage

    A hydrophobic membrane with nanopores for highly efficient energy storage | Lab set-up of a redox flow battery with the hydrophobic membrane (grey device at the bottom of the image) and two electrolyte reservoirs (bottles with yellow liquid). Image: Philipp Scheffler / DWI

    Storing fluctuating and delivering stable electric power supply are central issues when using energy from solar plants or wind power stations. Here, efficient and flexible energy storage systems need to accommodate for fluctuations in energy gain. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (DWI), RWTH Aachen University and Hanyang University in Seoul now significantly improved a key component for the development of new energy storage systems.

  • Aufruhr auf der Nanoskala – Topologische Isolatoren leisten Widerstand

    Die kleine Kante ist nur rund fünf Atomschichten dick, doch sie reicht aus, um eine feste Theorie ins Wanken zu bringen: An Topologischen Isolatoren, den Hoffnungsträgern z.B. für Quantencomputer, forschen Projektleiter Dr. Christian Bobisch und Sebastian Bauer vom Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) der Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE), gefördert von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft. Sie wiesen nach, dass Kanten auf der Oberfläche die elektrische Leitfähigkeit beeinflussen, indem sie wie kleine Widerstände wirken – was aber gleichzeitig die Tür zu einem präzisen elektronischen Oberflächendesign öffnet. Ihre Erkenntnisse erschienen soeben in der Fachzeitschrift „Nature Communications“.

  • CalLab PV Modules Increases Measurement Precision to a Record 1.3 Percent

    Test stand developed at Fraunhofer ISE for measuring bifacial PV modules. Fraunhofer ISE

    The calibration laboratory at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has achieved a best value: Photovoltaic modules can now be calibrated with an even higher measurement precision of 1.3 percent. Repeatability lies at 0.4 percent. Measurement precision is a decisive factor for quality assurance in the module production and for investments in PV plants. For a volume of 10 MW, for example, each percentage point increase in measurement precision corresponds to a monetary value of about 60,000 euros. “Maximum measurement precision is not just an academic exercise, rather it greatly helps gain the confidence of investors,” says Dr. Harry Wirth, division director of Photovoltaic Modules, Systems and Reliability. Module manufacturers have to maintain their quality assurance at a high level daily and guarantee their sold output. Power plant operators must know the module power as exact as possible in order to minimize yield uncertainty.

  • Cold plasma: Get started with the Disc Jet

    The Disc Jet can also be used to process cavities.

    Plasmas are often found in the center of stars – on Earth, the electrically charged gas mixtures are a rare occurrence, such as in lightning discharges or aurora borealis lights. However, you can provide some help with high heat or high electrical voltages. Fraunhofer researchers have produced cold plasmas and used them for the surface treatment of temperature-sensitive materials. In doing so, recesses or undercuts were no longer a problem, thanks to a new technology – the Disc Jet can reach everywhere.

  • Computer in der Jacke, in der Brille und auf der Haut

    Leuchtende Fasern erzeugen wechselnde Tartan-Webmuster auf dem Kleidungsstück Bild: L. Fraguada/E. Bigger

    Computer sind ein wichtiges Werkzeug im Alltag, sei es als PC oder als Smartphone. In Zukunft werden sie zunehmend mit den Alltagsgegenständen verschmelzen und von dort aus den Nutzer unterstützen, etwa als Smartwatch, Displaybrillen, Sensorkleidung und vieles mehr. Über diesen Trend der Digitalisierung tauschen sich Wissenschaftler, Unternehmer, Modedesigner und Nutzer auf der vom KIT mitorganisierten Konferenz ISWC/UBICOMP vom 12. bis 16. September 2016 in Heidelberg aus. Vertreter der Medien sind herzlich eingeladen. Anmeldung bitte mit beigefügtem Formular oder per E-Mail.

  • Computers Made of Genetic Material? - ZDR researchers conduct electricity using DNA-based nanowires

    Scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf conducted electricity through DNA-based nanowires by placing gold-plated nanoparticles on them.

    Tinier than the AIDS virus – that is currently the circumference of the smallest transistors. The industry has shrunk the central elements of their computer chips to fourteen nanometers in the last sixty years. Conventional methods, however, are hitting physical boundaries. An alternative could be the self-organization of complex components from molecules and atoms. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and Paderborn University have now made an important advance: the physicists conducted a current through gold-plated nanowires, which independently assembled themselves from single DNA strands. Their results have been published in the scientific journal Langmuir.

  • Controlling Thermal and Particle Currents by Quantum Observation

    Artistic illustration of the role of a quantum observer in a nanodevice. © K. Aranburu

    Researchers from the Theory Department of the MPSD have realized the control of thermal and electrical currents in nanoscale devices by means of quantum local observations. Measurement plays a fundamental role in quantum mechanics. At the same time, it also constitutes one of the main problems regarding the interpretation of this whole field. The best-known illustration of the principles of superposition and entanglement is Schrödinger’s cat. Not being visible from the outside, the cat resides in a coherent superposition of two states: it is alive and dead at the same time.

  • Cooling buildings with solar heat

    Since 2001 in operation: Solar-powered, open, desiccant and evaporative cooling (DEC) of seminar rooms at the Southern Upper Rhine IHK, Freiburg.  © Fraunhofer ISE

    The cooling demand in buildings is particularly high when the sun shines intensely. Consequently, with solar air conditioning the heating demand and supply are usually consistent with each other. Closed chillers and open sorption methods for direct air conditioning ensure a comfortable indoor climate. The recently published BINE Themeninfo brochure entitled "Cooling with solar heat" presents concepts and technologies for air conditioning buildings.

  • Der Quanten-Strom im Graphen

    Wenn der Strom in Portionen fließt: Berechnungen der TU Wien liefern Erkenntnisse über die Quanten-Eigenschaften des Kohlenstoff-Materials Graphen.

  • Diesel engine with innovative steel pistons

    The BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Steel pistons for more efficient diesel engines" © BINE Informationsdienst

    Car engines are becoming increasingly compact with a greater specific power. This reduces the weight, moving masses and fuel consumption. In the engine, however, the temperatures and pressures rise for individual components. This causes conventional pistons made of aluminium to reach their limits. The new BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Steel pistons for more efficient diesel engines" (14/2016) presents a cooling concept for engine pistons using a liquid metal alloy. Compared with aluminium, steel offers greater strength against thermal and mechanical loads.

  • Effizient und sicher: Forscher bereiten Markteintritt für neuartigen Heimenergiespeicher vor

    Einem Wissenschaftlerteam vom EWE-Forschungszentrum NEXT ENERGY ist es gelungen, die Vanadium-Redox-Flow-Technologie für den kosteneffizienten Einsatz in Heimenergiespeichern weiterzuentwickeln. Aktuell wird der Markteintritt vorbereitet. Präsentiert wird das innovative „ResiFlow“-Konzept vom 25. bis 29. April 2016 auf der Hannover Messe.

  • Electric field shakes a magnet in one trillionth of a sec. Novel method of spin control discovered

    An intense THz pulse (red waveform) changes the electronic orbitals of a magnetic material leading to oscillation of spins (compass needles). Dr. Rostislav Mikhaylovskiy

    An international team of scientists from Germany, the Netherlands and Russia has successfully demonstrated a novel, highly efficient and ultrafast magnetization control scheme by employing electromagnetic waves oscillating at terahertz frequencies. The new concept will be published in the upcoming issue of Nature Photonics.

  • Electric mobility: Opportunities for climate protection in Europe

    Several Smart electric drive cars charging at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.

    Getting more electric vehicles on the roads in Europe can significantly reduce CO2 emissions and air pollutants within the European Union. If the share of electric mobility in passenger road transport increases to 80 percent by 2050, the CO2 emissions of the passenger road transport sector in Europe can be reduced by up to 84 percent compared to 2010.

  • Electricity from waste heat made possible by ceramics

    Where conventional materials reach their limits, ceramics can display their excellent properties. Functional ceramics – so-called thermoelectric materials – can convert waste heat directly into electricity, for example, in high-temperature processes. At the Hannover Messe 2016, Europe's largest ceramics research institute presents for the first time a system that demonstrates the reliable functionality of thermoelectric ceramic modules developed at Fraunhofer IKTS. (Hall 6, Booth B16)

  • Electro-organic Synthesis that Allows Sustainable and Green Production of Fine Chemicals Developed

    Up to eight different experiments can be simultaneously performed in this screening electrolyzer. Each small plastic cup houses two electrodes. photo/©: Carsten Siering, JGU

    In the cooperative EPSYLON research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Evonik Performance Materials GmbH have succeeded in developing a state-of-the-art and innovative electro-organic synthesis. The results of their research, presented in last week's issue of Science Advances, allow the use of electrosynthesis as a trend-setting and sustainable green chemistry for technical applications. The method developed allows the operator to react flexibly to the available supply of electricity. Moreover, the operator no longer has to rely on customized electrolysis apparatuses and can use a wide variety of different equipment.

  • Evonik Research Prize for lithium-ion battery test cell with separated electrodes

    A glass ceramic membrane, coated with aluminum and plastic, allows only lithium ions to pass through. It is impermeable to all other components of the electrolyte fluid. Photo: Monika Weiner / TUM

    For years, small rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have reliably supplied billions of portable devices with energy. But manufacturers of high-energy applications such as electric cars and power storage systems seek for new electrode materials and electrolytes. Michael Metzger, researcher at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has now developed a new battery test cell allowing to investigate anionic and cationic reactions separately. Recently the researcher was honored with the Evonik Research Prize for his work.

  • Flexibles Halbleitermaterial für Elektronik, Solartechnologie und Photokatalyse

    Flexibler Halbleiter aus Zinn, Iod und Phosphor (SnIP) mit Doppelhelix-Struktur Bild: Andreas Battenberg / TUM

    Die Doppelhelix hat als stabile und flexible Struktur des Erbguts das Leben auf der Erde erst möglich gemacht. Nun hat ein Team der Technischen Universität München (TUM) eine Doppelhelix-Struktur auch in einem anorganischen Material entdeckt. Das Material aus Zinn, Iod und Phosphor ist ein Halbleiter, besitzt außergewöhnliche optische und elektronische Eigenschaften und ist mechanisch hoch flexibel.

  • Fraunhofer IISB releases foxBMS, a universal, royalty free and fully open battery management system

    Fraunhofer IISB is proud to announce the launch of its first generation, free, open, and flexible battery management system, namely foxBMS. At the conference “Batterietagung 2016” (battery-power.eu) foxBMS will be presented publicly for the first time. Visit us at Batterietagung 2016 on April 25-27 in Muenster, Germany, at the Fraunhofer Battery Alliance stand (booth 18). foxBMS will also be on show at the Fraunhofer IISB stand at the PCIM Europe 2016 from May 10-12 in Nuremberg, Germany. Currently, a total of 15 renowned industrial and research organizations from 7 countries worldwide have been selected from a long list of volunteers to participate in an intensive beta testing program.