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Fraunhofer frontline themes: Tomorrow's opportunities
Date:6/3/2008

ngs. Old buildings, in particular, need a lot of energy: They eat up between three and five times as much heating energy as modern houses. Up to 80 percent of this energy could be saved by good insulation coupled with efficient heating and cooling systems. Researchers are testing multifunctional facade modules and new heat storage units for internal insulation. Planar heating and cooling systems for walls, ceilings and floors are taking shape in the laboratory.

Solid-state light sources
Bright and efficient illumination
A light bulb converts only 5󈝶 percent of the invested energy into light; most of it is diffused as heat. A team of seven Fraunhofer Institutes is developing alternatives: highly efficient cold light sources made of semiconductors. The researchers' objective is to develop new light sources that produce an effect similar to daylight, and whose form and intensity can be adapted to any desired situation.

Energy storage in power grids
Solar and wind-generated electricity on demand
Renewable resources will play an increasingly significant role in the energy mixture of the future. But they are more difficult to calculate. The amount of current fed into the grid depends on the weather and the time of day. Fraunhofer scientists are working to make the supply of wind and solar energy as easy to plan as the production of energy at conventional power stations. For this to succeed, they need new and more efficient power storage units.

Green power train technologies
New impetus for eco-friendly cars
Very high demands are made on tomorrow's cars: They must use up a minimum of natural resources during manufacture, have a low fuel consumption when driving, discharge as few pollutants as possible into the atmosphere, and require very little maintenance. Researchers from seven Fraunhofer Institutes are working to improve the power train, which comprises all the components involved in generating torq
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Contact: Franz Miller
Franz.Miller@zv.fraunhofer.de
49-891-205-1300
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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