Viaje de estudios a Alemania para periodistas

La EUSJA y la Asociación Helmholtz organizan un interesante viaje de estudios a Alemania, del 13 al 18 de septiembre de 2009.
El tema será la investigación de la energía en la Helmholtz y los participantes podrán visitar varias de sus instalaciones y hablar con los científicos sobre su trabajo.

Trece periodistas asociados a la EUSJA tendrán hospedaje y alimentación pagados por la organización. Los gastos de viaje correrán por cuenta de cada participante.

Los centros que se visitarán son:
-    El German Aerospace Centre DLR Stuttgart (Institute of Technical Thermodynamics and Solar Energy Research).
-    El German Aerospace Centre DLR Stuttgart (Institute of Vehicle Concepts, Fuel cell Project).
-    El Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT Energy Centre).
-    El Research Centre Karlsruhe (KIT Energy Center).
-    El Research Centre Jülich (Institute of Energy Research)
-    El German Aerospace Centre DLR, Cologne (Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Solar Research Dept).
-    Geothermal research site of the Helmholtz Centre
-    Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
-    El Helmholtz Centre Berlin (Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics)

Atención, el plazo para enviar las aplicaciones es el 15 de mayo.

Persona de contacto en Alemania: Christin Liedtke, +49-30-20632964,

Más información en:

Viaje de estudios a Alemania para periodistas


SUNDAY, 13 September 2009
        Arrival in Stuttgart    
18:30        Get-together at hotel
19:30        Dinner

MONDAY, 14 September 2009
07:30        Breakfast
08:00        Departure from hotel
08:30 – 11:45     German Aerospace Centre DLR Stuttgart (Institute of Technical Thermodynamics and Solar Energy Research)
12:00 – 12:45     Lunch
14:00 – 16:30     German Aerospace Centre DLR Stuttgart (Institute of Vehicle Concepts, Fuel cell Project)
17:00 – 19:00     Transfer to Karlsruhe
19:00         Arrival at hotel in Karlsruhe / Dinner

TUESDAY, 15 September 2009
07:30        Breakfast
08:00    Departure from hotel
08:30 – 11:45     Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT Energy Centre)
12:00 – 12:45     Lunch
13:30 – 15:30     Research Centre Karlsruhe (KIT Energy Center)
16:00 – 21:00     Transfer to Jülich
21:00         Arrival at hotel in Jülich / Dinner

WEDNESDAY, 16 September 2009
07:30        Breakfast
08:00    Departure from hotel
08:30 – 11:45     Research Centre Jülich (Institute of Energy Research)
12:00 – 12:45    Lunch
14:00 – 16:30     German Aerospace Centre DLR, Cologne (Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Solar Research Dept)
17:00 – 22:00    Transfer to Brandenburg
19:00 – 20:30    Dinner in Bielefeld
22:00        Arrival at hotel in Brandenburg an der Havel

THURSDAY, 17 September 2009
07:30        Breakfast
08:00    Departure from hotel
08:30 – 11:30     Groß Schönebeck – Geothermal research site of the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
12:00 – 12:45     Lunch at the Helmholtz Centre in Potsdam
14:00 – 16:00     Ketzin – CO2SINK Project, Carbon Capture and Storage site
16:00 –    16:30     Return to hotel to prepare for evening reception
17:30         Transfer to the Helmholtz Annual Assembly
18:00        Helmholtz Annual Assembly – Presentation and Evening Reception

FRIDAY, 18 September 2009
08:30    Departure from hotel
09:00 – 10:30     Breakfast with the press officers of all Helmholtz-Centres at the Helmholtz              Headquarters in Berlin
11:30 – 15:00    Helmholtz Centre Berlin (Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics)

End of trip in Berlin

German Aerospace Centre DLR Stuttgart

Thermal Energy Storage

The thermal energy storage research area focuses on the development of high-temperature heat storage units for solar thermal power plants and for applications for industrial process heat. In these areas, water/steam as the heat transfer medium is of critical importance. Emphasis is put on the development of latent heat storage for steam processes. New materials concepts and new methods for the design and integration of the systems are being explored. Special attention is concentrated on the superheating area of 300 to 600 °C, which is important in attaining a high degree of efficiency. New materials concepts such as cascaded PCM storage units and melting range storage units are also being studied.
Sensible heat storage units are being developed for the applications where large temperature differences are required. The concrete storage technology is being further developed within projects in conjunction with industry. Also, the further development of molten salt storage units has again come into focus.

Research Areas:
•    Regenerative solid state storage units for solar thermal parabolic power plants
•    Storage development for direct steam generation in solar thermal power plants
•    Latent heat storage for industrial process technology and solar process heat
•    Molten salt storage
•    Development of sensible and latent heat storage materials
•    New concepts for efficient heat transfer inside the storage units
•    Storage integration and system technology

Fuel Cell Demonstrator – A320 ATRA

Together with its partner, Airbus, the Institute for Technical Thermodynamics of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has equipped the DLR aircraft carrier A320 ATRA with a Michelin fuel cell system.

The aim of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) funded project ELBASYS, is the introduction of environmentally-friendly technologies to minimise emissions and to increase passenger comfort. For instance, an auxiliary turbine unit (APU) can in the future be used without conventional air conditioning. In order to install the carbo bay with its 20-kilowatt fuel cell, DLR’s first research aircraft had to be equipped with a bespoke cargo system. After that, the fuel cell had to be connected to both the aircraft and the powered units. There were challenges here – alongside building a portable infrastructure for the supply of oxygen and hydrogen fuel, there was the development and implementation of approved flight test measuring instruments. Using these instruments, the behaviour of the fuel cell system during the flight could be observed and analyzed.

However, before the plane with its fuel cells on board could take off for the first test flight, the system underwent extensive acceptance tests on the ground, to make sure that the system was airworthy. The combination of existing science and systems expertise in the aviation field allowed the systems to be qualified and certified, with DLR’s research and development work on aircraft fuel cell applications being notable.

Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment (TT-STB)

Because of the inherent inertia of the energy system, any decisions taken in the energy sector have particularly long term impacts. Opportunities offered by new technologies and potential negative consequences on the environment and on society can be identified in time by provident and pro-active decision making. A prerequisite for such a course of action is a thorough understanding of complex systems, which allows decision makers to find a balance between the technical and economic possibilities of to-day, and the long term development perspectives.

TT-STB provides methods and tools which support problem solving in the field of energy related systems analysis and technology assessment. Specific knowledge is generated which can guide decision makers from science, policy and industry to identify long term research priorities, and to establish a framework supporting sound energy-, environmental- and research-policy.

The systems analysis work of TT-STB combines top-down analysis of the overall energy supply system at regional, national and European level with technology oriented bottom-up studies in relevant areas like Life Cycle Assessment, the assessment of re-source potentials of renewable energies and economic analyses. Conceptual work on sustainability issues, on technological learning and on market introduction mechanisms of new technologies complete the field of activities.
More information at:

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

KIT Energy Centre

The KIT Energy Centre, whose 1100 staff members make it one of Europe’s largest energy research establishments, pools the energy research conducted by the Universität Karlsruhe and the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, together with renowned cooperation partners. Its interdisciplinary approach links fundamental research with applied research into all energy resources for industry, households, services, and mobility.

Competences in engineering and science, but also in economics, the humanities and social sciences as well as law, result in a holistic assessment of the entire energy cycle at the KIT Energy Centre. Research includes the societal side of innovative energy technologies.

The activities of the KIT Energy Centre are clustered in seven topics:
•    Energy conversion
•    Renewable energies
•    Energy storage and distribution
•    Efficient energy use
•    Fusion technology
•    Nuclear energy and safety
•    Energy systems analysis

More information at:

Research Centre Jülich

Mem-Brain: Carbon dioxide separation with membranes

Coal and natural gas remain the pillars of the energy supply. Approximately two thirds of power requirements will in future continue to be met by fossil fuels. A by-product is the gas carbon dioxide which causes the atmosphere to heat up. With the aid of novel membranes, Jülich researchers hope to capture carbon dioxide in the power plant itself. The tasks range from membrane development and fabrication, characterisation and technical process analysis to the assessment of suitable power plant processes with respect to energy and the environment. These membranes will enable the separation of the technically relevant gases, O2/N2, CO2/H2 and CO2/N2, (Oxygen O2, Nitrogen N2, Hydrogen H2, Carbon dioxideCO2) in the various power plant concepts in order to achieve the purest possible exhaust gas stream of the greenhouse gas CO2. Compared to chemical separation processes, membrane processes have the advantage that much lower efficiency losses must be accepted in the separation process and they possess a considerable potential for application in power plants. On the other hand, they require large reaction surfaces which must be correspondingly cost-effective. All membrane types have considerable development needs with regard to permeability, selectivity and stability. A class 1000 clean room was set up at the institute in 2005 for the production of microporous coatings. Since the membranes display particles and coating thicknesses in the nanometre range, it is essential to work under dust-free conditions.
More information at:

Fuel cells

Fuel cells convert the chemical energy stored in natural gas, methanol or hydrogen directly into electricity, not only in a highly efficient, but also in an environmentally friendly and low-noise manner. This makes them ideal for future applications in electricity production, in vehicles and as auxiliary power units. R&D aims to increase service life, sturdiness, and high performance, as well as to reduce costs. In Jülich, the two fuel cell systems of the future are being developed: the ceramic solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for stationary applications and on-board power supplies and the polymer fuel cell (DMFC or PEFC) for portable and mobile applications. Furthermore, feed gas production systems are under development, which convert diesel and diesel-like fuels into a hydrogen-rich gas for use in fuel cells. Materials for cells and stacks are also being developed along with new process technologies, manufacturing methods and system designs. The results are at the top of global technological development and have already been implemented together with industrial partners.

With a staff of approximately 100 Institute of Energy Research is oriented to the basic topic of electrochemistry and process engineering for fuel cells. In the sense of an integrated approach the four main activities, i.e. direct-methanol fuel cells, high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells, solid oxid fuel cells and fuel processing systems, are accompanied by systematic studies, fundamental modelling and simulation as well as experimental and theoretical system evaluation. The findings obtained in these areas are used for the design of functional systems and their verification. In addition, particular attention is given to the development, setup and application of special methods of measurement for the structural analysis of membrane electrode assemblies, for flow simulation and visualization and for the characterization of stacks.
More information at:

About Research Centre Jülich

Forschungszentrum Jülich pursues cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on solving the grand challenges facing society in the fields of health, energy and the environment, and also information technologies. In combination with its two key competencies, physics and supercomputing, work at Jülich focuses on long-term, fundamental and multidisciplinary contributions to science and technology as well as on specific technological applications. With 4400 staff, Jülich – a member of the Helmholtz Association – is one of the largest research centres in Europe.
More information at:

German Aerospace Centre DLR Cologne

DLR scientists achieve solar hydrogen production in a 100-kilowatt pilot plant

In the future, hydrogen can play an important role for the energy industry as an energy carrier. For the first time, scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt DLR) have now successfully set up a 100-kilowatt pilot plant which uses solar energy to produce this important energy carrier in a renewable, CO2-free way.

Solar energy is by far the most widely available source of energy on Earth. Hydrogen, on its part, is an excellent energy carrier thanks to its high energy density. Moreover, the combustion of hydrogen produces only water and heat. For more than six years already, solar research at the DLR Institute of Technical Thermodynamics in Cologne has been aimed at developing innovative reactors for the solar, thermochemical splitting of water, in the context of the HYDROSOL I and II EU projects. In these reactors, solar energy is used directly to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, bypassing the need to generate electrical power first. The research results obtained in the 10-kilowatt power range have now been successfully applied in a 100-kilowatt pilot plant.

More information at:

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ

About the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam

As the national research centre for geosciences, the GFZ investigates the “System Earth” on a global scale with the physical, chemical and biological processes taking place in the Earth’s interior and on its surface. The interdisciplinary geoscientific research at the GFZ aims at a process-based understanding on all scales, ranging from processes of atomic size to those of galactic distances and from processes in a timescale of nanoseconds to billions of years. The GFZ examines our planet and the manifold interactions between its subsystems, the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. The incorporation of surface processes extends GFZ research work to “System Earth-Man” as our human habitat.

International Centre for Geothermal Research
The use of geothermal energy becomes an important issue of future energy supply within strategies for the mitigation of climate changes. The International Centre for Geothermal Research (ICGR) meets this challenge by developing reliable geothermal technologies and innovative concepts of a sustainable economic energy supply. ICGR covers research in a holistic approach along the whole chain of geothermal technologies from the geothermal reservoir to the provision of power, heat, and chill. Especially, the centre is focused on reducing risks and costs of geothermal exploration and exploitation and expanding accessible reservoirs addressing most of European and worldwide geological settings. The centre offers a close interface between research and industry bundling international geothermal expertise and experience in a global geothermal network based on self developed large scale hands on projects which plot the whole process for a geothermal energy supply.

The demands on geothermal technology are:    
•    Improvement of reservoir characterisation and pre-drilling subsurface (geophysical) imaging of the target areas.
•    Enhancement of the productivity of geothermal reservoirs by improving drilling and stimulation techniques.
•    Ensuring long-term operation and optimization of economic output of a plant by developing innovative subsurface monitoring-systems and
•    Optimization of technical procedures for the recovery of energy from and energy storage within a variety of geological settings.

Centre for CO2-Storage, Ketzin (20 km NW of Potsdam)

Utilisation of the geosphere and environmental protection are in the focus of the Centre for CO2 Storage. This interdisciplinary group studies geotechnical applications with a holistic approach, concentrating on  
•    CO2 Storage
•    Geophysical Engineering
•        Bio-Geoengineering
•    Reservoir Engineering

With regard to the CO2 storage in permeable rock formations in the deep subsurface, new technologies are developed, monitoring strategies tested, and interactions between rocks, fluids and microbiological biocenosis examined. Within a national and international research framework we are constructing near Ketzin the first European field laboratory for on-shore CO2 geological storage.    

In the field of geophysical engineering we are developing new methods and techniques for rock mass characterization during underground excavation, for increase of efficiency drilling geothermal wells and for surveillance of geotechnical constructions like CO2 storage reservoirs, bridges or tunnels.    

The bio-geoengineering studies are focused on interactions between biosphere and geosphere. Anthropogenic effects on the deep aquatic biosphere in geothermal or CO2 storage reservoirs are equally important as energy production from biomass.

Application of reservoir engineering methods is concentrated on the geophysical complexity of reservoirs and their near vicinity. For that purpose chemically, hydraulically, thermally, biologically and mechanically coupled processes are examined on different spatial and temporal scales.
More information at:$part=GFZ&locale=en

Helmholtz Centre Berlin for Materials And Energy (HZB)

From crystalline to thin film silicon solar cells

At the Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics at HZB scientists work on the scientific and technological foundations for the application of thin film technology in silicon photovoltaics. Thin-film crystalline silicon solar cells grown on an inexpensive substrate (such as glass) combine the advantages of traditional silicon technology (high productivity, energy efficient production, electrical interconnectivity) and the low materials consumption of thin film technology.

The research program focuses on two areas whose organizational structures are closely connected through the common use of technological processes and analytical methods within the department.

Crystalline silicon thin-film solar cells can potentially reduce costs, prompting a technology change from crystalline bulk Silicon to crystalline thin-film Silicon on a low-cost substrate. However, the manufacturing methods proposed so far are either too slow, too complex or do not yield the required cell performance. This project aims at the development of fast and simple film formation techniques which can deliver thin crystalline Silicon layers with sufficient structural and electronic quality.

The tour will include a visit of the laboratories for
•    laser-induced or solid phase crystallisation, where the electrically active absorber layer (~ 2µm thickness) is grown homoepitaxially on a polycrystalline seed layer consisting of large grains and
•    Plasma deposition (CVD-Laboratory), where thin silicon layers are deposited through plasma assisted chemical deposition techniques. A modern cluster tool facility, which is used for the deposition, can be visited.

Furthermore a variety of measurement methods are available for structural, optical, and electrical characterizations. These methods serve device analysis as well as basic materials research. Quite important are methods for defect analysis, for example the EPR-Spectroscopy. Scientists at the Silicon-Institute have designed and constructed a Terahertz-EPR-experiment at the synchrotron radiation source BESSY II.

For the investigation of materials systems for photovoltaics, EPR is particularly interesting since the efficiency of solar cells is often limited by electronically active defects such as impurities or intrinsic defects. Many of these defects are paramagnetic and can be excellently characterized with EPR. One paramagnetic defect which can be found in silicon is the silicon dangling bond. It is well known for its detrimental effect on silicon solar cells efficiencies since it reduces the number of excess charge carriers. Due to its distinct resonance field this defect can be distinguished easily from other intrinsic or extrinsic defects and it can detect these defects in thin film samples (with approximately 1 micrometer thickness) down to concentrations of 1015cm-3. This means that EPR provides the sensitivity to find one defect in one billion atoms and shows how EPR allows both qualitative and quantitative characterization of paramagnetic.
More information at:


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