Renewable energies

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With energy demand growing worldwide and greenhouse gas emissions on the rise, a sustainable energy supply is increasingly gaining in importance. Energy production must become more climate-friendly and at the same time give us greater independence from fossil fuels, power and heating. Renewable energies are one of the most important electricity sources and their expansion represents a central cornerstone of the energy turnaround.

We are developing processes for more efficient energy generation from sun, wind, hydropower, biomass and geothermal energy. Our laser-based solutions for organic photovoltaics, which have already successfully made the leap into industrial production, are a prime example. We also focus our research and development work on functional and high-performance coatings, such as wear-resistant coatings for hydropower plants or heating layers on wind turbine blades to protect against icing.

Wind energy

  • Coating of plain bearings with bearing metal by means of laser cladding
  • Thermally sprayed heating layers on wind turbine blades: Protection against icing (anti-icing)

Biomass and geothermal energy

Biomass:

  • Gas purification (measure contamination)

Geothermal energy:

  • Material approaches (pipes, boring mills) 

Latest research and development results

Organic photovoltaics: precisely cutting thin films with lasers

Laser-processed functional sample of an ultra-thin organic solar module.
© Fraunhofer IWS
Laser-processed functional sample of an ultra-thin organic solar module.

More cost-efficient organic photovoltaics (OPV) with ultrashort light pulses – thanks to a precisely adapted laser process, our researchers have succeeded in cutting OPV stacked layers with micrometer precision for a medium-sized solar film producer. To this end, we have defined the appropriate process. A picosecond laser divides the photoactive as well as the supporting electrode material of the layer stacks according to the current path to enable the cell to be electrically interconnected.

The challenge: The integrated barrier layer must remain intact. Instead of glass, the barrier layer protects the solar cells from environmental influences. This selective process is the prerequisite for advancing the development of organic photovoltaics. In this way, it saves weight compared to crystalline solar cells and can generate energy both in mobile form and on freely formed surfaces.

 

News / 10.5.2021

Functionalization of suspension-sprayed oxide film surfaces