Fraunhofer ISE strengthens research activities for solar thermal

Solar thermal systems are used for heating potable water, for space heating in residential and commercial buildings, and as a heat supply for industrial processes. They are also used to provide energy for heat engines or chillers that generate electricity or cold respectively. By adding this staff position, the largest European solar research institute wants to expand its activities in this branch.

“Dr. Wolfgang Kramer’s expertise in the field strengthens our team. His many years of experience in the industry complement our focus on applied research excellently,” says Dr. Werner Platzer, Division Director, Solar Thermal and Optics.

The majority of all solar thermal systems are used for water heating and space heating. For agriculture, business and industry, however, process heat from large solar thermal systems according to ISE is becoming more attractive. Depending on the system, operating temperatures of up to several hundred degrees Celcius can be generated. Here an enormous potential for substituting fossil fuel driven plants with solar thermal energy exists, the institute emphasizes.

With the addition of Dr. Wolfgang Kramer and the newly founded department Thermal System Technology in 2012, Fraunhofer ISE is on own account now optimally positioned.

“The institute has all the necessary components and system competence in place. These include, in particular, the areas of material science, component design and construction, fabrication processes, testing and verification procedures, theoretical modelling and simulation as well as system controls and operation for the various applications. The wide range of services we offer to our customers is unique in the field,” says Kramer about his new workplace.

Solar Thermal solar energy

The solar thermal research area at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Freiburg, Germany) not only develops system components like solar thermal collectors, storage and heat exchangers but also works on more efficient systems.

A central focus of R&D is to achieve an optimal interplay between the singular solar components in the system in consideration of the varying supply of solar heat and the demand for useful heat.

Since July 2012, Dr. Wolfgang Kramer is head of the department Thermal System Technology at Fraunhofer ISE, the institute reports in a press release.