The energy industry is currently undergoing great structural changes: Renewable energies are becoming more and more important and conventional generation systems have to withstand the increased pressure of competition. In both areas, Fraunhofer ILT offers powerful process technologies to make the respective components even more energy-efficient and cost-effective.
For renewable energies, Fraunhofer ILT is working on manufacturing issues relating to organic and inorganic photovoltaics, in which high-performance interconnection technologies are integrated into highly productive plants. Particularly in the field of organic solar cells, Fraunhofer ILT provides state-of-the-art coating, laser-based thin-film modification and structuring systems in a roll-to-roll process. These are characterized by particularly high flexibility.
In addition, Fraunhofer ILT has developed technology that can improve power and efficiency in traditional areas of energy production. In the future, additive manufacturing methods (laser additive manufacturing) will be used to produce turbine components for even higher combustion temperatures and, thus, higher energy efficiency. Furthermore, laser cladding makes it possible to efficiently repair worn turbine parts. The engineers at Fraunhofer ILT have already received several awards in this area. In addition, they have developed novel methods to produce cooling air holes in turbine blades or to structure the surfaces of solar cells for an improvement in absorption.
In addition to the energy sector, Fraunhofer ILT is also addressing a wide range of tasks in the production and recovery of raw materials and valuable materials. In the field of electronics, for example, rare raw materials can be selected and recovered with high accuracy from disused mobile phones via plasma-assisted analysis.