Energy / Plants

Wind energy as an essential element of a environmentally-friendly power supply

Energy / Plants

Producing and processing industries are classic fundaments of developed nations. Both divisions require immense amounts of energy and, thus, aside from facilities and mechanisms for power generation, facilities and mechanisms for energy transport over any distances, as well as for energy storage. The business unit comprises projects in nuclear energy (keyword retreat working), conventional power plants, renewable energies and energy carriers as well as activities in the frame of production plants.

The business unit "energy / plants" is tieing Fraunhofer IZFP's activities in these thematic fields.



Looking inside materials the smart way

© Tom Gundelwein

3D SmartInspect

Aircraft, trains and power plants have to be inspected regularly. Detecting damage too late could pose safety risks and often results in expensive downtimes. Now, researchers are using the 3D SmartInspect sensor and inspection system to transfer established testing routines into tomorrow’s digital world.

Just as cars in Germany need to be inspected every two years to ensure they are safe, other safety-critical objects – turbines, generators or high-pressure containers, for example – have to be examined regularly as well. This is especially important when the materials and products used are pushed to their outermost performance limits in order to increase economic efficiency. To carry out these assessments, inspectors receive a printout map of the factory grounds to help them find their way. Once they locate the structure to be inspected – say, a high-pressure container – they inspect it with help from a sensor. The difficulty is that they have to inspect the entire surface. But which parts have they already evaluated with the sensor, and what still needs to be done? Inspectors also have to undergo a lengthy training process and need a great deal of experience in order to reliably gauge the condition of the various objects to be examined. It is hard to find experienced engineers for this.

To the press release

Efficient, conservation-friendly production of large casting components

© Axel Hindemith / Wikimedia Commons

To compete in the international iron manufacturing market, the capability to efficiently produce large-scale casting parts while conserving resources is becoming increasingly essential. Particularly with wind power systems, the dross* found in large cast iron components with nodular graphite (GJS) can increase manufacturing, personnel and energy costs. These components must frequently be re-worked using extremely time-consuming manual processes.

Manufacturers of cast components (wind power turbines and ship engines for instance) are all too aware of the problem with dross, an issue that has not been resolved to date. A research project involving renowned industry partners has finally opened up the possibility of examining large casting components with dross defects in a targeted fashion and developing ways to turn dross into usable parts, keep the re-work to a minimum and in particular avoid the scrapping of defective components, something which is a major benefit to manufacturers and users.

To the press release

Surface Hardening Depth (SHD): Nondestructive Inspection of Inductively Hardened Parts and Components Using Ultrasonic Backscattering

© Fraunhofer IZFP

Crank shaft inspection using SHD sensor

Long-term experience with customized ultrasonic hardware and software

Fraunhofer IZFP designs and manufactures optimized ultrasonic electronics

Systems for automated and manual testing are available

No calibration of reference parts with defined hardness

Impartial, user-independent measurement technique

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