Top Solar Energy Researchers to Meet in Germany

They cool buildings with hot air from solar collectors. They generate electricity from silicon films that are thinner than a hair. They invent novel materials to store solar energy more efficiently. Solar researchers develop new products and procedures in their laboratories, test them in demonstration systems and co-operate with industry to make them ready for practical application.

Freiburg, Germany – June 1, 2004 [] From the 20th to 23rd June, 2004, scientists and engineers from all over the world will present their most recent research results in more than 400 lectures and posters at the EuroSun2004 conference in Freiburg, Germany. The conference organizers especially aim to offer young researchers the opportunity to communicate the results of their work. “In addition to recognized experts, we are also expecting many young scientists from universities and research institutes”, said Dr Volker Wittwer, Scientific President of EuroSun2004. A workshop on new types of concentrators and micro-structured optical surfaces for solar energy systems is directed specifically to recent graduates. Other workshops deal with optimized selection of materials for solar collectors and thermal storage units, and current developments in solar-thermal power station technology. Nevertheless, the research community does not intend to meet in isolation. “We do not want research in an ivory tower. Our aim is to stimulate dialogue between science and industry,” Wittwer said. Thus, Intersolar 2004, Europe ‘s largest trade fair for solar technology, will take place in Freiburg also, immediately after EuroSun2004. For Wittwer, the deputy director of the internationally renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, and his fellow researchers, new scientific knowledge is not the only important aspect. The scientists want the knowledge to be applied. “This is essential if we are to help solar technology to play the important role in society which it must assume for the sake of our common future.” This is already the fifth time that the European Section of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) is running a scientific conference as a platform primarily for European solar experts to exchange knowledge. The Deutsche Gesellschaft fýr Sonnenenergie (DGS – German Society for Solar Energy) is the host to the expert conference this year. EuroSun2004 is simultaneously the 14th Internationales Sonnenforum (International Solar Forum) of the oldest German solar association. This concept has already proved itself: Together with PSE GmbH, the two associations, ISES and DGS, already successfully started the series of EuroSun conferences in Freiburg in 1996. Since then, the conferences have been held in different European countries every two years.
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