Vehicle-integrated PV for Electrical Commercial Vehicles – »Lade-PV« Project Begins

June 4, 2020

© Schnitzler Werbung Freiburg GmbH
Electrical commercial vehicles can save energy with solar energy

Heavy-load vehicle traffic is responsible for 6 percent of the CO2 emissions in the European Union. Solar electricity generated directly on the vehicle can improve this balance by 5 to 7 percent. In the »Lade-PV« project under the direction of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, four industrial companies and two Fraunhofer institutes want to demonstrate the market feasibility of PV applications in the heavy-load transport. The aim is to develop an overall concept that makes the widespread use of integrated PV modules on electrical and other commercial vehicles (over 3.5 tons commercial load) possible.

To manufacture the light-weight VIPV modules in series production, a production concept will developed and the company Sunset Energiekonzept GmbH will accordingly modify its existing production line. The module prototypes will be integrated into the bodies of electrical commercial vehicles by the TBV Kühlfahrzeuge GmbH, a company specializing in the design and production of refrigerated trucks. To connect the solar module into the existing bus systems of the commercial vehicle, power electronic components will be developed, tested and certified for use on the demo vehicle by the project partner M&P motion control and power electronics GmbH. A Framo electrical truck equipped with solar modules will be tested in the daily distribution operation of the Alexander Bürkle GmbH & Co. KG company throughout the Freiburg region.

The Fraunhofer IVI is developing an energy forecasting model for the truck. Dependent on the vehicle load and the PV electricity produced along the various routes, projections are made for the driving range, loading periods and the electricity production.  

New Solutions for the Safety of Automated Driving

Creating virtual simulations of real-life accident situations

© Fraunhofer IVI
Early demonstrations in the SePIA project on the Fraunhofer IVI test track

June 3, 2020

One of the biggest challenges in the development of self-driving cars are the safety concerns of drivers. An article in the new edition of the Fraunhofer magazine is looking into the safety topic and the opportunities it provides for the German economy to take the lead in the race to create intelligent systems for autonomous driving. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is currently working on several solutions in this area.

In the SePIA project, for example, the Fraunhofer IVI is developing a complex validation platform for highly automated driving, electronic subsystems and the overall vehicle in cooperation with TU Dresden as well as the Saxon companies Fahrzeugsystemdaten GmbH, TraceTronic GmbH, Computer Vision Lab, and the Institute for Traffic Accident Research at TU Dresden. The platform will integrate real scenarios and extensive accident data as well as accident reconstruction reports, vehicle data and video recordings. »In 2019, there were more than 2.7 million traffic accidents in Germany. The most serious ones tended to involve cyclists, pedestrians and motorized two-wheelers such as motorbikes and mopeds,« says Dr. Christian Erbsmehl, group manager of Vehicle and Road Safety at the Fraunhofer IVI in Dresden. »Our approach allows us to create virtual reproductions of real-life accident situations and test the ability of different vehicle safety systems – either in isolation or in combination – to execute the collision at a lower speed or avoid the accident altogether.«

The platform will be tested and demonstrated in a hardware/software application environment. The SePIA project is funded by the Free State of Saxony and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

»Digital Villages Saxony« Project Launches Communication Services for Citizens

March 25, 2020

The »Digital Villages Saxony« project investigates the potentials of digitalization for everyday life in rural areas. Together with the local population, administration and researchers from the Fraunhofer institutes IESE and IVI, digital services are being developed and tested in the Lommatzscher Pflege model region in Saxony.

The project has now reached an important milestone: citizens living in the model region can now use the newly developed services DorfFunk (»village radio«) and DorfNews (»village news«). DorfFunk is a smartphone app offering a platform for posting offers, search requests and capacities for neighborhood support as well as a chat function. DorfNews is a website featuring news from the region. Both the local administrations as well as the citizens themselves can publish information via this channel. The project team is convinced that, especially under the current circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, digital services for connecting people and spreading information on locally available help are more important than ever.

Innovation and Tradition: Director Matthias Klingner at »Metzler meets Fraunhofer«

© Stefan Effner

As part of a series of events titled »Innovation and Tradition – Metzler meets Fraunhofer«, Fraunhofer IVI director Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner visited the Metzler Bank in Frankfurt am Main on February 5th, 2020. With Jürgern Pieper, who is responsible for the German auto sector at Metzler Capital Markets, he discussed how the energy turnaround and mobility can be combined. Amongst other topics, they also spoke about the chances and risks of autonomous driving. The interview was opened by a presentation that Prof. Klingner held on mobility trends. 

The series of events started in 2014 and offers select Metzler business partners and clients exclusive insight into socially and economically significant technological processes in the form of a business lunch. This provides a platform for dialogue between researchers and practitioners and can spark new ideas for developing adequate business strategies for the future.

Minister Visits the autartec® House

Brandenburgian Minister Jörg Steinbach learns about future living concepts

© Fraunhofer IVI
Minister Jörg Steinbach at the autartec® house

February 6, 2020

During a visit of the Lusatian Lake District, the Brandenburgian Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour, and Energy, Jörg Steinbach, also visited the autartec® house at the Lake Bergheide. Fraunhofer IVI director Matthias Klingner used the technology demonstrator, which was completed in 2019, to point out how alternative energy concepts and a modern living culture can bring about new ways of life on both land and water. Working towards the redesign of this former mining region, the vision to develop the autartec® house into a settlement with several lakeside and floating houses is just one of the many ideas that are open for discussion.

With its unconventional look and the semi-self-sustaining energy and water supply, the building is an enrichment to the Lusatian Lake District and made a great impression on Minister Steinbach. The solutions from the autartec® project are also suitable for the use in other development areas that are still lacking the necessary infrastructure, for instance the connection to water and electricity supply. The floating house thus becomes a lighthouse in the regional development, striving towards a landscape that will become attractive for both residents and tourists.

From A to B – Relaxed and Eco-Friendly

Collaborative project »SteigtUM« develops emission-free transport concept

© TU Bergakademie Freiberg

January 27, 2020

The research project will create a cost-effective rental service offering cargo bikes and electric scooters for everyday use. Designated users are students of the TU Freiberg and the general public, who can move through the city and the university campus in a comfortable and eco-friendly way. The first tests are planned for 2020. In addition to the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and the Fraunhofer IVI, apromace data systems GmbH from Freiberg and the TU Braunschweig have joined the consortium.

Until the year 2023, the project will receive a funding of 4.9 million euros for its research and testing by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the priority area »Individual and adaptive technologies for a connected mobility – 2nd phase«.