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A glimpse of the future

technology report online, July 2017

Join us on a short journey into the future! We’ll take a look at sustainable superheroes and see how technologies can help to protect the environment.

Sustainable Superheroes

In the world’s major cities, people don’t need to wear face masks, because smog and fine particle pollution are no longer a problem. Electric vehicles hum through the streets. An optimized, sustainable energy supply brings electricity to end users. Intelligent heating and cooling systems keep it comfortable inside buildings. Nature supplies the energy: sun, wind and water. Is this a fictional world, or a reality that is not all that far away?

The elements sun, wind and water represent the future of our energy supply. Renewable energies are sustainable superheroes when it comes to escaping our dependence on fossil fuels, such as petroleum.

What is Heraeus contributing

The future clearly depends on renewable energies – and on storing and distributing them intelligently. Demand for efficient PV systems continues to rise, and silver pastes are a key component for their efficiency. Over the last few decades, Heraeus has steadily improved these materials. Additional goals include continuing to boost efficiency and develop a lead-free, truly “green” solar cell. Heraeus is also working to develop organic solar cells and is testing the use of conductive polymers.

But what happens when excess energy is generated? For short-term storage, high-capacity batteries or electric cars can be used. Options that facilitate long-term energy storage include electrolysis, which converts energy into hydrogen, and fuel cells, which convert hydrogen into energy. Here too, Heraeus is exploring new environmental technology solutions - an the world is getting greener.

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