This year, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is celebrating 40 years of energy research and reflects on the very first days with the the protagonists. Gerd Eisenbeiß is one of them. He was the Programme Director for Energy and Transport Research at DLR and later the Director for Energy and Materials Research at the Jülich Research Center.
This year, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is celebrating 40 years of energy research and reflects on the very first days with the protagonists. One of these is Carl-Jochen Winter, a hydrogen researcher who was involved from the very beginning.
The heating sector is playing a crucial role in the sustainable transformation of the energy system. The production of heat for industry, households, business and service providers accounts for nearly half of the total energy consumption in the European Union. Industry needs more than a third of that amount, mostly for process heating, but also for space heating and hot water.
Forty years ago, prompted by the shocking rise in oil prices at the start of the 1970s, political and economic figures began to think about an energy supply other than oil, coal, and uranium. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), which at that time was still the DVLR, had already begun applying its expertise to energy research in 1969 to directly tackle this social challenge.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is supporting the Indian power provider NTPC in its project to establish a research centre to test and develop solar power plants and their components. DLR researchers are supplying systems, measurement equipment and expertise, and are helping to select suitable power plant locations. The recently launched project will run for three years and is supported by the Kreditanstalt Development Bank (KfW) with funds provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.
With its research and management divisions, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) contributes to the solution of global challenges. The work includes not only the reduction of emissions caused by air transport, but also highly automated travel for the mobility of the future, cost-effective energy storage solutions and environmental monitoring for the protection of the atmosphere.
The Canary Islands could meet their entire electricity requirements from renewable energy sources by 2050, thereby establishing a sustainable, zero-emission and economically viable long-term energy supply, as demonstrated by a recently published study produced by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on behalf of Greenpeace.
Energy researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have put into service an innovative thermal storage system that uses lime as the storage medium. The lime storage system is a further development of an initial prototype and can store energy more economically and efficiently.
With the project for the HY4 four-seater aircraft, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is taking another major step towards making zero-emission flying a reality – the HY4 will be the world's first four-passenger aircraft powered solely by a hydrogen fuel cell battery system.
Over 60,000 guests visited the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Cologne-Porz site on 20 September 2015 for German Aerospace Day. DLR and the European Space Agency (ESA), together with their partners, exhibited current research projects and missions in the fields of aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is opening its doors to their laboratories and institutes on German Aerospace Day, offering visitors an insight into the ongoing research. Teaming up with the event partners – the European Space Agency (ESA), Cologne Bonn Airport and the German Air Force – DLR will showcase a major aircraft exhibition alongside the astronaut training facilities in the EAC (European Astronaut Center).
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), together with partners from science and industry, have developed a new method for producing hydrogen from diesel and biodiesel as part of the EU NEMESIS 2+ project. In future, this could be used in areas where decentralised hydrogen production is needed – for example, for filling up fuel cell vehicles, or for processes used within the glass and steel industry. During the project, a prototype was also built and successfully tested – it is the same size as a shipping container and, as such, can be integrated into existing infrastructure with relative ease.
Transferring power from Africa to Europe via a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line could be a sustainable business model with added value for both regions. This is the conclusion reached by researchers in the EU-sponsored BETTER project (Bringing Europe and Third Countries Closer Together Through Renewable Energies), conducted by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in cooperation with CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas) and other partners.
South Africa has plentiful solar energy and, at the same time, possesses a large aluminium processing industry. Researchers and industry are cooperating within the SOLAM (solar melting of aluminium in a directly radiated rotary kiln) project to develop a method by which aluminium foundries could use solar energy to melt this metal.
Batteries and fuel cells for the vehicles of tomorrow, solar thermal power plants, heat storage and smart rotor blades for wind turbines – there are plenty of opportunities to make the energy supply of the future clean and sustainable.
BIROS, a microsatellite capable of detecting forest fires from space, will be launched in 2015. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) HALO atmospheric research aircraft will be flying through the Monsoon winds in the summer of 2015, investigating the effect of large-scale airflows on polluted air masses above India.
2014 was an extraordinarily eventful and exciting year at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). The landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and the mission by German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst were undisputed highlights. But the research conducted in other areas was extremely diverse, and sought to find answers to questions in the fields of aeronautics, aerospace, energy, transport and security.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has been commissioned by the World Bank to investigate Pakistan’s potential for the exploitation of solar energy. DLR researchers will be using satellite data and ground measurements to generate a radiation map showing the best regions for solar power generation in Pakistan.
The Dii (Desertec Industrial Initiative) has been dissolved in its current form, and will now only continue to exist as a consultancy firm. Robert Pitz-Paal, Director of DLR's Institute of Solar Research, explains his view of how the idea of power generation using solar thermal power plants in sunny regions will continue to develop.
DLR has joined with partners in an EU research project to develop a 'combined tank' suitable for holding hydrogen in a compact space under moderate pressure and at ambient temperature.