The Institute of Solar Research, headquartered in Cologne, was established by the German Aerospace Centre in 2011 to consolidate the various solar research activities of the Stuttgart-based Institute of Technical Thermodynamics in a single institution.
It is headed by two co-directors Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Pitz-Paal and Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Hoffschmidt.
The Institute’s 140 workplaces are spread across the DLR Headquarters in Cologne, DLR facilities in Stuttgart and Jülich as well as Europe’s largest test facility for concentrating solar technology run by DLR’s Spanish research partners CIEMAT, the Plataforma Solar de Almería.
Research and development in the field of concentrating solar systems are the core topics of the institute. State-of-the-art laboratories as well as industrial-scale testing facilities are available, providing scientists with an excellent, productive working environment.
Its research activities focus on technical feasibility issues, and on increasing the overall efficiency and lowering the cost of concentrating solar systems.
The Institute of Solar Research seeks to build bridges between basic research, large-scale projects and industrial applications. The more academic side of its work is mainly funded with grants from the programme-oriented funding scheme of the Helmholtz Association. On the application-oriented side, scientists and industry jointly develop solutions in a range of collaborative research projects.The Institute’s clients include public authorities, national and international scientific institutions as well as partners from German and international industry.
As a pioneering German research institution working on concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, the Institute figures as the prime mover of the development and qualification of solar power and allied technologies, both in Europe and on a global scale.