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Ongoing Research Projects (extract)
From sunlight directly to fuel
SUN-to-LIQUID aims at developing a solar thermochemical technology as a highly promising fuel path at large scale and competitive costs. Solar radiation is concentrated by a heliostat field and efficiently absorbed in a solar reactor that thermochemically converts H
O and CO
to syngas which is subsequently processed to Fischer-Tropsch hydro-carbon fuels. Solar-to-syngas energy conversion efficiencies exceeding 30% can potentially be realized thanks to favourable thermodynamics at high temperature and utilization of the full solar spectrum.
Solar Thermochemical Water Splitting
HYDROSOL.PLANT is the fourth of a series of projects aiming at the generation of solar hydrogen by thermochemical water-splitting via metal-oxides. A 750 kW-plant has been erected on the Plataforma Solar de Almería in Co-operation with the Research Centers CIEMAT (Spain) and APTL (Greece) and the Greek company Hellenic Petrol.
Solar integrated pressurized high temperature electrolysis (HTE)
Hydrogen and other fuels are expected to play a key role as energy carrier for the transport sector and as energy buffer for the integration of large amounts of renewable energy into the grid. In Sophia hydrogen is produced via high temperature electrolysis coupled with concentrated solar energy and the project will pave the way to this promising efficient carbon-free hydrogen production technology.
High temperature solar-heated reactors for industrial production of reactive particulates
The main objective of the SOLPART project is to develop, at a pilot scale, a high temperature (800-1000°C) 24h/day solar process suitable for particle treatment in energy intensive non-metallic minerals’ industries. One of the main reactions is the calcination, in which CO
is released on the one hand due to the reaction and on the other hand due to the usage of fossil fuels. The goal of the SOLPART project is to reduce CO
release, by replacing fossil fuel with solar energy.
Renewable power generation by a solar-driven sulphur storage cycle
Effective and economic long-term storage of solar energy is crucial in order to fully replace fossil power plants by renewable sources. In this context, the European project PEGASUS investigates a novel power cycle for renewable electricity production combining a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant with a sulphur storage system for 24 hours baseload operation.
Sustainable fertilizer production from sun, air and water
Fertilizer production today comes along with immense CO2 emissions. Large amounts of natural gas are required to produce the important fertilizer base chemical ammonia. In Düsol, we modify the production in such a way, that no natural gas is used anymore. Solar-fired chemical processes generate the precursor components of ammonia solely from water and air.
Solar energy for chemical industry: Indirectly solar heated reformer for the production of methanol from CO2 and natural gas
The conventional production of synthesis gas (Syngas), which is an intermediate product for a variety of chemical products, such as Methanol, causes significant CO2 emissions. When utilizing solar energy, the emissions can be greatly reduced. Recycling of CO2 in the process further reduces the emissions.
Innovative parabolic trough collectors made from concrete
In modern parbolic-trough power plants, the cost of the collector field is about 50% of the entire investment cost. The cost-reduction potential for the common steel structures is largely exhausted. Using concrete as the main structural material offers comparatively low material and manufacturing costs, as well as further potential for cost-reduction.
Bringing thermochemical water splitting to the next level
In this visionary project, major engineering challenges are tackled, which on paper promise great efficiency improvements. Together with Sandia National Labs from the US, we develop a test facility to show that irradiating particles beyond 1450 °C at reduced pressure is feasible.
Development of the next generation molten salt power tower
The project PreFlexMS includes tasks within research and development in different disciplines, in order to increase the performance of solarthermal power towers by using liquid salt as heat transfer medium.
Solarthermal electricity generation in combination with biomass
In the frame of the EU Project REELCOOP a solar thermal power plant in the small range is being investigated in combination with biomass.
Solar aluminium smelting in a directly irradiated rotary kiln
In this German - South African cooperation, we strive to Elaborate a sustainable way to run the energy intensive Aluminium smelting process.
Direct integration of solar steam into fossil steam generator
In the project SolSteam the Institute of Solar Research develops and investigates concepts for the direct integration of solar steam into industrial steam systems in collaboration with its partner Industrial Solar.
Virtual Institute SolarSynGas
Thermochemical Research for CO
-neutral Renewable Fuels
The Virtual Institute SolarSynGas pursues the long-term goal to produce CO
-neutral renewable fuels efficiently and economically via a thermo-chemical route. Behind SolarSynGas are the DLR Institutes of Solar Research and Materials Research and the three universities KIT Karlsruhe, TU Clausthal and ETH Zurich.
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