DLR - Institute of Solar Research - Infrastructure

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(15. January 2011)

Large-scale Facilities

Solar Test and Demonstration Power Plant Juelich

At the DLR-Site Jülich, about 60 km west of Köln, the DLR Institute of Solar Research operates the Solar Test and Demonstration Power Plant Jülich.
Sunlight is reflected of 2153 mirrors onto the high-temperature receiver at the top of the 60-m power plant tower. There a 22 m2 large receiver absorbes the solar radiation, converts it into heat and generates temperatures surpassing 700 degrees Celsius. The thermal energy produced is transferred to ambient air, which passes over the receiver and carries the energy to a process within the power plant

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High-Flux Solar Furnace and High-Flux Solar Simulator in Cologne

The solar furnace of the DLR in Cologne is an experimental system in which the concentration of sunlight is used for research purposes. The energy of the concentrated sunlight is used to generate thermal or photonic effects on irradiated materials. The building in which the solar furnace and the appendant laboratories are situated was designed as low-energy building.

The High-Flux Solar Simulator consists of ten Xe-short-arc lamps with 6 kW electric power each. The ellipsoid reflectors within the lamps concentrate the light to a power density of 4 MW m².

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The Institute of Solar Research at the Plataforma Solar de Almería, Spain

In the province of Almeria in southeast Spain, on the edge of Tabernas Desert, lies the Plataforma Solar de Almeria (PSA). Owner and operator of the PSA is the spanish research center for energy, environmental studies and technology CIEMAT, a co-operation partner of the DLR for many years.
On this over-250-acre site, the full force of the Andalusian sun has been exploited since 1980 for the testing and optimisation of a variety of high-temperature solar technologies under nearly practicable conditions. More than 20,000 square metres of mirrors of various shapes in different test facilities concentrate the direct solar radiation to generate high and extremely high temperatures.

further information

Laboratories and Measurement Techniques

QUARZ: Test and Qualification Center for Concentrating Solar Technologies (Cologne)

On these state-of-the-art test benches and large-scale plants of this test and qualifying centre, manufacturers and customers of solar thermal systems and important solar thermal components, such as mirrors and absorber tubes, can test their quality. Current standards and test methods can also be evaluated and developed. The possibilities range from materials testing of prototypes and quality control in mass production to product specification and product development.

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SIMSON Solar Simulator

  • Max. radiant power 2 kW
  • Test facility to examine two-phase flows
  • Air-water test facility, tube diameter 50mm
  • Solar Thermal Outdoor Installations

SOPRAN test facility for solar process heat systems

  • Unit tests of parabolic trough collectors and direct evaporation, 168 m² parabolic trough collectors, heating and cooling system up to 200 °C/15 bar;
  • Small collector test facility for testing the efficiency of parabolic trough and fresnel collectors:
  • Heating-cooling system up to 200 ° C/15 bar; tilting stage.

Pore Laboratory

Special laboratory for the characterization of pore bodies: measurement of thermophysical properties of porous structures at high temperatures (heat transfer test, pressure loss test of porous structures, HOT-disk to determine the thermal conductivity).

Optics Laboratory

Laboratory for qualification non-contact measurement techniques. Numerous optical measuring instruments and spectrometers for the analysis of surface properties, calibration of measuring instruments and spectral measurements:
- Blackbody up to 1500 ° C
- HYCAL: Calorimeter for high radiation levels
- Radiometer for high radiation levels
- UV-VIS-NIR spectrometer and monochromator
- CCD cameras
- Various flux measurement systems for point focusing and line-concentrating systems
- Photogrammetric measurement system to determine the geometrical properties of concentrators
- IR temperature measurement system (0 - 800 °C)
- Meteo-station (DNI)
- Thermal imaging camera
- Setup for radiometric data: Xenon short arc lamp, various filters, evaluation unit

Micro Gas Turbine Laboratory

300 kW thermal power, external combustion chamber with the possibility for optical access, very good fuel flexibility (operated jointly with Institute of Combustion Technology in Stuttgart)

Chemical Laboratories

Cooling system for temperature control, pumps, data collection, distillation plant for solvent recovery

Solar photo-reactors

Parabolic trough collector reactor up to 0.5 l
CPC-collector reactor 20 to 50 l
Tube reactor 25 up to 40 l
Double wall sheet reactor 25 to 40 l

Receiver-reactor systems for tests with highly concentrated solar radiation in the solar furnace (each 4 kW to 12 kW)

Drum-type receiver-reactor
Honeycomb receiver-reactor
Aerosol receiver-reactor
Photo-reactor, light filter system
Heated exhaust gas line and gas removal for the neutralization of acidic gases
Mobile demonstrator-lamp reactors for photochemical / photocatalytic water treatment
Demonstrator unit: 4 kW medium pressure mercury lamp, 500 l
Demonstrator unit: 12 kW medium pressure mercury lamp, 3000 l

Instrumental Chemical Analytics

- Gas chromatography: FID and TCD, with automatic liquid sampler
- Gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC-MS), also coupleable with thermo desorption sampler
- Liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer coupling (LC-MS) with diode array detector
- FT-infrared spectrometer for the study of transmission solutions and platelet samples
- UV-VIS-NIR spectrometer to measure in transmission and reflection, integrating sphere
- UV-VIS spectrometer with fiber optics
- Spectrometer for application of chemical cuvette tests for water analysis
- Device for the determination of water parameters: TOC with automatic liquid sampler,
- Goniometer-reflectometer - Optics bench
- Radiation calibration laboratory for flux sensors

Dr.rer.nat. Karl-Heinz Funken
Head of Facilities and Solar Materials

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Institute of Solar Research


Tel.: +49 2203 601-3220

Fax: +49 2203 601-4141

Large-scale Facilities
Plataforma Solar de Almería
QUARZ - Test and Qualification Center for Concentrating Solar Power Technologies


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