The Institute of Technical Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt -DLR) does research in the field of efficient energy storage systems that conserve natural resources, and next generation energy conversion technologies with a staff of 150 scientific and technical employees, engineers and doctoral candidates at Stuttgart, Köln-Porz, Ulm, and Hamburg.
The spectrum of activities ranges from theoretical studies, to laboratory work for basic research and to the operation of pilot plants.
These experimental and theoretical studies are accompanied by systems analysis studies to analyse the associated technological, environmental, and economic potential, and situate it in a larger overall context of the energy economy by means of scenarios. In addition to these core activities in the DLR field ‘Energy’, the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics also works on selected subjects from the fields of ‘Aviation’ and ‘Transportation’, thus contributing to other focal points of DLR. These include developments to the use of fuel cells in aircraft and ground vehicles and to the generation and storage of hydrogen.
A major characteristic is the interdisciplinary collaboration of the departments, so that skills and synergies are utilized to the full extent for project work. The Institute and its activities are very well integrated in national and international research networks.
Due to the fields in which it researches, the institute acts as a bridge between basic research and industrial development, and thus often plays a key role in the introduction of new technologies. In addition to research and development, other important functions are advising political and business decision-makers, and advanced training of young scientists.
With its strategic, long-term research and developmental work in the field of energy engineering, the institute makes a major contribution to ensuring power supplies that conserve natural resources and thus to sustainable development for our society.