Hy­dro­gen – the en­er­gy source of the fu­ture

Hydrogen supply system
Hy­dro­gen sup­ply sys­tem
Image 1/5, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Hydrogen supply system

This hy­dro­gen sup­ply sys­tem at DLR’s In­sti­tute of Propul­sion Tech­nol­o­gy in Cologne is used to de­vel­op ef­fi­cient, high-per­for­mance gas tur­bines for avi­a­tion and en­er­gy gen­er­a­tion.
Novel radiation receiver mounted on the research level of the Jülich solar tower
Nov­el ra­di­a­tion re­ceiv­er mount­ed on the re­search lev­el of the Jülich so­lar tow­er
Image 2/5, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Novel radiation receiver mounted on the research level of the Jülich solar tower

With the Jülich so­lar tow­er, the So­lar Pow­er Plant Tech­nol­o­gy De­part­ment with­in the DLR In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search op­er­ates the on­ly so­lar-ther­mal tow­er pow­er plant in Ger­many. Here, so­lar re­searchers work with in­dus­tri­al part­ners to test and de­vel­op com­po­nents and sys­tems for com­mer­cial so­lar-ther­mal pow­er plants.
CryoLab – investigating tank models
Cry­oLab – in­ves­ti­gat­ing tank mod­els
Image 3/5, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

CryoLab – investigating tank models

In the Cry­oLab at the DLR In­sti­tute of Space Sys­tems, ex­per­i­ments can be car­ried out with cryo­genic liq­uid gas­es, in­clud­ing liq­uid hy­dro­gen at mi­nus 253 de­grees Cel­sius.
Future mobility
Fu­ture mo­bil­i­ty
Image 4/5, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

Future mobility

Flex­i­ble to use, easy to trans­port and clean to burn – the ad­van­tages of hy­dro­gen as an en­er­gy source make it a promis­ing can­di­date for driv­ing for­ward the en­er­gy and trans­port tran­si­tion.
Sector coupling between electricity / heating / mobility in the energy system of the future
Sec­tor cou­pling be­tween elec­tric­i­ty / heat­ing / mo­bil­i­ty in the en­er­gy sys­tem of the fu­ture
Image 5/5, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Sector coupling between electricity / heating / mobility in the energy system of the future

Cou­pling the elec­tric­i­ty, heat­ing and mo­bil­i­ty sec­tors will make the ur­ban in­fras­truc­ture of fu­ture smart cities more ef­fi­cient. The close in­ter­link­ing of en­er­gy and in­for­ma­tion flows will make it pos­si­ble to bet­ter co­or­di­nate en­er­gy pro­duc­tion with de­mand.

An economy without greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – this is Europe’s declared, 30-year goal for halting climate change. Renewable energies are expected to replace fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas. Hydrogen will play an important role in the sustainable transformation of the energy supply system.

Hydrogen is a highly versatile energy source with immense potential for synergies because it can be used across sector boundaries – in clean mobility, for the efficient supply of electricity and heating, as an energy storage medium to offset fluctuating supplies from renewable sources, and as a basis for alternative fuels or as a process gas in industry. Sustainably and economically produced hydrogen is therefore a key element in greatly reducing emissions – especially of the harmful greenhouse gas carbon dioxide – in the energy, transport and industrial sectors and thus in combating climate change. At the same time, the establishment of a cross-sectoral and, if possible, global hydrogen economy is opening up enormous opportunities for new technologies and business models.

DLR is active in all areas of hydrogen research and along the entire process chain – from production to storage and use. With the experience gained over several decades, its researchers are working to make it widely usable. DLR’s scientists can draw upon several decades of experience in working to exploit its potential. In order to produce hydrogen sustainably and economically on a large industrial scale in the near future, DLR is researching two main methods – electrolysis and solar-thermal processes. DLR is also investigating how hydrogen can be stored as efficiently and safely as possible and transported over long distances. DLR is developing both special fuel cells and new types of hydrogen tanks for mobile use, and is integrating them into the relevant systems, be they cars, buses, trucks, cargo bicycles, trains, aircraft or ships. Together with turbine and power plant manufacturers, DLR is conducting research in the fields of fuel flexibility and design concepts for ensuring that mixtures of natural gas and hydrogen burn as stably and with as few pollutant emissions as possible.

Background article: Overview of hydrogen research at DLR

DLR is examining the potential of green hydrogen as a source of energy for a climate-neutral energy system in a two-part study. The first part is considering the technologies and prospects for a sustainable and cost-effective hydrogen supply. The second focuses on the issue of sector coupling. Green hydrogen is sustainable and climate neutral, as it is produced from water and energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

Studies:

Karsten Lemmer is the DLR Executive Board Member for Energy and Transport and is a member of the National Hydrogen Council, which advises the German Federal Government’s State Secretaries Committee for Hydrogen by making recommendations for implementing the national hydrogen strategy. Germany’s national strategy was developed as the European Commission was publishing its own plan and setting up the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance to put it into practice. Based on its own experience of hydrogen research at the European level, DLR welcomes the Commission's ambition and hopes to secure a more prominent role for science through a permanent representation within the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance.

Contact
  • Bernhard Milow
    En­er­gy Pro­gramme Di­rec­tor
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3655
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
  • Dipl.-Ing. Magnus Lamp
    Pro­gram Man­age­ment Trans­port
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3630
    Fax: +49 2203 601-4712
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Köln
    Contact
  • Dr.-Ing. Markus Fischer
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Di­rec­torate Aero­nau­tics
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3698
    Fax: +49 2203 601-2767
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
  • Susann Groß
    Head of Pro­gramme Space R&D
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Pro­gramme Space R&D
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3605
    Hansestraße 115
    51149 Köln
    Contact
16 articles

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