In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search

Jülich solar towers
Jülich so­lar tow­ers
Image 1/3, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Jülich solar towers

In front of the two Jülich so­lar tow­ers, there are more than 2,000 ad­justable mir­rors (he­liostats) on an area of around ten hectares. They catch the sun­light, bun­dle it and di­rect it to the two so­lar tow­ers. The larg­er of the two tow­ers is a func­tion­ing so­lar tow­er pow­er plant, so it can ac­tu­al­ly pro­duce elec­tric­i­ty. The tow­er has a re­search lev­el for chang­ing ex­per­i­men­tal set-ups. Since 2020, the so­lar tow­er pow­er plant has been sup­port­ed by the some­what small­er so-called mul­ti-fo­cus tow­er. There are three lev­els with spe­cial equip­ment for the in­stal­la­tion of spe­cif­ic ex­per­i­ments.
Parabolic-trough solar collector at Plataforma Solar de Almería, owned by the Spanish research centre CIEMAT
Parabol­ic-trough so­lar col­lec­tor at Platafor­ma So­lar de Almería, owned by the Span­ish re­search cen­tre CIEMAT
Image 2/3, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Parabolic-trough solar collector at Plataforma Solar de Almería, owned by the Spanish research centre CIEMAT

With heat ac­cu­mu­la­tors, the cur­rent pro­duc­tion of so­larther­mal pow­er sta­tions can be in­de­pen­dent of the vageries of the Sun. So­larther­mal pow­er sta­tions can sup­ply en­er­gy even at night and in over­cast con­di­tions. The Platafor­ma So­lar de Almería is owned by the Span­ish re­search cen­tre CIEMAT.
Meteorological measurement station METAS at Plataforma Solar de Almería, owned by the Spanish research centre CIEMAT
Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal mea­sure­ment sta­tion METAS at Platafor­ma So­lar de Almería, owned by the Span­ish re­search cen­tre CIEMAT
Image 3/3, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Meteorological measurement station METAS at Plataforma Solar de Almería, owned by the Spanish research centre CIEMAT

At the me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal sta­tion METAS, re­searchers col­lect in­for­ma­tion that is es­sen­tial for the de­sign, op­er­a­tion and eval­u­a­tion of so­lar pow­er plants and their com­po­nents. They de­vel­op sys­tems to op­ti­mise the op­er­a­tion of so­lar pow­er plants and pho­to­volta­ic sys­tems. The me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal sta­tion METAS is lo­cat­ed at Platafor­ma So­lar de Almería in Spain (PSA), which is owned by the Span­ish re­search cen­tre CIEMAT. (Cen­tro de In­ves­ti­ga­tiones En­er­get­i­cas, Medioam­bi­en­tales y Tec­no­log­i­cas).

The DLR Institute for Solar Research develops concentrating solar systems for the generation of heat, power and fuel. These technologies are used, for example, in Solar thermal power plants in Spain, the United Sates and many other countries with high levels of direct solar radiation.

The Institute is represented at the DLR sites in Cologne, Jülich and Stuttgart. In southern Spain, scientists from the Institute are conducting research at the Plataforma Solar de Almería (owned and operated by Spanish research centre CIEMAT), Europe's largest research facility for concentrating solar systems. In addition, the institute develops methods for the qualification of solar thermal power plants and photovoltaic (PV) systems. In the field of energy meteorology, the scientists develop methods and systems that enable solar thermal power plants and PV systems to be operated more efficiently. The sensor technology developed at the institute is also used to determine the energy-related renovation requirements of buildings.

Contact
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Pitz-Paal
    Di­rec­tor
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Hoffschmidt
    Found­ing Di­rec­tor
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    In­sti­tute for the Pro­tec­tion of Ter­res­tri­al In­fras­truc­tures
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3200
    Fax: +49 2203 601-4141
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Köln
    Contact
  • Elke Reuschenbach
    Head of In­sti­tute Com­mu­ni­ca­tion
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-4153
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
DLR Institute of Solar Research - Who we are and what we do
DLR Institute of Solar Research - Who we are and what we do
DLR's Institute of Solar Research focuses on research and development in the field of concentrating solar systems. It seeks to build bridges between basic research, large-scale projects and industrial applications. The Institute figures as a prime mover of the development and qualification of solar...
Credit: DLR
Research
Projects
Milestones
  • 85,104
    189

    In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search: num­ber of peer-re­viewed jour­nal con­tri­bu­tions (2016-2020)

  • 85,104
    85
    peer-reviewed articles (open access)
  • 85,104
    104
    peer-reviewed articles (restricted)
  • 29,79
    108

    In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search: num­ber of em­ploy­ees (2020)

  • 29,79
    29
    Female
  • 29,79
    79
    Male
  • 149,120
    269

    In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search: num­ber of ISI/Sco­pus peer-re­viewed pub­li­ca­tions (2016-2020)

  • 149,120
    149
    ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed publications (open access)
  • 149,120
    120
    ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed publications (restricted)

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Solar thermal power plants

Solar radiation is collected with the aid of concentrating mirrors and converted into thermal energy. The high temperatures reached are used to drive conventional steam and gas turbines or a Stirling-cycle machine.