Lights out, spots on – up to 121 spotlights can be aligned to one focal point. For this image, the photographer took 121 individual photos, each with one illuminated spotlight, and subsequently assembled them into a complete image.
Lights out, spots on – up to 121 spot­lights can be aligned to one fo­cal point. For this im­age, the pho­tog­ra­pher took 121 in­di­vid­u­al pho­tos, each with one il­lu­mi­nat­ed spot­light, and sub­se­quent­ly as­sem­bled them in­to a com­plete im­age. It is not pos­si­ble to pho­to­graph all 121 spot­lights il­lu­mi­nat­ed si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly be­cause they emit too much light. The test cham­ber (top right) shows a re­ac­tor for ex­per­i­ments on so­lar hy­dro­gen pro­duc­tion.
Image 1/6, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Lights out, spots on – up to 121 spotlights can be aligned to one focal point. For this image, the photographer took 121 individual photos, each with one illuminated spotlight, and subsequently assembled them into a complete image. It is not possible to photograph all 121 spotlights illuminated simultaneously because they emit too much light. The test chamber (top right) shows a reactor for experiments on solar hydrogen production.

With Syn­light, the DLR In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search in Jülich op­er­ates the world's largest re­search fa­cil­i­ty for the gen­er­a­tion of ar­ti­fi­cial sun­light. The so­lar sim­u­la­tor achieves 10,000 times the in­ten­si­ty of the Earth's nat­u­ral so­lar ra­di­a­tion and is pri­mar­i­ly used to de­vel­op so­lar fu­els.
The Synlight system can produce up to 10,000 times the intensity of natural sunlight
The Syn­light sys­tem can pro­duce up to 10,000 times the in­ten­si­ty of nat­u­ral sun­light
Image 2/6, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

The Synlight system can produce up to 10,000 times the intensity of natural sunlight

With Syn­light, the DLR In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search in Jülich op­er­ates the world’s largest re­search fa­cil­i­ty for gen­er­at­ing ar­ti­fi­cial sun­light. The so­lar sim­u­la­tor achieves 10,000 times the in­ten­si­ty of nat­u­ral so­lar ra­di­a­tion in­ci­dent on Earth and is pri­mar­i­ly used for the de­vel­op­ment of so­lar fu­els.
High-power radiators
High-pow­er ra­di­a­tors
Image 3/6, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

High-power radiators

Each of the high-pow­er ra­di­a­tors have three mov­able ax­es. These en­able the spot­lights to be pre­cise­ly aligned with the fo­cal points in the three test cham­bers.
Synlight - The world's largest artificial sun
Syn­light - The world's largest ar­ti­fi­cial sun
Image 4/6, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Synlight - The world's largest artificial sun

On 23 March 2017, the DLR In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search ini­ti­at­ed op­er­a­tions at the Syn­light fa­cil­i­ty, a glob­al­ly unique sys­tem.
High-power radiators
High-pow­er ra­di­a­tors
Image 5/6, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

High-power radiators

A view be­hind the high-pow­er ra­di­a­tors.
Test reactor
Test re­ac­tor
Image 6/6, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Test reactor

Ther­mal hy­dro­gen pro­duc­tion ex­per­i­ment us­ing so­lar ra­di­a­tion from the Syn­light high-per­for­mance light source at DLR Jülich.

With Synlight, the DLR Institute of Solar Research in Jülich operates the world's largest research facility for the generation of artificial sunlight. The solar simulator achieves 10,000 times the intensity of the Earth's natural solar radiation and is primarily used to develop solar fuels.

The largest artificial Sun in the world

Synlight has a capacity that is greater than the sum of all other comparable installations worldwide. 149 high-power radiators, each with the power of a large cinema projector, are arranged in an area measuring 14 by 16 metres. If the light from the lamps is bundled onto a surface measuring ten by ten centimetres, it reaches 10,000 times the intensity of solar radiation on Earth and temperatures of up to 3000 degrees Celsius.

Synlight has several areas of application. However, the focus is on the development of manufacturing processes for solar fuels, such as hydrogen. With its high energy density, hydrogen is an interesting alternative to the fossil fuels oil, coal and gas: fuel cell vehicles can use it as a fuel; it is the starting product for the production of synthetic fuels, such as aviation gasoline; it can also replace fossil fuels in power plants. Its combustion produces no carbon dioxide, but only pure water.

The aim of the Jülich researchers is to produce CO2-neutral fuels on the basis of solar energy. In special reactors, for example, processes are being tested that use concentrated solar radiation to split water directly into hydrogen and oxygen. In addition, research is being carried out into materials for high-temperature applications, and the facility offers new testing possibilities for aerospace and solar thermal power plants. It enables the qualification of components in real size in three separate irradiation chambers. Scientists at the Institute of Solar Research accompany the users during the preparation and execution of the experiments.

Contact
  • Volker Speelmann
    Head of Re­search In­fras­truc­tures
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-4103
    Fax: +49 2203 601 4115
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
  • Dr.-Ing. Dmitrij Laaber
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    In­sti­tute of So­lar Re­search
    So­lar pro­cess en­gi­neer­ing Jülich
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact

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