A networked energy system that integrates the electricity, heat and transport sectors requires various energy converters. Using gas turbines, electricity can be obtained in a highly efficiently way from gaseous or liquid fuels. Natural gas is used almost exclusively today in gas power plants; in future they will be operated in an increasingly climate-neutral manner using fuels from renewable sources.
The high proportion of fluctuating energy sources in a future energy system based heavily on renewable energies requires the comprehensive use of efficient technologies for storing energy. We are researching and developing both electrochemical storages for electricity ('batteries') as well as thermal and thermo-chemical storages for heat.
The conversion of solar radiation into usable energy plays an important role in environmentally-friendly and climate-compatible energy systems. Our research focuses on the development of components and systems for solar thermal power plants.
Decisions made in the energy sector and energy policy generally have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences. Forward-looking analyses allow us to recognise the opportunities of new technologies at an early stage and to minimise the possible negative effects of our current actions on the environment and society.
'From wind to torque with the Smart Rotor' describes the focus in our wind energy research. DLR researchers are using their expertise, derived among others from DLR's extensive aeronautics research work, to produce more efficient, quieter and lighter wind power plants.
In an overall energy system, local elements as well as technical information and communication elements play an increasingly significant role. This is why the interaction of various spatial levels, the interplay of individual technologies, the adjustment of generation and demand, and increasing digitalisation are such central subjects of research.