Course paper / final thesis, Student placement

Dispatch Optimization for Solar Power Plants

Starting date

1 February 2019

Duration of contract

6 months


According to the German TVöD 5

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Your mission:

The high penetration of renewable energy in electricity grids brings the role of balancing production and demand for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants. Due to their thermal storage capability, CSP plants provide certain flexibility between collecting thermal energy from the sun and transforming it into electric energy by means of a power cycle.

The dispatchability of CSP plants is based on the electricity demand and weather forecasts, to accurately schedule the electricity production over the following days. Such scheduling enables the participation of CSP plants in the balancing power market, ensuring the importance of such plants in the pathway to a highly renewable energy mix.

Since weather and electricity demand forecasts include uncertainties, the dispatch schedule can suffer modifications when compared to the energy provided. Unmet energy delivery is usually associated with drawbacks in form of penalties or reduced prices.

A dispatch optimization algorithm was developed at DLR, used to derive the operation schedule for a CSP tower plant. It considers weather and electricity pricing forecasts with a special focus in the incorporation of uncertainty information. Its application for other CSP technologies concepts, such as parabolic trough plants, is of extreme importance to evaluate the potential of CSP technology in balancing the power market.

Therefore, the tasks to be performed during the development of the thesis are:

  • The development of a parabolic trough CSP plant model to be used by the optimizer
  • The adaptation of the Dispatch Optimizer algorithm to match the parabolic trough application
  • Simulations of the plant operation with weather forecasts including optimization
  • Technical and economic assessment of the concepts

Your qualifications:

  • Solid knowledge in simulation techniques
  • Solid knowledge of Matlab
  • Preferably good knowledge in fluid dynamics and thermodynamics
  • Ability to work independently and responsibly
  • Creative thinking and joy in new challenges
  • German and English language skills

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (m/f/non-binary). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Ana Carolina do Amaral Burghi
Institute of Solar Research

Phone: +49 711 6862-275

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Vacancy 30097

HR department Stuttgart

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DLR site Stuttgart

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DLR Institute of Solar Research

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