Mar­itime en­er­gy sys­tems

The DLR Institute of Maritime Energy Systems is being established in Geesthacht, Schleswig-Holstein
The new institute will focus on the development of technologies for the energy-efficient and low-emission provision of electricity, heating and cooling for cargo and passenger ships.

The maritime sector offers great potential for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. DLR is supporting the transformation of this sector and is developing innovative solutions to reduce emissions and increase the use of renewables through to 'defossilisation'. The research is pooled at the DLR Institute of Maritime Energy Systems.

DLR is developing sustainable maritime propulsion systems for various performance levels. One example is propulsion systems based on fuel cells. DLR experts are conducting research into the necessary energy storage systems in the form of batteries and alternative fuels. They are working on design methods both for the configuration of the energy systems and the corresponding onboard tanks, as well as for the necessary supply infrastructure in the port.

A new research vessel currently under construction will offer unique opportunities in the future to test and validate the developed systems and to ensure their real-world reliability. The safe storage of fuels on land and refuelling will also be tested.

Maritime energy systems will require large quantities of sustainable fuels. Import strategies over land and technologies for transporting fuels via maritime routes are equally important. DLR is conducting research in both areas. 

The switch to new propulsion systems and energy sources promises to make better use of the energy on board the vessel using efficient direct current networks. The new systems should be able to provide not only electricity, but also heating and cooling. DLR is developing the necessary system components and testing them in a grid laboratory and in future on board the research vessel.