Research power plant

The research power plant – or laboratory for power plant concepts based on micro gas turbines (MGTs) – based at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) DLR Institute of Combustion Technology in Stuttgart, is used for the development and validation of new, highly efficient power plant systems based on MGTs.

Development of new power plant concepts

The research power plant of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart provides the necessary infrastructure for up to four test facilities for the operation of stationary and mobile small power plant units. Infrastructure provided includes gaseous and liquid fuels, air conditioning of the supply air, heat consumers, measuring technology and a separate control room. Possible power plant units include gas turbine-based cogeneration units, auxiliary power units (APUs), range extenders, hybrid power plants using solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and MGTs.

The research conducted at the research power plant is focused on the development and demonstration / validation of innovative, low-emission and high-efficiency decentralised power plant concepts based on MGTs that are flexible regarding the type of fuel they use. The entire power plant process is replicated in the research power plant to test, characterise, validate and optimise new power plant concepts under realistic conditions.

Current experimental set-ups:

  • Two test stands are being used for the development, testing and demonstration of cogeneration plants for decentralised power supply that are based on gas turbines and are flexible regarding the type of fuel they use (one to three kilowatt electricals (kWe)).
  • An APU test stand is being used to validate and optimise the APU process in terms of efficiency as well as emissions of pollution and noise.
  • Two test stands are being used for developing, testing and demonstrating a hybrid power plant consisting of a high-temperature SOFC and an MGT.
  • A range extender test stand is being used to test 30 kilowatt electricals in a hybrid electric powered vehicle (consisting of an electric engine, a battery, and an MGT) and optimise it for efficiency, assembly space and weight.


Volker Speelmann

Head of Research Infrastructures
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Executive Board department for Innovation, Transfer and Research Infrastructure
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne

Peter Kutne

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Combustion Technology
Gas Turbines
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart