Solar Towers Jülich

In Jülich, the Institute of Solar Research operates a large-scale research facility for solar irradiation tests that is unique in Europe. Here, researchers from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) work with industrial companies to test and develop components and systems for commercial solar thermal power plants. The aim is to make solar thermal power plants more efficient and therefore more cost-effective. The DLR Institutes of Solar Research and Future Fuels are also testing processes for solar water splitting, the production of solar fuels and the use of solar heat in industrial processes.

2000 movable mirrors direct the sun's rays onto the two towers

More than 2,000 movable mirrors (heliostats) cover an area of around ten hectares in front of Jülich's two solar towers. They catch the sunlight, concentrate it and direct it onto the two solar towers. Control software developed by DLR can align parts of the mirrors so that several experiments can take place simultaneously.

In the solar tower power plant, a volumetric receiver at the top of the tower absorbs the concentrated sunlight and uses it to heat the surrounding air to up to 700 degrees Celsius. A steam generator inside the tower uses this to heat water into steam, which drives a turbine that produces electricity via a generator. Halfway up the tower is a research level for changing test installations. Since 2020, the solar tower power plant is flanked by the Multifocus Tower with three research levels.


Volker Speelmann

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

Felix Göhring

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Solar Research
Karl-Heinz-Beckurts-Str. 13, 52428 Jülich