The DLR Institute for Maritime Energy Systems researches and develops innovative solutions for the defossilization of-, emissions reduction from-, and enabling increased usage of renewable energy in, waterborne transport. The maritime sector handles 80 percent of international freight transport, forming a key backbone of the world economy. This sector accounts for approximately three percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Most ships today operate on fossil-based heavy fuel oil, which also contributes to unfavorable air quality. In order to transform these applications, the entire energy conversion chain needs to be considered. In cooperation with the maritime industry, the developed solutions are transferred into practice.
Strategic topics and goals of the institute
The institute is building large-scale testing infrastructure consisting of an onshore laboratory and a research vessel to test and develop modular energy and ship concepts. This will create an unprecedented range of testing capabilities, efficiently enable method and concept validation through data analysis, and ensure the reliability of the solutions.
In order to reach the above-mentioned goals, the following research areas are currently addressed:
This research area looks at the energy supply for propulsion systems and consumers on ships.
This research area focuses on novel concepts for the efficient generation of electrical, thermal and mechanical energy from fuels and renewable energy sources for maritime transport.
This research area develops and optimizes electrical distribution networks and storage systems on board ships and in ports.
In order to improve the development process and uptake of new maritime technologies, we innovate methodologies and solutions for modelling, simulation, validation, optimization and visualization of complex maritime systems.
A ship must remain maneuverable even under the most adverse conditions and reach its destination safely. The use of renewable fuels and the corresponding energy systems places special demands on the stability and integrity of the ship.
The shore-based test infrastructure provides a unique opportunity for testing and development of maritime energy systems.
The research vessel provides a platform to test various energy systems such as fuel cells, energy storage systems, carbon capture technologies, renewable energy systems (photovoltaic/wind) etc., under real-life and extreme operating conditions.