The research and development in the field of concentrating solar technologies provided the basis for the commercial use of this technology. Subject of current research are the improvement of existing processes, materials and components and the development of innovations.
The scientists at the Institute of Solar Research cover a large range of research topics. These include the development of parabolic trough technology - the so far in commercial solar thermal power plants most established method -, Fresnel collectors and the exploration of solar tower systems.
Other research topics are the development of new heat transfer materials and the monitoring and evaluation of power plant components. The material research is complemented by works to optimize complete systems such as the operation of power plants under changing radiation conditions. The aim of the researchers is to increase the efficiencies of solar energy and heat generation and thereby reduce the production cost.
Another area is the study of the usability of solar power for applications aside of energy generation - for instance solar water purification.
Further more, for tomorrow's energy supply, Institute scientists explore solar chemical processes for storing solar energy in solar fuels such as hydrogen.