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NRW advances solar research



The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is expanding its globally unique research landscape for experiments with high-temperature heat from solar energy.

More than 2,000 movable mirrors supply energy for the new solar tower in Jülich. In the tower power plant, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is conducting research into, among other things, how concentrated solar radiation can be used to generate electricity and heat, how the energy can be stored and how solar thermal energy can be used to produce hydrogen.

In doing so, DLR is making an important contribution to an energy system without fossil fuels: "Hydrogen and synthetic fuels generated by renewable energies make important contributions to climate-friendly applications in freight and heavy-duty transport," said NRW Economics Minister Prof. Andreas Pinkwart at the inauguration ceremony, emphasizing the supra-regional relevance of the project: "The significance of the plant extends far beyond North Rhine-Westphalia. It serves as a pilot plant for power stations in regions with high solar radiation, such as Southern Europe and North Africa."

In Jülich, DLR offers a research environment unlike any other in the world. The first solar tower was already built in 2011, and the second tower has now followed due to the high demand for testing capacity. The site also houses the largest artificial sun in the world with a maximum possible output of 380 kilowatts.