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Research Infrastructure

DLR: Jülich Solar Power Tower

Description About 60 km west of Cologne on its Jülich site,the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) operates an experimental solar power station, Solarthermisches Versuchskraftwerk Jülich. The Jülich solar power tower is both a pilot installation and a reference model for future commercial power plants envisaged for suitable locations in areas such as southern Europe, North Africa or the Arab peninsula. Covering an area of about ten hectares, 2153 controlled mirrors, or heliostats, re-direct the incident solar radiation to the top of a 60 metre high solar tower where the focused sunlight is collected by a 22 m2 solar receiver and converted into heat. The receiver consists of a porous ceramic material that is constantly permeated by ambient air. In the process the air reaches a temperature of up to 700 degrees Celsius, and is then used to generate steam that, in turn, powers a turbine generator to produce electricity. In a variety of research projects, new components and processes are being tested which could help make solar power plants more cost and energy efficient. Other investigations focus on methods to produce solar fuels, and to use solar thermal installations for industrial processes (such as sea water desalination). Primary areas of research are to study newly designed mirror systems for re-directing and concentrating sunlight, solar absorbers, and the practical application of energy storage systems. Further research looks at theoretical and computer-assisted analysis and engineering developments in the field of fluid mechanics and heat transfer. For these purposes, the site has been given a number of additional office, workshop and storage facilities in the immediate vicinity of the solar tower. Funded by the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, partners from industry and research institutions are developing additional equipment and test fields to upgrade the Jülich experimental solar power plant into a complete solar research centre.
URL http://www.dlr.de/sf/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-8560/
Status Operational (2008 - 2009)
Being upgraded (2013 - 2015)
Scientific Domains Material Sciences and Analytical Facilities
RI Categorization Materials Synthesis or Testing Facilities
Location Im Langenbroich 24, Jülich, 52428, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany
MERIL URL http://portal.meril.eu/meril/view/facilitys/15084