The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, energy, transport, digitalisation and security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. In addition to its own research, as Germany’s space agency, DLR has been given responsibility by the federal government for the planning and implementation of the German space programme. DLR is also the umbrella organisation for one of Germany’s largest project management agencies.

DLR maintains eight research sites in Germany, with the headquarters in Köln. The primary emphasis is on the development of innovative technologies in close co-operation with partners from science and industry. The Institute of Solar Research has an experience of more than 20 years in both national and international co-operative RTD projects concerning the application of solar radiation. The RTD work followed in all segments of the use of concentrated solar energy for power production, for solar chemistry, for solar materials research, for techno- economic system analyses including feasibility and market studies, for engineering, for plant operation simulation and performance prediction as well as for solar field design.

The DLR – Institute of Solar Research has comprehensive experience in the development of technology and receiver-reactors for solar chemical applications from the field of high temperature treatment of solids, liquids and gases. The experience with this technology as well as the technology itself has also been widely used for experimental feasibility studies of solar thermochemical water splitting in various European projects. The research on solar thermal water splitting based on metal oxides has been rewarded with the 2006 Descartes Research Prize.

The Institute of Solar Research, headquartered in Cologne, was established by the German Aerospace Centre in 2011 to consolidate the various solar research activities of the Stuttgart-based Institute of Technical Thermodynamics in a single institution. It is headed by two directors Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Pitz-Paal and Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Hoffschmidt. 

The Institute’s 140 workplaces are spread across the DLR Headquarters in Cologne, DLR facilities in Stuttgart and Jülich as well as Europe’s largest test facility for concentrating solar technology run by DLR’s Spanish research partners CIEMAT, the Plataforma Solar de Almería.

Research and development in the field of concentrating solar systems are the core topics of the institute. State-of-the-art laboratories as well as industrial-scale testing facilities are available, providing scientists with an excellent, productive working environment.