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SOMMER - Solar furnace with molten metal-cooled receiver

Research goal

Within the framework of several pilot studies, the Karlsruhe Liquid Metal Laboratory (KALLA) investigates how components from the energy transmission chain of a concentrating solar power plant can be represented based on liquid metals. These are in particular high temperature receivers, thermal energy storage and heat transfer systems. Due to their excellent heat transfer properties and their potential to work at very high temperatures, liquid metals offer the potential to increase the efficiency of a solar thermal power plant while reducing its cost. As part of the work, the SOMMER pilot plant will be built and put into operation. The centerpiece of SOMMER is a solar furnace especially designed for the use of liquid metals.


SOMMER will serve to investigate the following aspects:

  • Testing of receiver concepts with liquid metal cooling
  • Determination of heat transfer
  • Investigation of corrosion at high temperatures and fluctuations of solar radiation
  • Testing of thermal storage media and concepts

The SOMMER project is supported by the LIMTECH (Liquid Metal Technologies) Alliance of the Helmholtz Association.

Projekt B2. Liquid metals for solar power systems

Partner: DLR, LUH