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KArlsruhe Liquid Metal LAboratory, KALLA

Warmly welcome at the web pages of Karlsruhe Liquid Metal Laboratory KALLA. With these pages, we want to give you an impression of our work.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions:




Our work focuses on the following topics:

Thermal hydraulics of liquid metals

At the Karlsruhe Liquid Metal Laboratory (KALLA), various experiments are carried out in order to characterize and better understand the physics of flow and heat transfer in molten metals, which differ significantly from those of conventional liquids like water or air. The experiments reach from generic arrangements to complex geometries from real world applications. As test fluids lead, lead-bismuth, sodium and eutectic indium-gallium-tin mixtures are used. At KALLA, we operate several liquid metal loops, from lab to pilot scale. Comprehensive liquid metal-specific measuring equipment is being qualified and developed at KALLA. more


Liquid metal technology for concentrating solar thermal power plants

Concentrating solar thermal power plants represent a promising option for the use of renewable energies. Here, the incident solar radiation is concentrated at a so-called receiver surface, which is cooled by a heat transfer medium. Due to the outstanding heat transfer properties of molten metals under these conditions, the application of liquid metals for concentrating solar power plants is investigated. In particular, we look at liquid metal-specific modifications of design rules for receivers, heat exchangers, pumps, the very important aspect of thermal storage and other key components. more

Operational experience is gained and experiments are conducted in a solar furnace, called SOMMER. more


High temperature thermal storage systems

Energy storage systems can provide energy on-demand and balance fluctuating renewable energy sources. In concentrating solar power plants, for example, solar energy is converted into thermal energy, which can then be stored in a thermal energy storage system. The energy stored in this system is then converted into electricity via a connected steam power process at a later time. By using liquid metals heat can be stored at temperatures above 600 °C, which are typical for energy-intensive high-temperature industrial processes. At KALLA, the cyclic behaviour of a pilot-scale thermocline storage system with lead-bismuth and an integrated packed bed will be examined. more


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wetzel
Tel. +49 721/608-46447