Support to the actual execution of the Implementation Plan for Photovoltaics of the SET Plan and monitoring the Implementation Plan’s delivery

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PVOptDigital

PVOptDigital - Exploitation of 5% yield potential in PV power plants via optimized operation management through automation and digitalization as well as optical inspection methods; Subproject: Creation of a maintenance strategy based on a decision matrix.
The PVOptDigital project aims to improve the monitoring quality and thus the operational management in PV systems in order to develop an additional yield potential of up to 5%. This is to be achieved through comprehensive automation and digital data processing. To this end, cross-platform digitisation and automation approaches as well as necessary interfaces for the optimal integration of module-specific or electro-optical analysis and inspection procedures in the operational management of PV systems are to be developed. Furthermore, optical and electro-optical inspection procedures are to be improved and new measurement technology for monitoring PV systems is to be developed and evaluated. Aquila has set itself the goal of advancing the development of cross-platform digitalization and automation approaches, as well as the necessary interfaces for the optimal integration of module-specific or electro-optical analysis and inspection procedures in the operational management of PV systems.


Related IP activities: Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants

Addressed IP targets: Other

Funding Scheme: BMWi

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 2641142.4

PV-Diesel-Global

PV-Diesel-Global ' Next Generation Renewable Diesel Hybrid Power Plants for the Global Energy Turnaround in Off-grid Regions
By using intelligent system solutions for diesel hybrid power plants with a high proportion of renewable generation, a large proportion of the diesel fuel currently used in the global sun belt and also in other, particularly windy regions of the world, can be replaced by environmentally friendly energy from the sun and wind. Because of the good solar radiation or wind supply and because of the expensive diesel transport, solar and wind energy offers particularly attractive economic prospects in these regions. Building on the successful results of the previous PV diesel joint research project, the resulting system solutions and components are therefore to be further improved in terms of economy, reliability and areas of application, and expanded to include wind energy, new robust large storage battery systems and new types of island grid solutions for spatially distributed feed-in. The common goal of the PV-Diesel-Global joint research project is to optimise PV power plant, wind farm and grid technology for stable grid operation and a sustainable power supply with a high proportion of solar coverage in large island networks.


Related IP activities: Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants

Addressed IP targets: Other

Funding Scheme: BMWi

% of PV in the project: 33

Total budget: € 4421684

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Sundrive

Electric vehicles (EVs) are on an exponential rise around the world. They have the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions – but only if charged using renewable energy in a grid-friendly way. While self-charging EVs using roof-mounted photovoltaics offer a unique solution, much R&D is still needed to cut costs and overcome performance and aesthetics-related limitations. SUNDRIVE aims to develop an efficient, reliable, high-power-density and cost-competitive integrated photovoltaic sunroof for electric vehicles.


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications,New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: VLAIO imec.icon

% of PV in the project: 90

Total budget: € 0

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Flexible Large area 2T monolithic Tandem PSC-CIGS

The main target of this project is to design and engineer the first highly efficient flexible two-terminal (2T) thin-film solar devices based on hybrid tandem architectures with CIGS bottom cell and PSC top cell configuration, and on a relevant device size (>80 cm2) to demonstrate industrial feasibility. CIGS will be the industrial platform on which the perovskite top cell will be developed as additional building block to boost the device conversion efficiency. In order to achieve this target, this project will bring together academic partners and research institutes (TU/e, TUD, TNO, and UH), Dutch companies (STS, and Nouryon) and frontrunner end-user (MiaSolé). The “LAFLEX2T” know-how and infrastructures present in the consortium will be used to i) develop up-scalabling compatible R2R perovskite ink and functional layers for a stable top cell; ii) tune the stoichiometry of the CIGS absorber and thus the bandgap in order to maximize the complementary absorption of to the two sub-cells, iii) to select and synthetize charge transport layers to build up an efficient recombination junction layer which will provide the monolithic series connection between the two sub-devices.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials,Manufacturing technologies

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts ,Major advances in manufacturing and installation

Funding Scheme: TKI Urban Energy

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 864228

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Monitoring and Diagnosis of Photovoltaic Plants

With the increasing penetration level of photovoltaic systems in power networks, the importance of operation-maintenance and fault detection studies on PV plants is progressively increasing. Monitoring and faults diagnosis of photovoltaic plants are important for both customers and power grid in terms of economic and technical concerns. Faults that occur over time in photovoltaic plants where automatic fault diagnosis systems are not available can only be noticed when they reach a dramatic situation. This means, in the simplest terms, reliability and security problem. Advances in economical and reliable fault detection by processing data from photovoltaic plants have not progressed at the same pace with the increase in the spread of photovoltaic systems. The size of the data received from photovoltaic systems consisting of a large number of inverters and modules as well as the changes in weather conditions are factors that make processing this data difficult. Since the panels in large scale photovoltaic plants cannot receive the same irradiance due to weather and environmental conditions and it is not feasible to integrate a sensor into each panel, it is difficult to draw a meaningful conclusion from the collected data easily. The main challenge here is that the characteristic that occurs due to weather and field conditions and the characteristic behavior that occurs in fault situations are similar to each other. In this project, a system consisting of hardware, software and interface will be developed that allows remote real-time monitoring in order to evaluate the performance of the photovoltaic system, detect faults, prevent economic losses caused by operational problems and determine required revisions. The merit of this project is to develop intelligent fault detection algorithms by using the least number of sensors, without generating false-positives.


Related IP activities: Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants

Addressed IP targets: Further enhancement of lifetime, quality and sustainability and hence improving environmental performance

Funding Scheme: Other (TUBITAK - TEYDEB)

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 0

MASPVPLUS

PROJECT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROTOTYPE SYSTEM OF A STRUCTURAL BUILDING MODULE OF INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC PANEL COVERING WITH MONITORING, SECURITY AND CLOUD-BASED CONTROL


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications

Addressed IP targets: Enabling mass realization of NZEB by BIPV through the establishment of structural collaborative innovation efforts between the PV sector and key sectors from the building industry

Funding Scheme: ERDF

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 344327.6

CHEER-UP - Low Cost High Efficient and Reliable UMG PV cells

Upgraded Metallurgical Silicon (UMG) is an ecological alternative to solar-grade silicon in terms of energy payback time (50% less) and CO2 emissions (70% less). It also has the potential to reduce the cost of raw material (around 25%). For all this, making UMG a commercial product is an opportunity to re-build European technological leadership in the photovoltaic sector by innovating upstream in the value chain.

CHEER-UP will demonstrate that UMG multicrystalline silicon is a competitive alternative for polysilicon to produce high efficiency solar cells, in terms of economics and environmental impact. This scope will be addressed with a Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell architecture (PERC) that incorporates black silicon texturization.


Related IP activities: Technologies for silicon solar cells and modules with higher quality,Manufacturing technologies

Addressed IP targets: Reduction of the cost of key technologies ,Further enhancement of lifetime, quality and sustainability and hence improving environmental performance

Funding Scheme: ERA-Net

% of PV in the project: 100%

Total budget: € 592363

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LaserGraph - In-situ laser fabrication of graphene electrodes and interlayers for next generation CIGS/Perovskite solar cells

Following decades of research, state of the art Silicon solar cells are gradually reaching their theoretical efficiency limit. An elegant way to realise even higher Photovoltaic (PV) efficiencies is to combine two semiconducting materials with matching band gaps, in tandem architecture. Owing to their exceptional optoelectronic properties, perovskites are currently in the spotlight of research and have been demonstrated to be the perfect tandem component to conventional PV technologies. In this context, tandem solar cells based on the combination of thin-film perovskite and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) configurations have been developed and appear to be a promising next-generation, commercially viable, PV technology. However, the success of this approach relies strongly on the employed interlayer and transparent conductive electrode (TCE) technologies that are vital for the effective coupling of the tandem solar cells components. Indeed, today’s interlayers’ technology relies mainly on conductive polymers that are highly unstable, while their thickness induces parasitic absorption and limits the overall power generation. More importantly, their deposition requires methods that are hard to implement in large-scale devices without damaging the perovskite part of the device. LASERGRAPH proposes the application of in-situ laser processing schemes for the development of graphene-based interlayers and TCEs, incorporated within CIGS/Perovskite tandem PV cells. Although the benefits of using graphene-based compounds as interfacial and TCE layers within single-junction perovskite solar cells has been proven, to date such approach has not been yet explored for tandem solar cells technologies. LASEGRAPH tackles this challenge by means of the fabrication of high-performance CIGS/Perovskite cells incorporating graphene-based interlayers and TCEs, developed via in-situ, non-contact, and room temperature laser processing techniques. The proposed approach is expected to have an immediate impact on both the academia and industry, as it addresses simultaneously the two major scientific challenges that hinder the commercialization of the perovskite PV technology. Specifically, graphene-based layers are expected to improve drastically the charge carrier extraction and thus the PV efficiency, as well as to protect the sensitive perovskite absorber, giving rise to improved stability. At the same time, the LASERGRAPH approach is simple and cheap, while its in-situ, non-contact and post-fabrication nature makes it readily adoptive in industrial PV production lines.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: ERA-Net

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 1030000

1C4PV - One intelligent cloud for PV Assets Diagnosis and Maintenance

C4PV is an industry-driven demonstration project that will contribute to achieve the reduction of the total costs of photovoltaic (PV) generation and the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE), providing advanced and automated functions for data analysis for the early fault diagnosis (detection and classification) and maintenance planning for PV assets. Those functions will be part of a cloud platform that collects data from the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and information systems, such as maintenance management or inspections and facilitates the decision making for optimum Operations and Maintenance (O&M). Machine learning algorithms and other artificial intelligence techniques are the back-bone of early and reliable fault diagnosis. As a result, 1C4PV will face the main challenges of the PV industry (LCoE reduction) through the optimization of O&M processes in PV plants while maximizing production using the available resources. The main KPIs to measure the project success are the expected O&M costs reduction by 10% and the increase of the Performance Ratio (PR) indicator by 3-4%. To achieve the project's objectives, the partners will bring on board their extensive experience and expertise in the field, starting the project from a leading position. The working plan includes the standardization of a prototype solution, the testing phase in laboratory and the demonstration in real operating environment.The plan covers the following technical actions: analyze technologies and application, modeling PV plants and data characterization for multiple topologies, algorithms development for problem diagnosis and maintenance decision support systems.The project consortium is well balanced with three actors covering the whole value chain: a specialist in information systems for monitoring and control of renewables (Isotrol, Spain), an O&M company for solar plants (Tegnatia, Turkey) and a Research Centre for PV generation optimization (FOSS - UCY, Cyprus)


Related IP activities: Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants

Addressed IP targets: Reduction of the cost of key technologies

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 502056.8

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ECOSun - Economic COgeneration by Efficiently COncentrated SUNlight

ECOSun targets a radical cost reduction of electricity and heat co-generation via a CPV-T system, by applying low-cost materials and advanced industrial manufacturing methods. Solar radiation is captured in a parabolic through concentrator based on a novel support structure fabricated by injection molding and focused on a Co-Generation Absorber Module (CAM), where special c-Si-PV-cells are operated under concentration. The heat dissipated through the cells is transferred into a heat transfer fluid (HTF) and -in combination with the generated electricity -can be used for various applications, such as solar cooling or heating, significantly increasing system efficiency.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials,Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants

Addressed IP targets: Reduction of the cost of key technologies

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 1235193

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Low Cost High Efficient and Reliable UMG PV cells (CHEER-UP)

Upgraded Metallurgical Silicon (UMG) is an ecological alternative to solar-grade silicon in terms of energy payback time (50% less) and CO2 emissions (70% less). It also has the potential to reduce the cost of raw material (around 25%). For all this, making UMG a commercial product is an opportunity to re-build European technological leadership in the photovoltaic sector by innovating upstream in the value chain.

CHEER-UP will demonstrate that UMG multicrystalline silicon is a competitive alternative for polysilicon to produce high efficiency solar cells, in terms of economics and environmental impact. This scope will be addressed with a Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell architecture (PERC) that incorporates black silicon texturization.

The project’s approach is the following:

• Phosphorus gettering in combination with Low Thermal Annealings and other defect engineering techniques will be explored. They permit to improve the bulk quality of UMG by capturing the excess of metals it may have.

• Black silicon, as the best texturization process used for multi wafers, will help increase the solar cell efficiency. This texturing process will be designed so that the gettering and surface passivation effects are maximized.

• Light and temperature induced degradation mechanisms will be assessed to evaluate how apparent they are in UMG PERC solar cells, proposing degradation recovery techniques if needed.

• PERC will be the cell architecture used to assess the efficiency of UMG, as it is by far the most extended high-efficiency technique in the market. The manufacturing process will be conveniently adapted and tailored to the specificities of UMG silicon.

The project will result in the achievement of higher than 21% UMG multicrystalline PERC solar cells with an industrially-feasible process, an efficiency target that is accompanied by a reduction in the cost of silicon and a reduction in the environmental impact of crystalline silicon technology.

The project started in February 2020, and will last three years, conducted by a consortium of four partners. It is coordinated by the Solar Energy Institute at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), which brings to the project its expertise in defect engineering approaches for Si and in solar cell process development. Valencia Nanotechnology Centre at Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain) will lead the research in advanced texturing, coordinate the cell development and study the degradation mechanisms, GÜNAM at Middle East University (Turkey) is running its Photovoltaic Line, which is devoted to full size PERC processing in pilot scale with its compatible infrastructure and flexible processing sequence. Aurinka PV is a Spanish company with large experience in the whole chain of PV, from feedstock to installations, including includes keynaspects of this project as the refinement of UMG and the characterization of the material and the devices.


Related IP activities: Technologies for silicon solar cells and modules with higher quality,Manufacturing technologies

Addressed IP targets: Reduction of the cost of key technologies ,Further enhancement of lifetime, quality and sustainability and hence improving environmental performance

Funding Scheme: ERA-Net

% of PV in the project: 100%

Total budget: € 716941

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TOP

TOP - Highly conductive transparent oxides for photovoltaics
To further reduce the system costs of PV, it is necessary to significantly increase the efficiency of modules. Heterojunction (HJT) solar cells are characterized by very high efficiencies of over 25%, higher yields and lower manufacturing costs due to the reduced number of process steps. In addition, they are the basis for the highest efficiencies of silicon/perovskite tandem solar cells to date. One of the most cost-intensive and technically demanding processes for both cell technologies is the manufacture of their electrical contacts. Both technologies require transparent conductive oxides as a boundary layer. In order to reduce consumption costs as well as to avoid sputtering damage, TOP will investigate to what extent PECVD (Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition) processes are suitable as an alternative to the PVD processes used today. At the same time, silver screen printing is to be avoided by using particularly conductive layers and direct cell connector contacting is to be developed using Smartwire technology.


Related IP activities: Technologies for silicon solar cells and modules with higher quality,Manufacturing technologies

Addressed IP targets: Reduction of the cost of key technologies

Funding Scheme: BMWi

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 4381721.1

PERCISTAND - Development of all thin-film perovskite on CIS tandem photovoltaics

A realistic approach to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) devices above the Shockley-Queisser single-junction limit is the construction of tandem devices. PERCISTAND focuses on the development of advanced materials and processes for all thin film perovskite on chalcogenide tandem devices. This tandem configuration is at an early stage of development today. The PERCISTAND emphasis is on 4-terminal tandem solar cell and module prototype demonstration on glass substrates, but also current- and voltage-matched 2-terminal proof-of-concept device structures are envisaged. Key research activities are the development and optimization of top wide band gap perovskite and bottom low band gap CuInSe2 devices, suitable transparent conductive oxides, and integration into tandem configurations. The focus is on obtaining high efficiency, stability and large-area manufacturability, at low production cost and environmental footprint. Efficiency target is 30 % at cell level, and 25 % at module level. Reliability and stability, tested in line with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, must be similar as commercially available PV technologies. High manufacturability means that all technologies applied are scalable to 20×20 cm2, using sustainable and low-cost materials and processes. The cost and environmental impact will be assessed in line with International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and must be competitive with existing commercial PV technologies. Such a tandem device significantly outperforms not only the stand-alone perovskite and chalcogenide devices, but also best single-junction silicon devices. The development will be primarily on glass substrates, but also applicable to flexible substrates and thus interesting for building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solutions, an important market for thin film PV. Hence, the outcome has high potential to strengthen and regain the EU leadership in thin film PV research and manufacturing.


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications,New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts ,Reduction of the cost of key technologies ,Further enhancement of lifetime, quality and sustainability and hence improving environmental performance

Funding Scheme: H2020

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 5055821.4

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INMoSt

In order to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change, the energy sector requires an urgent energy transition at a global scale. In the domain of photovoltaics, despite the great effort devoted for large scale implementation, price reduction is still the main concern to become fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources. In this frame, two main parameters can lead to photovoltaic cost-per-Watt reduction, namely higher conversion efficiency and lower production cost.

The purpose of INMoSt is the realization of low-cost, high-efficiency, multi-junction solar cells using a single material family, namely III-nitride semiconductors. This target becomes possible by combination of a series of innovative technologies. First, recent developments of the InGaN-nanopyramid growth method have made it possible to enhance the In incorporation in the material which reducing the density of structural defects. Then, the implementation of an h-BN-based simple lift-off and transfer process allow a drastic reduction of the fabrication costs. Finally, the improvement of the conductivity of the p-region and of the p-contact is now possible by depositing Mg-doped layers by molecular-beam epitaxy and using an n+/p+ tunnel contact scheme. The combination of these recent breakthroughs have set the basis for the implementation of low-cost (re-use of the substrate) and high-efficiency InGaN solar cells. The first milestone will be the demonstration of beyond-state-of-the-art, free-standing, and flexible InGaN-based solar cells. This will be realized by the encapsulation into PDMS of the lifted-off solar cells. The ultimate goal will be the fabrication of a stack of such solar cells, each step with a different band gap in order to grant access to a large region of the solar spectrum, and using a process fully compatible with conventional integrated circuit production technology.

The INMoSt consortium brings together two partners with complementary experimental and theoretical expertise and capabilities: GT CNRS and CEA-IRIG-PHELIQS. INMoSt researchers possess backgrounds in science and engineering with expertise in experimental and theoretical aspects of nitride materials and nanostructures, growth kinetics, semiconductor fabrication processes, material characterization, and device physics. The functional strategy of the project is based on three main building blocks of technology optimization: simulation and design, epitaxial growth and device fabrication. Assessment of these building blocks will be assisted by material characterization and device tests and measurements.

Photovoltaics is becoming a major industry, with constant growth in terms of economic and social benefits. Preparing the next steps of development, in particular the 30-30-30 challenge (production of photovoltaic modules with a >30% energy conversion efficiency for a <30 c$/Wp price by 2030), starting from basic research and innovation is extremely important. INMoSt will provide the first low-cost, high-efficiency, multi-junction solar cells (SC) using a single material family, namely III-nitride semiconductors.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Other

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 386884

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SCALEUP - Large scale molecular simulation of perovskite solar cells

Metal halide perovskites (MHP) have emerged as one of the most studied semiconductors due to their excellent optoelectronic properties. This is evidenced by the rapid development of perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with a record certified photoconversion efficiency nowadays of 25.2%, similar to those of silicon cells (https://www.nrel.gov/pv/cell-efficiency.html). Nonetheless, industrial application of PSCs is critically hampered by instability issues, including intrinsic, environmental, and operational factors. Instability is attributed to several chemical and dynamical processes that occur at very distinct time scales, like slow ionic rearrangements and physical and chemical interactions in the bulk and at interfaces with contact layers. These phenomena cause IV hysteresis, and ultimately, device degradation. In this proposal, we combine the complementary capacities of classical and quantum computational tools to develop versatile numerical models for large scale molecular dynamics, capable to capture the physics and chemistry that trigger processes causing instability issues. To this end, we will (1) establish a universal set of reliable and transferable reactive force fields for Classical Molecular Dynamics (CMD) simulations and (2) develop new methods to describe dynamics and chemistry of MHP in the long-time scale. We will apply them to study the intrinsic stability of complex MHP alloys and their interactions with selective oxide contacts. The force fields and large scale MD simulations will be refined and validated by experimental data involving X-ray diffraction, photoelectron spectroscopy and electrical measurements in the time/frequency domains of functioning devices. The availability of these numerical tools and user-friendly software, with the potential to describe with reasonable accuracy complex MHP alloys for large sizes and in the long-time scale, will make it possible to accomplish key advances to extend the durability of PSCs and to provide software and testing benchmarks to enable researchers to achieve this goal


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 1020591

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NEEMO

Hybrid and electric mobility solutions for land and sea are imperative for Maltese Islands. With the EU-funded NEEMO project, Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) will partner with two leading institutions namely CEA France, AIT Austria and another urban community member, ANEL Cyprus to investigate various attributes and challenges associates with e-mobility, such as energy and location management, especially for the Maltese geographical setting. Talented researchers have the chance to participate in a series of events including meetings, conferences, schools, workshops and exchange programmes. The project will enhance MCAST Energy profile, which in turn reflects the positive development of Malta knowledge economy including its ambition as a regional energy hub, solar country, AI state and maritime hub.


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications

Addressed IP targets: Further enhancement of lifetime, quality and sustainability and hence improving environmental performance

Funding Scheme: H2020

% of PV in the project: 20

Total budget: € 800000

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EKATE

EKATE - Monitoring electrical photovoltaic energy and shared self-consumption in transborder area France-Spain, by the use of "Blockchain" and "Internet of Things" technologies.
The INTERREG POCTEFA (France, Spain, Andorra) area has a great environmental capital and local energetical resources that need improvements in terms of operational support.
EKATE project tackles this challenge, aiming to turn POCTEFA area into a technological reference for and by shared self-consumption for the promotion and development of efficient and smart services of monitorization of the electrical energy by generating photovoltaic renewable energy and shared self-consumption, through "Blockchain" and "Internet of Things" technologies.
It includes three main activities:
- An analysis of the current situation of the companies and technologies in terms of monitorization of electrical photovoltaic energy and shared self-consumption in transborder area France-Spain, and of the opportunities of development.
- The implementation of two pilot experiences of self-consumption of photovoltaic electrical energy in Atlantic Pyrenees and Catalonia by the use of two innovative technologies, "Blockchain" and "Internet of Things".
- An evaluation of the pilot experiences with an extension plan (political recommendations)


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications

Addressed IP targets: Other

Funding Scheme: Interreg

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 1290971

COMODO

This proposal aims at developping appropriate models and efficient accurate numerical methods for the high-performance simulation and the optimization of the fabrication process of thin film solar cells.

The production of the thin film inside of which occur the photovoltaic phenomena accounting for the efficiency of the whole solar cell is done via a Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) process. More precisely, a substrate wafer is introduced in a hot chamber where the different chemical species composing the film are injected under a gaseous form. Molecules deposit on the substrate surface, so that a thin film layer grows. In addition, the different components diffuse inside the bulk of the film, so that the local volumic fractions of each chemical species evolve through time. The efficiency of the final solar cell crucially depends on the final chemical composition of the film, which is freezed once the wafer is taken out of the chamber. A major challenge consists in optimizing the fluxes of the different atoms injected inside the chamber during the process in order for the final local volumic fractions in the layer to be as close as possible to target profiles.

Two different phenomena have to be taken into account in order to correctly model the evolution of these local volumic fractions: 1) the cross-diffusion phenomena between the various components occuring inside the bulk of the film; 2) the evolution of the surface of the thin film layer.
In the context of a collaboration with IPVF (French Photovoltaic Institute), Virginie Ehrlacher [PI] and a PhD student, proposed a one-dimensional cross-diffusion system defined on a moving domain in order to model the evolution of the local concentrations of the different components inside the film during the PVD process. Comparisons between numerical simulations and experimental measurements yielded encouraging results on the relevance of this approach.

However, the model studied by the PI and her student suffers from several limitations. Because of its one-dimensional nature, it is not currently possible to study geometrical effects due to surface tension or surfacic cross-diffusion phenomena which occur at the surface of the film. These phenomena are nevertheless extremely important to take into account, in particular for the production of curved solar cells for building-integrated photovoltaics. There is a crucial need for overcoming these limitations and proposing a multi-dimensional model for the PVD process along with an accurate numerical scheme for the approximation of its solutions, which can be used in order to optimize the production process of such thin film solar cells. This represents a significant scientific advance with respect to the existing models and numerical methods which we wish to address in this proposal.

Four main tasks are identified to tackle this challenging problem:
1) identifying appropriate models for the evolution of the local volumic fractions of the various chemical species inside the film and of its surface. Such models read as cross-diffusion systems defined on a domain with moving boundary, taking into account surface cross-diffusion phenomena;
2) developing numerical schemes for the simulation of such models, which should respect the mathematical properties of the considered systems;
3) parallelizing the obtained numerical schemes, using time-space domain decomposition methods and parareal algorithms;
4) designing accurate and efficient reduced-order models, which will be used for the calibration of the parameters entering the model with experimental data and for the optimization of the PVD process.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 213810

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PSLM

Dynamic glazing systems, i.e. windows capable of controlling incoming solar radiation, can significantly reduce energy consumption for lighting and air conditioning in buildings. However, the widespread use of smart window technologies in buildings is still limited by high costs, high energy consumption, long payback periods, slow device response times or lack of operational control. This project focuses on a new device concept, that we call the “photovoltaic spatial light modulator” (or PSLM), a novel dynamic glazing system that has strong potential to bypass some of the bottlenecks that currently limit the integration of smart windows into buildings. PSLM devices are hybrid optically-addressable liquid crystal light modulators that include an organic photovoltaic multilayer as the photosensitive element and offer many potential advantages over other smart window systems. They can operate without an external power supply, their response time is several orders of magnitude smaller than that of most other chromogenic devices, they can be easily controlled by the user, their color in the clear state depends on the organic semiconductor band-gap and can be adjusted by chemical engineering, and the photosensitive organic layers can be solution processed and are therefore compatible with large area devices. The architecture of the PSLM device combines, in an unprecedented way, a twisted nematic liquid crystal layer with an organic donor/acceptor bulk heterojunction to produce a new optically functional system. The optical response of the device results from the photoelectric field generated spontaneously by the bulk heterojunction that modifies the liquid crystal director and alters the device transparency. This very particular device design raises a number of scientific and technical challenges that will be addressed in this project, with the goal to improve the performances and broaden the scope of PSLM devices. We aim to better understand and control the interface between the liquid crystal and organic layers, improve the transparency of the device in the clear state, develop more advanced device structures, and explore ways to make the PSLM sensitive to infrared light while remaining highly transparent in the visible range.


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications

Addressed IP targets: Enabling mass realization of NZEB by BIPV through the establishment of structural collaborative innovation efforts between the PV sector and key sectors from the building industry

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 444697

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SPRINT

The joint lab SPRINT, for joint-lab for advanced robust printable organic semiconductors, will address the design of new high-performance organic semiconductors, to meet the needs of the French and the European industry in the fields of organic photodetectors (OPDs) and organic photovoltaic solar cells (OPV). The SPRINT laboratory will bring together two very complementary partners: on the one hand the Organic Electronics team of the Materials Integration to Systems Laboratory (IMS, CNRS UMR 5218) of the University of Bordeaux (http://oembordeaux.cnrs.fr), recognized worldwide in the design, fabrication and characterization of OPV and OPD devices, and PCAS, a French Mid-Sized Enterprise specialized in the development and industrialization of complex molecules and polymers, particularly for the microelectronics and organic electronics markets. The complementary nature of the partners makes it possible to masterize the entire R&D cycle of these new materials towards their industrialization and commercialization. The SPRINT joint laboratory will allow, by feedback loop, a dynamic co-development of new semiconductors enabling devices to perform at the state-of-the-art of OPD and OPV while maintaining an acceptable complexity, i.e. an attractive production cost of the semiconductors. SPRINT will focus on the role of impurities from the organic synthesis on the device performances and stability. In particular, the ambition is to define impurity thresholds that are criticial to enable reliable and sustainable materials supply to the OPV and OPD markets.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 50

Total budget: € 350000

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If you wish to get in contact with any of the project coordinators please send us an email to info@pvimpact.eu