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24 September 2018

IREC participates in the European Researchers' Night

Next September 25th, 26th and 28th the Energy Storage group of IREC will participate in the activities related with the European Researchers' Night.

These activities combine entertainment and education, gathering together the scientific community with the aim of bringing science, research and technology close to the citizens.

In this framework, on Wednesday September 26th, in the Parlamentarium (visitor center of the European Parliament - Brussels), the researchers Nina Carretero and Sebastián Murcia, will show how to obtain solar hydrogen in the event "Science is Wonder-ful!" promoted by the European Researchers' Night and the Marie Sklodowska-Curie action.

Likewise, on Friday, September 28th, coordinated by the scientific disseminator Raül Toran (ISGlobal, ACCC) and Jordi Diaz-Marcos (CCiTUB, ACCC), the Catalonia Researchers' Night will be held in the Cosmocaixa (Barcelona), with a special evening program that will offer nanoscience workshops. The researchers of the Energy Storage group of IREC, Dr. Teresa Andreu i Dr. Nina Carretero, will carry out the workshop "Solar Hydrogen and photocatalytic conversion" where will show the potential of solar light for the energy generation and air and water decontamination. The workshops are aimed at ages 10 to 17 years.

You will find more information in the following link.

We look forward to seeing you in the great night of science. You can't miss it!

 
 
03 August 2018

IREC collaborates in the new alliance between Repsol and Enagás for the development of a technology to produce renewable hydrogen

The IREC energy storage group expands its collaboration after the recent alliance between Repsol and Enagás, and subscribes its scientific collaboration to continue developing a technology that allows the production of renewable hydrogen. Both companies will be able to incorporate this technology into their respective businesses, thus improving sustainability and efficiency.

With this alliance, Repsol and Enagás will promote the development of hydrogen production using solar energy as the main source, reducing the carbon footprint by more than 90% compared to other conventional processes for obtaining this gas.

In the medium term, the renewable hydrogen obtained by this new process can be used by Repsol both in its refining processes, to produce cleaner fuels reducing the presence of sulphur; as in the chemical business, in conventional processes such as the hydrogenation of rubber.

Meanwhile, for Enagás, this project is part of the strategy of developing non-electric renewable energies, such as hydrogen and biogas / biomethane, which are new energy solutions that can play a fundamental role in the process of energy transition projected by the European Union.

 
 
26 June 2018

IREC participates in the 2018 Mediterranean Games, a long-distance race, with Consell Català de l'Esport.

The Thermal Energy and Building Performance group of IREC participates in the 2018 Mediterranean Games by assessing the environmental comfort of the users at Palau d'Esports Catalunya, in the framework of collaboration with the Consell Català de l'Esport (CCE). IREC carries out a monitoring campaign of the environmental parameters of the Palau d’Esports Catalunya (temperature, relative humidity and CO2 concentration), to calculate the main indicators of thermal comfort and air quality, and to evaluate whether the design of the sport hall guarantees adequate conditions both for the spectators, and for the players. The design of the Palau d'Esports Catalunya was advised by IREC to incorporate energy efficiency criteria to achieve a high energy qualification and meet the characteristics of nearly zero energy building (nZEB). Some of the measures implemented are natural lighting, solar protections, natural ventilation system and a building energy management system, among others.

In addition, on June 6th within the framework of the Sustainable Energy Week, the workshop was performed: "Energy efficiency in sports facilities. Future challenges", organized jointly with the CCE, Institut Català d'Energia (ICAEN) and IREC. The objective of the day was to share the challenges that are being addressed in the field of energy efficiency of sports facilities, from different perspectives: public administration, the sports industry, professionals in the energy sector and research. The day was very enriching and had the participation of more than 30 professionals, covering the entire value chain. IREC presented the study "Energy diagnostic and potential energy savings of the sport facilities in Catalonia”, which was carried out in the collaboration framework with the CCE. The objective of this work is to evaluate the current situation of sports facilities in Catalonia from the energy point of view. The analyzed equipment are sport halls, indoor pools and fields. Also, the study defines the energy consumption levels for this type of buildings in order to achieve nZEB criteria. Finally, an evaluation of the potential energy savings and the investment costs needed to transform the current sports building stock to nZEB level was developed. The work is available in the following link.

 
 
20 June 2018

The Head of the Solar Energy Materials & Systems Group from IREC co-authors a Nature Energy paper

Alejandro Pérez-Rodríguez, Head of the Solar Energy Materials & Systems (SEMS) Group from IREC and Full Professor at the University of Barcelona, co-authors the paper “Understanding the cell-to-module efficiency gap in Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 photovoltaics scale-up” that has been recently published in the highly prestigious journal Nature Energy, in collaboration with Dr. Verónica Bermúdez (formerly at Solar Frontier K.K., Atsugi Research Centre, Japan).

This work results from a long-standing collaboration of the SEMS group with Dr. Bermudez in the research and development of advanced chalcogenide thin film photovoltaic technologies, including Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 (CIGS) technologies that are already at the industrial stage, with a strongly increasing production level that  exceeds several GWatts. SEMS is one of the reference flagship groups at the international level in these advanced technologies that constitute nowadays one of the main industrial options for the fast development of advanced PV integrated products, combining a very high efficiency potential with a very high technological flexibility and low cost. The work reviews and identifies the main barriers that are at the origin of the cell-to-module efficiency gap in these technologies, quantifying the main cell-to-module efficiency loss mechanisms and discussing various strategies explored both in academia and in the industry to reduce this gap. The work highlights different strategies that are relevant for the further industrial consolidation and increase of competitiveness of these advanced technologies that are at the forefront of strongly relevant PV fields as those related to Building Integration.

Reference article:

"Understanding the cell-to-module efficiency gap in Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 photovoltaics scale-up". Verónica Bermúdez, Alejandro Pérez-Rodríguez. Nature Energy.