The Photovoltatronics Age

Research Themes: Energy, Software Technology & Intelligent systems

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Summary of the project

The usage of available renewable energy sources will be critical in the electricity-driven energy system of the future. Photovoltaic (PV) systems can pave every surface in the urban environment – think of roads, facades, chimneys etc - providing useful green electricity for the sustainable electrification of society. For this the researchers are combining expertise in material science – making very thin films; engineering hybrid tandem devices – new types of more efficient solar cells; PV powered multi-functional building elements – developing new types of smart PV modules and xiPV systems – where all is integrated into all systems. Shade-resilient, high-performance modules integrated with storage of energy and communication capabilities will constitute PV-based intelligent energy agents. This new PV-based intelligent energy agents will also integrate sensing capabilities to identify the operation and environmental conditions. The sensed data can be used on board by each agent and shared with a central monitoring and control system to take decisions on how to operate every single agent as well as the whole system and to check the state of health of each agent and act accordingly. These PV-based intelligent energy agents will cover the whole conversion chain from photons to electrons to bits, marking the advent of photovoltatronics age. 

What's next?

The next step is to start incorporating as much PV systems in building and shaping our environment as possible.

Contribution to the Energy transition?

The development of SMART photovoltatronics will enable society to turn as many surfaces as possible in energy capturing sites – generating high energy yields. 

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