The SFERA-III project addresses advanced science challenges and integrated research activities in the field of Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) by integrating key European research infrastructures into an ambitious wide project aiming at offering to the R&D community a new level of high-quality services.
In this context, the main European research institution operating a unique set of Research Infrastructures (RIs) in CST are coordinating efforts to promote innovative researches, to improve services offered by concentrating solar RIs and to train researchers and engineers on the CST technologies. Both academia and industry users are targeted. These RIs will be open to all European researchers as part of the transnational access activities, from both academia and industry, and attention will be paid to ensure their optimal use and joint development avoiding duplication of the services offered.
- Solar thermal electricity generation (tests from research on components and methods to full prototypes systems): thermodynamic cycles such as Brayton and Stirling cycles, receivers and their coatings, thermal storage, concentrating optics and mirrors, control algorithms and solar resource evaluation, heliostats and linear collectors, high concentration PV cells, etc.
- Solar fuels production: H2, Syngas, liquid and gas hydrocabons, etc.
- Cycles for chemical storage of solar energy for short and long duration: ZnO, CeO, Iron, etc.
- Solar water treatment: desalination, disinfection and decontamination.
- Solar heating and cooling of buildings to improve the energy efficiency in buildings.
- Modelling and controlling of concentrating solar technologies for power plants and for industrial processes
- High value material synthesis and/or coatings deposits (experimental or test of processes): nanomaterials like C or ZnO nanotubes, new ceramics or metals, foams, catalytic layers, etc.
- High-flux photochemistry and photo-physics.
- Characterization of materials behaviour and properties under extreme conditions such as for solar, space or nuclear fields: thermal shields, high temperature materials and parts, etc.
- Solar pumping of LASER for industrial and space applications.