Materials & Components

EnergyVille researches the building blocks of the future energy system to the smallest level: materials and components. In order to maximise the value of the energy system overall, a fundamental understanding of each component and its integration in the system is essential. Therefore, we pay a lot of attention to the high level of interaction between different energy carriers like electricity, gas and thermal systems.

 

EnergyVille works on further increasing the efficiency and reducing the cost of PV cells and modules. This includes world-leading developments in crystalline silicon technology, thin film PV technology and a combination of both, in tandem structures. An important focus is put on new cell and module technologies, including the research on new materials accordingly, building-integrated photovoltaics with improved aesthetics, and on manufacturing processes which enable flexibility in colours and shapes. Emphasis is also put on PV module reliability and better forecasting of the energy yield of PV modules under varying weather circumstances.

Efficient power convertors are a key component in an efficient smart grid containing renewables and storage components. EnergyVille develops innovative GaN-based power devices integrated in high performance DC-DC power convertors with a long lifetime.

For thermal energy conversion, the three research subjects are organic Rankine cycles, heat pumps and heat exchangers. EnergyVille focuses on the development, implementation, demonstration and efficiency improvement of these conversion systems and the increase of flexibility in systems used as a link between the different energy carriers.

Research topics

  • High-efficient, reliable & aesthetic PV cells & modules
  • Photovoltaic systems integrated into building façades (BIPV/Building Integrated PV)
  • High accuracy energy yield forecasting of PV systems, especially in varying weather conditions
  • GaN power devices and power electronics such as DC/DC converters for BIPV
  • Energy conversion technology
  • Organic Rankine Cycles
  • Heat pumps
  • Heat exchangers
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