Our group is formed by 12 European partners and is coordinated by Dr. Victor Izquierdo, from the Solar Energy Materials and Systems group at Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC).
This multidisciplinary group includes four research centers and one university with a strong knowledge in the development of spectroscopic methodologies, imaging, device optoelectronic assessment, AI analysis and data management. Additionally, the consortium includes two research centers with strong know-how in advanced PV technologies and with industrial pilot lines facilities to validate concepts (two demo-sites) based on high efficiency CIGS devices and smart nano-based surface processes and coatings. Finally, the consortium is complemented by a metrology SME with strong knowhow in the implementation of industrial process monitoring applications and by two third-generation PV manufacturing SMEs, both providing their production lines for demonstrating the Platform-ZERO technology. Additionally, two other SMEs are in charge of dissemination, exploitation and communication actions.
IREC is a publicly funded institution created in 2009 based in Barcelona that conducts innovative research over a wide range of disciplines within the science and technology energy field. IREC contributes to sustainable development via development of new technological solutions, promotion of scientific and technological know-how related to clean energy and its efficient use as well transfer of solution and expertise to market actors. The institute also supports the promotion of renewable energy technologies and assists political decision-makers. IREC has participated in more than 60 projects, with a portfolio of more than 7M€, it is a founding member of the Catalonia Energy Efficiency Cluster and KIC InnoEnergy. Additionally, IREC published 500+ peer-reviewed papers, holds 30+ patents and has supported the creation of 2 spin-off companies.
In Platform-ZERO, IREC is the project coordinator and leads the advanced sensor station design and development. This involves (i) the updating of a 2nd generation database with characterization data obtained under simulated industrial conditions; (ii) the design and development of modular sensors compatible with in-line monitoring; and (iii) the design of specification-compatible advanced sensor stations.
AIT is Austria’s largest non-university research institution and specializes in the central infrastructure topics of the future. In partnership with industry and public institutions, AIT is already today researching and developing the technologies, methods and tools for tomorrow – and researching innovations for the day after tomorrow. AIT employs approximately 1,400 people and provides research and technological development to realize basic innovations for the next generation of infrastructure related technologies in the fields of energy, low-emission transport, health & bioresources, digital safety & security, vision, automation & control and technology experience. These technological research areas are supplemented by their competence in the area of innovation systems & policy.
In Platform-ZERO, AIT leads the development of the project’s artificial intelligence (AI) system, including the set up of a database for AI training and testing, and the design, development and implementation of the AI system.
ZSW was established in 1988 by the German state of Baden-Württemberg, together with universities, research institutions, and commercial firms. It is a non-profit foundation under the civil code. Solar energy and hydrogen technologies are currently maturing on an industrial scale and will be major components in the sustainable energy supply of the 21st century. Today the ZSW has approximately 350 employees and 100 student and scientific assistants and is one of the leading energy research institutes in Europe. Joint ventures and the growing proportion of industry commissions demonstrate the consistent application relevance of their work.
In Platform-ZERO, ZSW leads the testing and validation of the project demonstrators. Specifically the AI-based process monitoring platform developed for the in-line assessment of the selected PV case studies with different flow-type production, and the feasibility assessment of the Platform-ZERO tool as flexible and autonomous quality control check for real time industrial process monitoring. ZSW is also leading the German demonstrator on high efficiency copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar modules (i.e. Sheet-to- Sheet).
R2M is an integrated and multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial innovation company that aggressively targets filling the gap between research activities and market implementation across the fields of Innovation. Strategic innovator, R2M helps organizations and projects plan and execute the use of the research funding over a comprehensive development strategy, from idea to market. R2M provides leadership, links high performance exploitation-oriented networks, and leverages public and private funding instruments. The Innovation Division has expertise in business model development, value proposition design, stakeholder engagement, market analysis and business plan development.
In Platform-ZERO, R2M is involved through its Italian and French branches. The Italian branch leads exploitation and standardization activities, while the French branch leads communication and dissemination activities. Together these activities will ensure maximum success of the project impact in line with the methodologies, results and outcomes generated in the project.
LUR is a non-profit, private Technological Centre created in June 1999 by the association of several public authorities, financial organisations, R&TD organisations and companies in diverse productive fields, including environment, construction, power generation, consultancy, foodstuff production and others, totaling more than 20 independent entities. L’Urederra performs activities of Research & Technological Development on behalf of the industries and other economic agents within its sphere of influence, followed by implementation of the innovations developed at their production sites. The organisation is a Spanish CIT (Centre of Innovation and Technology) recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Science. The centre has a vast expertise in coordination and participation in European project proposals from FP5 to Horizon 2020.
In Platform-ZERO, LUR leads the Spanish project demonstrator on smart coatings for PV applications (i.e. Powder Line Flow).
Since 2010, Sunplugged (SUN) has been developing its own proprietary CIGS thin-film solar cell and a novel solar cell interconnection scheme that allows the production of customized photovoltaic foils for seamless integration into a multitude of applications. Due to its adaptability in respect to size, shape and voltage, lightweight and homogenous appearance, Sunplugged´s flexible CIGS foil is an ideal raw material for building integrated photovoltaic products. Besides this, Sunplugged has extensive experience in the development of solar integrated products for buildings, vehicles and electronic devices independently from the underlying photovoltaic techniques.
In Platform-ZERO, SUN leads the definition of industrial specifications and reference sample fabrication. This involves (i) the definition and identification of industrial specifications for the process monitoring and data management requirements, and requirements for the integration of the platform in different manufacturing lines; (ii) the creation of a 1st generation database for the initial development of sensors and AI system; and (iii) the updates of risk identification and mitigation. SUN also leads the Austrian demonstrator on customizable CIGS flexible solar foil (i.e. Roll-to-Roll).
LENZ is a technology-based company focused on the development and commercialization of instruments and systems for industrial inspection applications, as well as on providing engineering services in fields related to process optimization, monitoring, control, and automation. Key fields of expertise include contactless inspection technologies based on electromagnetic sensing technology, vision systems, and vibrational spectroscopic analyzers.
In Platform-ZERO, LENZ leads the platform implementation and installation of the project demonstrators. This involves (i) the development of mechanical integration solutions and auxiliary systems for the different demonstrators; (ii) the fabrication of the advanced sensor stations and integrated phase change material platform demonstrators; and (iii) the installation of the process monitoring platform demonstrators in the manufacturing lines.
RISC performs research and development for industrial partners since the company’s foundation by Prof. Bruno Buchberger in 1992. The core competences symbolic computation, mathematics and computer science are applied to develop remarkable software solutions in the business units logistics informatics, medical informatics, industrial software applications and domain-specific applications.
In Platform-ZERO, RISC leads the design and implementation of a big data infrastructure, algorithms and communication protocols for managing the data generated by the platform. They also lead the integration of the AI-based control unit and graphical user interface of the developed software.
HZB is a legally independent member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, Germany’s largest organization with more than 40,000 staff members working to solve society’s grand challenges in the fields of Energy, Aeronautics, Space and Transport. HZB has around 1,200 coworkers distributed over two locations and is financed by the German Federal Government (90%) and the State of Berlin (10%). The HZB research portfolio includes solar cells, solar fuels, thermoelectrics, and materials for new, energy-efficient information technologies (spintronics) or electrochemical energy storage. It also operates the BESSY II synchrotron facility, where the Energy Materials In-Situ Lab and the Berlin Joint Lab for Electrochemical Interfaces offer state-of-the-art facilities for research on energy materials.
In Platform-ZERO, HZB leverages its expertise in high frequency modulation and spectroscopy techniques including data fusion and combinatorial analysis methodologies to lead the design and testing under simulated industrial conditions of semi automatic modular sensors prototypes.
As an educational space for higher education, UPO is at the service of society and defines itself as a place of reflection and critical thinking committed to contributing to progress , teaching respect for fundamental rights and public liberties, with the promotion of equality between women and men, solidarity and human values and with the response to the needs and problems of contemporary society. The University encourages and promotes the participation of its members in international cooperation and solidarity activities and projects, as well as the carrying out of activities and initiatives that contribute to the promotion of equality between men and women, permanent support for people with special needs, the culture of peace, sustainable development and respect for the environment.
In Platform-ZERO, UPO will leverage its expertise in device optoelectronic assessment and electrical characterization of semiconductor devices to support the project activities and outcomes.
SAULE is a pioneer in the research and manufacturing of a new generation of perovskite solar cells. The solar cells printed on flexible foils are lightweight, ultra-thin, and semi-transparent, which significantly surpasses the range of possible applications of traditional silicon technology. The company was founded in 2014 by Olga Malinkiewicz, the inventor of the printing method, and experienced businessmen – Piotr Krych and Artur Kupczunas. Today, Saule Technologies is a team of over 50 scientists, engineers, and administrative staff from over 17 countries, working in an R&D center with a pilot production line and one of Europe’s best-equipped optoelectronics laboratories. Releasing products available for licensing and first B2B sales in early 2021 proves that Saule Technologies is a leader in commercializing perovskite solar cells.
In Platform-ZERO, SAULE leads the Polish demonstrator on perovskite solar modules (i.e. (Sheet-to-Sheet), which aims to save costs through early detection of out-of-spec layers thus eliminating material waste in subsequent stages.