Concentrated Solar Technologies

Study and development of a patented solution for HCPV and CSP

Our research in concentrated solar power began with a project involving a solar dish with a Stirling engine. After extensive investigations into technologies for high concentration, which is key for conversion into electricity using multi-junction cells, we developed tracking systems for high concentration photovoltaics (patented) and for smaller solar thermal power systems.

STRATEGIE has also attracted international attention for our prototypes and control systems for tracking and energy management.

Innova MicroSolar (Horizon 2020)

The short/medium- and long-term energy strategies of EU countries involve increasing the energy efficiency of buildings by rapidly expanding the use of solar thermal energy. This is in line with the European Union’s climate energy objectives, as defined in its “20-20-20” targets and in the Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050.
The overall objective of this project is to develop an innovative, high-performing and cost-effective 2 kWel/18 kWth solar heat and power system for application in individual dwellings and small residential blocks. The idea is to generate electricity and heat on site using solar thermal energy at temperature levels of 250-280°C. The proposed technology will be laboratory validated and undergo field tests on a demonstration site.

The project will involve the expertise of the consortium members for the development of:

  • Small organic Rankine cycle plants
  • Linear Fresnel mirror solar energy concentrating collectors
  • Advanced heat pipe technologies for thermal management
  • High-performance thermal energy storage systems based on phase change materials
  • Smart control units for integrating solar thermal and boiler heating circuits.

Project participants are also experienced in integrating renewable energy technologies into buildings, optimizing complex plants, analysing and predicting socio-economic impacts, and curating the commercial roll-out of new renewables. It is estimated that the proposed technology will deliver 60% of domestic energy requirements and a 20% reduction in energy costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, compared to the best existing low-carbon energy technologies. The project will therefore help to improve the quality of life of people living in the EU and beyond, and provide clean, efficient and safe energy to homes.


HCPV – High Concentration Photovoltaics

The high concentration photovoltaic system has unique advantages: electricity production can be increased by up to 30% and the payback time for end use is substantially reduced.

Compared to other concentrating modules, the STRATEGIE system is extremely light, modular and compact. It is easy to integrate into buildings and is simple to install. These characteristics make it ideal for small and medium-sized uses, such as domestic, industrial and tertiary photovoltaic systems.

Concentrated photovoltaic technology has additional environmental benefits. It uses 800 times less photovoltaic material than traditional systems!
The advantages for end-of-life disposal are clear: it uses less photovoltaic material and more materials that can be recycled (aluminium, plastic).

The system is also extremely compact. Using the latest cells available, a standard module can deliver a peak power of approximately 1 kWp.
The support and tracker are extremely lightweight, which means the system can be installed without the need for complex and costly anchoring equipment. Our patented tracking system is the real innovation, as it makes the modules lightweight and convenient to move.

ISIDE Concentrating solar thermal system

ISIDE, the mini solar thermal system by STRATEGIE, uses a set of highly reflective mirrors to collect solar radiation in a special exchanger. This enables it to produce hot water at high temperatures, even in winter, and optimizes the system. The concentrator is compact and modular and is suitable for domestic and tertiary uses. The principle of operation is similar to the way central tower systems work in large solar power plants. The STRATEGIE system provides the same performance advantages of large-sized systems, yet is extremely compact, making it ideal for medium and small users.

The advantages of the ISIDE system:

  • Compact dimensions
    It is the individual mirrors that move, so the system requires no structural works or expensive foundations. The inclination angles of the mirrors can vary widely from horizontal (0°) to almost vertical (70°).
  • Highly accurate
    Solar tracking is achieved by an astronomical algorithm and a precise patented tracking mechanism.
  • Easy to install
    The control system has an interface for tracking geographic coordinates and changing the system’s operating parameters. This makes the concentrator adaptable for different uses. It is also possible to control the system’s performance parameters remotely.
  • Safe and reliable
    The structure can withstand atmospheric agents thanks to the small surfaces exposed to the wind and the robustness of steel. The system also controls the temperature and water flow to the solar receiver circuit.
  • Accurate and efficient
    Self-calibration of the target position eliminates the need for sun position sensors. The receiver is also well insulated to minimize heat loss.

The tracking accuracy of the heliostats facilitates self-calibration. Each reflective element is moved by a pair of high-precision stepper motors enabling the mirrors to track the exact position of the sun throughout the day, all year. This is what leads to the highest levels of conversion efficiency. The system is modular and can be adapted to the needs of individual users.

The system can be connected to different types of users, including domestic, tertiary and industrial process heat. A single system can meet the energy needs of a normal household and has the advantage of being extremely efficient, even in winter. Thus, it covers a much greater percentage of the energy needs for heating than traditional thermal solar panels. Other applications are heated swimming pools and special atmospheres like greenhouses. The system also has an excellent concentration factor enabling it to reach temperatures above 100 °C. This means it can be coupled to absorption systems for air-conditioning in the summer months (solar cooling).