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Research and innovation

The National Solar Energy Institute brings together research staff from the CEA, as well as from the University of Savoie, the CNRS and the CSTB. The institute’s laboratories, clean rooms, pilot facilities and demonstrators allow its scientists and technicians to work on optimizing all aspects of solar photovoltaic energy, from cells to systems and from positive-energy buildings to solar mobility. In addition to carrying out research into solar photovoltaic energy, teams are being set up to study solar thermal energy for cooling and heating, and to investigate ways of optimizing passive energy through energy management in buildings and energy efficiency technologies.

INES’s research teams investigate all aspects of solar photovoltaic energy – silicon materials, cells, modules, systems, electricity storage, demonstrations and tests. The institute’s scientists are currently studying methods for producing solar-quality silicon metal, increasing the efficiency of solar cells and developing storage systems for innovative forms of energy.

In the field of solar thermal, R&D will be carried out to optimize existing products and to adapt these products according to their usage or the complementary energy used (wood, gas, etc.). Other research fields include the development of combined systems (hot water and heating) and solar climate control.

Building-integrated solar energy and the active management of combined thermal and electrical sources are also major research streams for INES, whose objective is to develop “positive energy” technologies that produce more energy than they consume.

INES is also carrying out important research into solar mobility.