The technologies for processing new materials play an important role in exploring renewable energy sources.
In this domain, the following topics stand out:
In the area of solar concentration:
- Development and characterization of technical ceramic materials for solar receivers and reactors, for the absorption of solar energy and the consequent use in industrial heating purposes, production of alternative fuels and electricity generation;
- Development of new materials for the production of fuels by the solar thermochemical route (P2X) and evaluation of their performance in the production of green hydrogen and other renewable fuels;
- Synthesis of refractory materials by direct heating in controlled atmospheres for applications in metallomechanics and electronics.
In the area of energy conversion:
- Processing of thermoelectric materials made of abundant and low toxicity elements, taking advantage of the Peltier / Seebeck effects, and using national natural resources, for the development of devices with application in large scale energy production, mainly associated with solar thermal concentration, thermal management of buildings, manufacture of devices with performance equivalent to heat pumps, and conversion of wasted thermal energy into electricity.
- Development and evaluation of the properties of new inorganic materials based on transition metal sulphides for thin-film solar cells, without the use of critical raw materials, namely for photovoltaic technologies for converting sunlight into electricity;
- Development of innovative crystallization processes at low temperatures, using microwave radiation, of materials for solar cells based on perovskites, aiming at their scale-up and integration in flexible supports and in tandem solar cells.
In the area of energy storage:
- Study of new molten inorganic salts as transfer fluids essential to heat storage.
Also noteworthy are the available techniques for materials characterization, namely scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and thermal analysis, which are essential for the evaluation and progress of R&D activities carried out in this field.