Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Instituto de energía solar

40 years leading PV solar energy

About us

Prof. Carlos del Cañizo, IES-UPM Director, explains our commitment to Photovoltaic Solar Energy.

 

Given today´s climate challenges, it is hard to dispute the need to firmly back renewable energies as the basis of a new energetic model, including photovoltaic solar energy. PV is already beginning to play an important role into the world’s electricity mix, and has enormous growth potential in the coming years.

The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid cemented its commitment to solar energy almost forty years ago with the founding of the Instituto de Energía Solar (IES-UPM), a center specifically devoted to research into the fundamentals and the practical application of photovoltaics. Since then, the IES-UPM has received international recognition for its research, thanks to our philosophy to combine a passion for PV solar energy, scientific rigor in the face technological problems, and strong ambition to have a strong impact on whichever research lines we pursue.

At the IES-UPM we pledge to maintain this commitment to PV for the next forty years and beyond.

We will continue to search for solutions to the challenges that PV technology is facing, all the way from the source material to utility scale solar installations. The areas that we will focus on in coming years include finding cheaper ways of purifying silicon, developing new photovoltaic materials and original structures for highly efficient tandem cells; improving concentrator photovoltaic technology; developing more efficient strategies for demand management, and assessing the use of batteries to ease the integration of technology into the electricity grid.

Our development focus both respond to the current industry demand and to look beyond that demand and invent the technology of the future. We will transfer our knowledge to those working for the improvement and innovation of their products: either cells, modules and equipments manufacturers, or installation companies, as well as continue to spin off companies to develop technologies when appropriate (our most recent spin-offs include webPV, Solar Added Value, and SILSTORE). And we will also continue to feed original ideas into the scientific community to encourage new development pathways in PV. Recent advances at the IES-UPM include the three terminal heterojunction bipolar transistor solar cell, the energy storage system based on melted silicon, the achromatic doublet on glass lens, and the advanced methodology to reduce the uncertainty in the prediction of a photovoltaic plant performance.

Our commitment is, and continue to be, to provide our undergraduate and PhD students with a solid and multidisciplinary training, thus enhancing the practical component of our Master in Photovoltaic Solar Energy, and making our Doctorate Program a privileged environment to foster learning, creativity and innovation.

In the future, photovoltaic Solar Energy will be ubiquitous in our lives and we, at the Instituto de Energía Solar, will have been a key contributor to this new reality.

 

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