Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Instituto de energía solar

R&D at IES

Instruments and Systems Integration (ISI)



We are a group of 10 researchers and technicians, led by Dr. Gabriel Sala, awarded with the Becquerel prize of European Commission with for his pioneering work in the development of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems. Our work in CPV continues to be internationally recognized.

We are integrated, along with four other PV research groups, in the Instituto de Energía Solar (Solar Energy Institute) of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Madrid Technical University), which is located on the campus of the School of Telecommunications Engineering, in the Ciudad Universitaria, in Madrid.

Our work

Our objective as a research group is to promote low-cost solar electricity through the development of Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV).


Our main lines of research are:

  • New concepts in CPV systems and fabrication methods for concentrator optics
  • Optical and electrical instrumentation
  • Characterization methods for CPV modules and receivers
  • Reliability of CPV systems and components

Activity and other data of interest



Much of the group’s activity is focused on the development of methods, instruments, and equipment for the measurement and characterization, both in laboratory and in real operation, the full range of CPV devices and components, from single cells all the way to large solar plants. Another cornerstone of our activities revolves around developing concepts, designs, and prototypes for CPV systems, some of which have been taken to the demonstration plant level. Finally, we aim to attend the needs of industry, both national and international, and of other R&D centers, through contracts of collaboration, participating in national and international consortia, and transferring technology to industry for commercialization, and providing technological services. One of our roles is the know-how transfer (i.e. we created the spin-off Solar Added Value) and the industrial collaboration with cutting edge companies.

Some recent projects that we would like to highlight here are our participation in the EU-funded projects CPV-Match, Ecosole, Sophia and NGCPV where we developed novel CPV concepts, instrumentation for the lab and production line.

Academically, our recent (2010-2014) impact is demonstrated by 18 articles in JRC journals, most of them in the first quartile, various chapters in relevant technical books from major publishers, more than 40 conference contributions, 6 doctoral theses, 14 successful proposals to open funding calls, and many contracts with leading companies in the field worldwide.

  • More specifically, here are some of our specific capabilities and recent activities: Development of high efficiency CPV modules, including design, optical simulation, prototyping, and characterization

  • Design, analysis, and simulation of devices and optical systems for photovoltaic and hybrid (PV + lighting, PV + thermal) systems.

  • Design of methods and equipment for the characterization of solar cells, CPV receivers, concentrating optics, and CPV modules and arrays.

  • Analysis of the operation of photovoltaic cells of different technologies (muli-junction, silicon, etc) under different levels of concentration, uniformity, and light spectrum

  • Advanced characterization of CPV modules, both outdoor and indoor (in a state-of-the-art large area collimated light beam spectrally controlled solar simulator developed by the group)

  • Characterization and monitoring of PV plants: power rating, thermal and spectral effects, soiling and other degradation, and energy generation predictions.

  • Building integration of PV technology: hybridization of electrical generation with lighting, heating, and air conditioning

  • Development of robust cell packaging for both low and high concentration

  • Cost analysis (materials, processes) for CPV systems

  • Participation in the definition of international standards for the CPV industry (active members of the International Electrotechnical Commission working groups for CPV)



Head of ISI Group: Gabriel Sala Pano

E-mail: gabriel.sala@upm.es


Photovoltaic solar energy | concentration | instrumentation | solar simulator | characterization of solar cells | modules and systems


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