Archive for February 2009

IKERLAN designs and develops an organic photovoltaic module

February 26, 2009

Researchers from IKERLAN-IK4 have developed a laboratory-scale photovoltaic panel with exclusively organic technology.

Thanks to this semitransparent design, it is possible to have access to the individual components of the module which allows the identification and replacement -if necessary– of singles diodes without modifying the operation of the module.

Its simplicity allows for an easy integration in both outdoor and indoor applications.

The module, entirely fabricated at IKERLAN, is 30×30mm and monolithically connects 16 minicells of 9 mm2. The power conversion efficiency is over 2% and shows an open circuit voltage of around 7 Volts.

Current research about organic materials for photovoltaic cells tries to circumvent the problems with silicon, most of all, its high price. The photoelectric panel made by the research team from the Ikerlan-IK4 technological center in Spain has met expectations. This panel was manufactured with plastic materials – known as organic polymers – the production of which was carried out in chemical laboratories and, thus, their availability practically infinite.

But, without doubt, what has made the most impact is their appearance and design, it being possible to make them in different colors and involving a fine coating of plastic that can be deposited on almost any kind of surface, whether rigid or flexible. The versatility and simplicity of the manufacturing processes and the low cost of this technology make the fields of application limited only by the imagination of the researchers and industrial promoters. The sector benefiting most could be that of construction, given that this technology enables the manufacture of semitransparent windows or photoelectric curtains which allow certain passage of light to the interior and, at the same time, convert part of this solar energy into electricity.

Ikerlan-IK4 launched their activity in this field two years ago and the results are promising. Recently, photoelectric conversion efficiencies were measured as being above 4% in photoelectric cells manufactured at Ikerlan’s own laboratories with solar simulators officially approved at photoelectric panel specification centers unconnected to Ikerlan.

Ikerlan is currently working on alternative designs to produce larger sized panels which can be of use in various applications, from small panels to replace batteries in portable electronic devices to large modules for installing in roofs and walls, without visual impact and respecting the architectural aesthetics of the building and its surroundings.


More than 100 U.S. and Spanish Companies to Participate in Renewable Energy Forum in Miami

February 19, 2009

Tomorrow (February, Friday 20th), around 100 companies from the U.S. and Spain, as well as investment promotion institutions from Florida, will be meeting at a special event organized by the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX) and the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Miami, along with the Main Council of Spanish Chambers of Commerce, the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE), Enterprise Florida, the Spain-Florida Foundation and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Florida.


The event’s main objective is to find new investment opportunities and encourage business cooperation between Spain and the U.S.  In order to facilitate a direct communication line with potential commercial and investment partners, the Spanish participants will have the chance to have direct contact with U.S. business people who are interested in establishing strategic alliances.  Moreover, the participating Spain-based renewable energy and environmental technology companies will participate in a seminar regarding their growing industries.


The event will be inaugurated by His Majesty King of Spain Juan Carlos I, along with the Spanish Secretary of Commerce, Silvia Iranzo.  The governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, and the mayor of Miami, Manny Diaz, will represent U.S. institutions.  The event will be attended by some of the main Spanish business players in the field of renewable energy, such as Endesa, Unión FenosaIberdrola, T-Solar, Siliken or GreenFuel Corp and local heavyweights such as NextEra Energy Resources (FPL group).


The U.S. is Spain’s sixth largest export partner, when exports are measured in monetary value, and the first outside the European Union.  During 2008, the U.S. spent more than $9 billion in Spanish products and services.  At the same time, the U.S. companies were the sixth largest foreign suppliers to the Spanish market.  Spanish investment in the U.S. is steadily growing, having tripled between 2005 and 2007. Nearly 400 Spanish companies operate in Florida, making it the state with the largest concentration of Spanish investment.

Spain and Portugal to set up a joint Renewable Energy Research Center

February 8, 2009

Spain and Portugal will set up a joint renewable energy research center, the leaders of both nations said last Thursday in a bilateral summit. The Iberian Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CIERE, by its initials in Spanish) in the southern Spanish city of Badajoz – near the Portuguese border- will help the two nations improve their expertise in this area, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said. 

The center will be headed by Portugal’s Antonio Sa da Costa, the current vice president of the European Renewable Energy Federation. The governments of both nations have made it a priority to boost spending on training and technology to make their economies more competitive. Portugal, which is almost entirely dependent on imported energy, aims to collect 45 percent of its total power consumption from renewable sources like solar and wind power by 2010. Spain aims to triple the amount of energy it derives from renewable sources by 2020. It is already the second largest producer of wind power in the European Union.

The CIERE will work in close cooperation with the private sector on industrial and technological issues related  to the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Biomass and overcoming the challenges to develop electric cars will be among its priorities.

forms - Originally uploaded by ibrotons (aka irlandainquieta)

The two governments also cited their satisfaction with the current growth of electrical interconnection projects between the two countries. Said projects will put  the interconnection power capacity at 400 MW by 2010, and add 1,300 MW more by 2013 or 2014, considering further projects down the pipeline, to reach a total of  3,000 MW.  Spain and Portugal thus become a reference in Trans-European Energy Networks, a cherished EU objective.

This step is a necessary pre-requisite for the implementation of a single Iberian electriciy market (MIBEL) agreed upon in 2004 and that will be definitively set up next June. 

Socrates also re-affirmed that both nations aim to have a high-speed rail link between Lisbon and Madrid, and another between the Portuguese capital and Vigo in northern Spain, completed by 2013.

The Spanish government plans to have 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of high-speed railway track in place by 2020, meaning 90 percent of Spain’s population will live less than 50 kilometers from a bullet train station.