Solar energy

A large amount or solar panels are floating on water used for irrigation in front of rows of greenhouses

We need to find ways to answer the increasing need for energy while reducing the effects on the environment and climate. Solar energy is one good solution for this: it is renewable, ubiquitous and harvested through multiple methods. VTT can support your business and R&D in solar energy materials, components and systems.

Key facts

VTT’s special expertise is the ability to look at solar energy as part of the bigger system. 

We specialise in printing technologies of solar panels, such as organic photovoltaics. These can increase the possible use of PV. 

Our simulations of the hybrid systems help customers find the best combination for solar energy applications. 

Human activities will cause constant increase in energy need for decades to come. There is enough solar energy available to cover the energy needs of humankind, but we have to use it in a better way. Further development is needed to improve solar technologies and their integration into the wider energy system.  

“There is enough solar energy available to cover the energy needs of humankind, but we have to use it in a better way.” 

VTT contributes to solar R&D with strong expertise: we develop technologies for harvesting solar energy, such as organic solar cells and perovskites, we support the planning of solar energy systems (power and heat) and we help create new solar energy related business and service models. Our strength is combining the practical and theoretical expertise. 

Printed solar cells and perovskites

Our vision is to develop novel energy harvesting solutions with the help of flexible photovoltaics (OPV or perovskite solar cells) and integrate those with other components, like energy storage systems and sensors with Bluetooth or near-field communication (NFC) features.  

The lightweight flexible PV modules can easily be placed on different surfaces, making it possible to harvest solar energy from almost anywhere. Their easy processing with printing enables the design of your choice and several coating methods, using less energy than the production of conventional silicon solar cells. VTT offers material testing in laboratory up to preparation of pilot scale printed/coated photovoltaic devices and systems (including encapsulation) in a roll-to-roll fashion. We have several characterisation methods to test solar cells.

Solar energy integration in built environment

Our special expertise is to look at solar energy as part of the bigger system. The system analysis for solar thermal and photovoltaic applications will show the performance of the products integrated in the buildings and energy systems.  

In hybrid energy systems solar energy technologies, such as concentrated solar power (CSP), façade integrated photovoltaics and solar thermal collectors are connected with storage systems and building products. These systems can be studied using system simulation programs and the performance can be validated by experimental testing and in demonstrations.

Solar related energy business and services

With our impressive track record of national and international projects, we have gained a thorough understanding of the opportunities and barriers for solar energy, which can be used for developing new service and business models or giving support for policy development. Examples of our services include user studies, stakeholder analyses, network and business analyses. We combine technology and business aspects for the benefit of our customers.

 

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