Project SFERA-III: Fraunhofer ISE offers Access to CSP Research Infrastructures

March 06, 2019

Concentrated solar radiation is a very promising renewable energy resource. The best known application is electricity generation in Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants, but other applications have also been demonstrated, such as production of solar fuels, water treatment and research in advanced materials. Europe is a leader in research and development of this technology. In line with this development, the European Union is promoting the opening of key Research Infrastructures (RIs) in solar concentrating systems for both academia and industries for carrying out energy and materials research as well as research in other fields using the extreme temperature conditions in solar concentrators. Within the ‘Solar Facilities for the European Research Area Third Phase (SFERA-III)’ Project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE provides access to its laboratories.

© Fraunhofer ISE/ Dirk Mahler
Molten salt facility for characterization and development of heat storage concepts for temperatures up to 550°C.

The project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (H2020-INFRAIA-2018-1, GA 823802), intends to engage all major European advanced solar laboratories with relevant and recognized activities in the CSP technology field, into an integrated structure that could successfully provide access to high-quality RIs and services to European and non-European researchers from academy and industry. They can conduct first-class experimental research focusing on CSP and CSP-related activities but also other high temperature and high flux applications for research and industry, free of charge. SFERA-III is providing access to 15 state-of-the-art CSP Research Infrastructures, unique in the world, and a total of 47 installations in the EU, Turkey and Switzerland.

Fraunhofer ISE offers access to its laboratories for water treatment, heat storage, material characterization and durability analysis, concentrator optics as well as its heliostat test stand.

Please visit the SFERA-III website ( to find all the basic information, like the access conditions, and the description of the Research Infrastructures, further information on the technologies, as well as services available, and the overall list of installations offered for access by each Research Infrastructure. The Application Form (SAF) and the ‘SFERA-III USER Proposal template’ can be downloaded from the website as well.

The deadline for submitting applications for access is April 5, 2019. The selected projects will be announced mid-May 2019 and hosted at the research facilities from June to December 2019.


Further Information