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EUROSUNMED Report Summary

Project ID: 608593
Funded under: FP7-ENERGY
Country: France


Project Context and Objectives:
The geographical proximity and the nexus of interests that bind together Europe and North Africa has long been recognised. For the countries of these regions and their citizens, climate change represents a huge challenge that cannot be met by national governments alone. It requires the active engagement and participation of all authorities, including the European Commission. On the other hand, the ambitioned greenhouse reductions during COP21 impose the use of renewable energies at quite a high level. Thus, given its geographical location, by far the most important potential source of renewable energy for the Euro-Mediterranean region is the sun. In particular, the Mediterranean region benefits from a high solar radiation potential, which is calling for a stronger use of solar-based technologies such as photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP). Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs) such as Morocco and Egypt have the intention of becoming major actors in the production of solar-based renewable energy and their governments are planning for a national industry capable of manufacturing renewable energy equipment and exporting know-how as well as energy. As a matter of fact, the Moroccan solar program anticipates a minimum power capacity of 2000 MW by 2020; In July 2012 the Egyptian Solar Plan was approved and is targeting to install approximately 3500 MW (2800 MW CSP + 700 MW PV) by 2027, with private investment share of 66% including enhancement of relevant local industry. Those countries are looking for cooperation and investment with research institutes and foreign companies with experience in solar and other technologies in a “partnership of equals”. This implies a transfer of technology with the ultimate aim of developing local expertise and the creation of an industry with more than 100,000 jobs. Besides electricity production, the distribution of the solar-based renewable energy source and its connection to the grid in the MPC require special attention as not to weaken the existing system originally based on few but large power plants in rural areas.
As a general view, the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) has been developed over the last few years. It aims to meet the major energy and climate challenges confronting the Mediterranean region and the European Union in the coming decades. It is one of the six key initiatives of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), launched in Paris on 13 July, 2008. The Plan has two complementary targets: developing 20 GW of new renewable energy production capacities, and achieving significant energy savings around the Mediterranean by 2020, thus addressing both supply and demand.
The Mediterranean Solar Plan complements the work being done under a number of interconnecting Mediterranean energy projects, funded under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) or under specific FP7 calls. Among the last, EUROSUNMED project is aiming at the development of low-priced and appropriate technologies for the MPC as well as training highly skilled researchers/engineers and technicians who can understand, run and improve such infrastructures. An economy founded on knowledge is the economy of tomorrow. There is a need for further investment in education and training at lab and industry levels. To this end, a consortium was built to bring together leading groups from academia (HU, AU, UM5a, AUI, CNESTEN), government research organizations (CNRS, CENER, SINTEF, MAScIR), agencies, knowledge societies (EUREC, E-MRS), and private technology oriented research centres (IK4-TEKNIKER) as well as industry (MASEN, TURBODEN, NVE). The varied experience of the partners and knowledge in the fields of PV, CSP and Grid are seen as an asset and contributes to the professional development of the researchers involved.
The work plan of the EURSOUNMED project lies on eight well identified workpackages (WPs). The graph below gives the concerns of each WPs.

The objectives of the project can be summarized as follows:
- Developing advanced technologies in 3 energy field areas, namely photovoltaics (WP1), concentrated solar power including storage (WP2) and grid integration (WP3).
- Testing and demonstrating PV and CSP components under specific conditions (WP5) of MPC is also planned.
- Establishing strong networks (WP4) between EU and MPCs through exchange of students, senior researchers/engineers who will be the vehicles for transferring knowledge and technologies.
- Disseminating (WP6) the results of the project through the organization of summer schools, workshops and conferences towards large public from universities, engineering schools and other stakeholders involved in the three selected energy areas and beyond.

Project Results:
During this second period (M19-M36), several significant results were obtained in accordance with the planned objectives. The most relevant ones are summarized below per workpackage.

In workpackage 1 dealing with photovoltaics (PV), the focus during this M19-M36 period was on the synthesis of silicon and CZTS thin films by means of different methods and using original and highly conductive substrates such as aluminium and sintered silicon. Thus, amorphous thin Si layers have been deposited on low-cost Si powder and Al based substrates using several deposition methods (PECVD, magnetron sputtering, e-beam) and then crystallized either thermally, aluminium assisted or laser assisted. It is for instance demonstrated that crystallization of a-Si/Al structures can be done at temperatures as low as 600 °C, resulting in formation of crystalline grains on Al substrates, while continuous Si layers can be processed on Si powder based substrates at 1000 °C post depositions anneals. On the other hand, stress induced exfoliation techniques have been applied to silicon wafers in order to generate silicon foils of few tens of micrometers in thickness. Furthermore, we have demonstrated the transfer and the gluing of such thin Si wafers on several low-cost substrates, including Al substrates. Finally, solar cells and mini-modules were successfully fabricated and their optoelectronic properties were thoroughly measured. Solar cell structures efficiencies above 12% have been achieved since the beginning of the project, well above the targeted value of 10%. The silicon mini-modules were delivered to WP5 leaders (demonstration) to be installed in different sites in Morocco, and their performances started to be monitored versus the environment conditions.
As for CZTS fabrication, quaternary chalcogenide Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) films were produced on ITO/glass or Mo/glass substrates by electrodeposition process or by spray method. It was concluded that the electrodeposition technique is superior. In addition, wet chemical synthesis of CZTS nanocrystals as an alternative to deposited thin films has also been explored, and thoroughly analysed. The analysis has shown that the CZTS layers’ quality suffer from the presence of parasitic phases. This is detrimental to the carrier transports with the absorbing layers. CZTS based solar cells with very limited performances were fabricated. The milestone of 10% cell efficiency was therefore not reached. Additional investigations are underway to get rid of these secondary phases and improving the CZTS materials quality by different means (annealing...). Yet, CZTS/Si tandem cells and mini-modules prototypes were produced and the procedure is reported in deliverable D1.5. Finally, optical management issues related to thin films limitations were addressed through the fabrication of silver nanoparticles for plasmonic effect or the chemical synthesis of doped TCO (F-Nd-ZnO, Nd-Yb-SnO2) based materials .
The different activities within this workpackage 1 during this period were carried out in very close collaboration between EU and MPC partners. Substrates, wafers, structures were shared between the team. Several individual training stays from MPC to EU complemented by lectures/seminars from EU to MPC served the transfer of knowledge and the enhancement of the skills. As a mater of facts, these collaborations resulted in numerous publications and communications (2 published papers and 5 under preparation, more than 10 presentations at conferences and workshops), and many of them are joint disseminations.
Many individual technical bricks (Si films, CZTS layers, TCOs...) were developed during this M1-M36 period and the last period will be focusing on the fabrication of 2 terminal and 4 terminal CZTS/Si tandem cells and minimodules. The goal is a quantum efficiency of about 12% by M42. The exposure of such cells or mini-modules to real conditions in Morocco will be carried out in the frame of WP5 (> M42).

Concerning workpackage 2, dealing with the development of novel elements (heliostat, receiver, storage components...) as parts of a concentrated solar power plant, many achievements can be highlighted for this M19-M36 period. Thus, the technical requirements of a new low-cost heliostat have been defined and detailed designs of the heliostat mechanical, control and calibration system have been accomplished. For this, several analyses regarding ranges of rotation and torque needs based on the kinematics of the design and the wind loads have been already performed. Based on this design, several heliostat prototypes have been locally manufactured and installed in Egypt. The heliostats are ready to be tested within WP5. Furthermore, a review of the existing heliostat field layout generation algorithms has been carried out and a comparison of their performances for several scenarios was accomplished. Although the main conclusion of the study is that all of them lead to similar solar field efficiencies once they are optimized for each scenario, potential improvements for these algorithms showing slightly increased efficiencies were proposed. A comprehensive report comprising this study and the improved algorithm proposals were delivered (D2.2 and D2.3). Additionally, several organic and inorganic coatings were developed and found to be very promising candidates for application as protective coatings to the heliostat surfaces. Among those materials are PDMS/SiO2 films deposited by a novel needless electro-spinning and SiO2-TiO2 coatings applied by sol gel. The protective coating has been deposited on high quality samples of metallic reflecting surfaces and they were deeply characterized.
On the receiver side, a novel open air volumetric receiver design based on light-trapping optics had been carried out and analyzed by simulation. For this the solar receiver model had been developed on single channel level, comprising the optical part, modeled via Monte Carlo ray tracing, and the thermal part, modeled via CFD techniques. The ongoing simulations are targeted at further improving this design to reach increased efficiencies.
From the CSP plant power cycle point of view, different combined cycle power block configurations operating in a decoupled scheme have been proposed and the analysis by simulation of their expected performance is ongoing. The different configurations proposed make use of two storage systems, at two temperature levels, integrated into the combined cycle. Additional, the used of a dual air/molten salts receiver operating at such two temperature levels is being analyzed. For the definition of the storage systems, possible storage media have been investigated. Specifically, samples of rocks were gathered from different regions of Morocco and Egypt and characterization of the samples including thermal and physical properties, petrographic analysis and determination of the chemical constituents has been conducted. Also innovative materials are being proposed and studied for their application as high temperature storage media, including an innovative ceramic material made from industrial waste and several slag materials, also from largely available industrial wastes.

The workpackage 3 (Grid integration) has progressed well in this M19-M36 period, with the submission of two deliverable reports according to the plan. Thus, good progress has been made in all tasks, with particular emphasis on the “Development of standardised grid codes” (D3.2 submitted on M24) thanks to the organization of a workshop on "GRID CODE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGIES INTEGRATION IN THE ELECTRIC GRID" that was held in Rabat, Morocco (June 2015).
Another focus of WP3 was on “Strategies for power balancing” (D3.3 submitted on M36) which considered spinning reserve in the Egyptian grid and for large scale PV, CSP and DFIG wind plants. In addition, SINTEF has made use of the open-source PowerGAMA package to study the grid model in Morocco and Egypt. The study computed operational cost information from PowerGAMA simulations and combined this with a separate investment analysis in order to perform cost-benefit assessments. The results from the Morocco study indicate that 16 branch investments can be the preferable investment strategy for Morocco towards 2030, giving an annual reduction of 279 M€, and spillage reduction of 92 % compared to a case without any grid investments.
Additional work within WP3 concerned investigating methods to determine the optimal operation and sizing of energy storage systems. The main purpose of the operation strategy was to maximize the revenues of the renewable farm received from energy and regulation markets. It turned out that gravity storage may be considered in the near future as an alternative technology to the pumped hydro storage.
In other tasks, the potential for grid integration of renewable energy generation, as well the strategies for large-scale integration of renewables, were tackled by the partners. Several models using either commercial or home-made softwares were elaborated for the high voltage grid and applied to concrete cases such as NOOR (Marrakech, Morocco) or Cairo or KomUmbu. Besides the effect of large scale CSP plant with conventional thermal storage has been studied, and it is proposed to use hybrid battery/thermal storage system to maintain long-term frequency stability.
Overall, a good working relationship between the workpackage members has been established, with monthly web meetings to discuss progress, collaborations and any other issues. Four successful exchanges have been completed, resulting in major leaps forward in grid modelling and grid integration analyses. The value of the collaborations established is already evident in several joint publications at international scientific conferences.

Another essential activity in EUROSUNMED is that developed within workpackage 4 dealing with training activities and exchange of personnel. Several individual exchanges as well as training courses were conducted as linked to WP1, WP2 and WP3. Most of the exchanges of researchers and training activities planned in this workpackage have been conducted on time and efficiently. In total, 36 individual exchanges were accomplished with a majority from MPC to EU. In addition, two training courses on grid integration and photovoltaics were delivered to groups of students in Morocco. These exchanges and courses allowed students and researchers to create a solid and creative network and to increase the synergy through joint research in order to obtain high quality results, products, and publications. Moreover, these activities allowed the MPC partners in the consortium to gain new and important knowledge with regards to new technologies needed for the development of renewable energies in their region.

The purpose of workpackage 5 is demonstration meaning the test, under real functioning conditions, of different prototypes developed during the R&D period. More specifically, the best solar cells and mini-modules produced in the frame of WP1 (photovoltaics or PV) will be tested under real condition of sun irradiation and humidity in different Moroccan cities; on the other hand the heliostat prototypes fabricated within the frame of the project under WP2 (concentrated solar power or CSP) will be tested in Egypt. This workpackage started in M30. During this second period, a detailed test plan to be performed for CSP test facility installation and commissioning was developed. This test plan includes preliminary tests for the test site commissioning, tests for the heliostats, the control system and the calibration systems developed in WP 2. Planned tests to be performed on heliostats include optical quality, performance, degradation, etc. Regarding the tests of the small scale control system, the definition of the tests comprises the creation of a test for every configuration of the heliostats and the verification that each of them works as expected. Finally, the small scale calibration system, test plan establishes a required time for different calibration processes and its dependence on different initial conditions.
From the realization point of view, the first demonstrators were installed: (i) Six heliostats and a Lambertian target were installed on top of a 25- meter high tower at the premises of Helwan University in Egypt as well as heliostats testing facility; (ii) About 10 silicon based modules were installed in Morocco for testing their performances.

Workpackage 6 is dedicated to the dissemination activities of the work carried out in EUROSUNMED and beyond. Many tools were used to this end. The outreach activity towards the general public was continued during this second period through several mechanisms such as the EUROSUNMED web page ( continuously updated, newsletters sent each 6 months, brochures and social media outlets distributed during different events. The project aims and outlooks were also presented at different conferences. The most important events for this period are the organization of (i) a 4-days International School on “State of the Art in Photovoltaics, CSP, Storage and Grid Integration “ in March 2015 in Sharm El-sheikh (Egypt), followed immediately by a one-day workshop on “the State of the Art in Renewable Energies”; (ii) EUROSUNMED “AMREN-1” workshop in May 2015 in Lille (France); (iii) EUROSUNMED “AMREN-2” workshop in May 2016 in Lille (France); (iv) a 7-days International School on “Materials for renewable Energies and Sustainability“ in July 2016 in Erice (Italy).
Moreover, the dissemination of the project results towards the scientific community was carried out via about 30 publications in journals and through oral or poster presentations at several key conferences and workshops (EMRS-2015, EMRS-2016, EMCMRE-3, IRSEC-4, SolarSPACES 2015 and SolarSPACES 2016 ...).

The main objective of Workpackage7- EUROSUNMED Roadmap is to create a long-standing cooperation between the involved partners both from EU and Mediterranean Partner countries. This WP will collect the main results of the project (WP1, WP2, WP3) and use them in order to define this Roadmap based on the knowledge triangle: research, education, and industry development and policy.
The activities carried out during this period were the preparation of the survey and its analysis (deliverable 7.1) and the preparation of the first roadmap meeting (deliverable 7.2).
The purpose of the “Survey of existing resources” is to identify what are the resources currently present in targeted Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs), with a focus on Egypt and Morocco. The collected information focused on the following areas: Potential of renewable energies (with a focus on solar energy), Current State-of-the Art of solar and grid integration technologies, Existing qualified workforce in the solar energy sector, as well as education courses related to this subject, Existing industrial base in the sector, Existing relevant funding programmes on solar and grid integration technologies and Existing national energy strategies
The second important action carried out in the frame of WP7 is the organization of the first roadmap meeting with the intention to bring together stakeholders from EU and MPCs in order to define the content and structure of a concrete Roadmap. This roadmap should be composed of actions to be performed by the interested partners in order to ensure a long-standing cooperation in the areas of PV, CSP and grid integration. The first workshop focused on the first three chapters of the Roadmap, namely: (i) Identification and agreement on the targets to be achieved through the long-standing cooperation between EU and MPCs, (ii) Identification of different needs in order to achieve the agreed targets, in terms of: RTD & D, education and training, creation and strengthening of the industrial base and financial needs, and (iii) Identification of the needs of the MPC solar industry, in terms of type of projects that the solar MPCs industry is willing to develop. About 45 people attended this workshop held in Brussels on March 2016.

Potential Impact:
EUROSUNMED is expected to have a major impact on the existing European know-how of PV (CZTS/Si tandem cells on low cost substrates), CSP (novel materials for heliostats’ coating, controllers, receivers and storage) and Grid technologies (modelling, limitations for the integration...) since it will gather sharp and complementary experiences from the consortium. EUROSUNMED will also allow significant contribution towards facilitating the transfer of knowledge on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea and the spread of technical and management skills and encourage field training for high calibre graduates intending to pursue a career in academia or industry. Finally, EUROSUNMED will offer opportunities for industrials involved in the project and beyond, to gain new knowledge and increase their competitiveness.

List of Websites:


Gaëlle BUJAN, (Regional delegate)
Tel.: +33388106310
Fax: +33388106995
Record Number: 192754 / Last updated on: 2016-12-16
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