CORDIS - EU research results

Concentrated Solar energy storage at Ultra-high temperatures aNd Solid-state cONversion

Project description

Compact concentrated solar power technology that can store solar energy above 1 200ºC

Concentrated solar power systems generate solar power by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight into a receiver. The energy from the concentrated sunlight is then used to heat a high-temperature fluid within the receiver. The EU-funded SUNSON project intends to develop a compact, modular, decentralised solution for dispatchable solar power generation that has 10 times less volume than current systems. The new prototype will integrate splitting optics systems for the beam-down solar concentrator, high-temperature latent heat storage systems and thermophotovoltaic generators. Furthermore, smart digital tools will be developed to aid in the design, management and replicability of the proposed technology.


AMBITION: SUNSON proposes a breakthrough in the field of Solar to Heat to Power (S2H2P) generation. The SUNSON prototype will be designed, developed, and validated as a modular, ultra-compact and decentralised solution for dispatchable solar power generation with 10 times less volume than current concentration solar power (CSP) technologies that efficiently store solar energy as heat for electricity conversion on demand. It integrates within a unique solution, novel approaches for solar radiation conversion technology (flux splitting optics for beam-down concentrator), ultra-high temperature thermal energy storage (TES) above 1200ºC and solid-state conversion technology based on thermophotovoltaic (TPV) generators.

OUTCOMES: on the one hand, a flagship prototype of the proposed technology (SUNSON-Box) integrating optics for beam down CSP technology, high-temperature latent heat storage and the TPV conversion will be demonstrated at TRL4. And on the other hand, SUNSON entails the development of smart digital tools (SUNSON-Tool) for design, management and replicability purposes based on multidisciplinary optimisation. In addition, it will provide a set of features usable for dissemination, exploitation, and communication actions within and beyond the project.

VALUE PROPOSITION: the research is well aligned to the growing European and international interest in the integration of renewable energy sources (RES), solar energy conversion and thermal storage, to scale up and demonstrate novel technologies from research level, advancing within the market uptake roadmap.

IMPACT: a revolutionary compact CSP and RES conversion technology to efficiently generate power with a modular approach, increasing its cost-effectiveness and spreading the application fields of conventional CSP (namely, industry, electrolysers and H2 production, building,). SUNSON will boost the EU economy by promoting net-zero emission electrification to put CSP back on track to meet the 2050 target.


Net EU contribution
€ 750 000,00
28040 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 750 000,00

Participants (5)