EF Solare Italia firmly believes in the importance of innovation and it acts as a driving force for the technological development and growth of the Italian PV industry.


Innovation is fundamental for a highly technological sector such as photovoltaic. The need for a quick decarbonisation of energy generation requires ambitious capacity growth from renewable sources, including solar energy. Alongside new installations, operators are working to make the existing portfolio more efficient through original or improved technologies.

Among the latest innovations in this field, the University of Milan-Bicocca has developed a new material, the emitting porous aromatic frameworks (ePAF), porous fluorescent nanoparticles which improve the efficiency of light harvesting from solar cells by exploiting a larger portion of the solar spectrum. “Basically, nanoparticles capture wasted photons and convert them into high-energy photons, which are subsequently easily absorbed by the devices” explained Professor Angelo Monguzzi, leader of the research.

A team from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), instead, has developed a synthetic polymer provided with phototropism, meaning the response through growth by cellular distension to a stimulus of directed light. The particles, named SunBots, exploit the ability to move and readjust according to the angle of light to capture indirect sunlight. This is possible thanks to the configuration of the device, which consists of a stem with a diameter of about 1 mm, made of polymer infused with a nanomaterial, which absorbs light and converts it into heat, while the polymer shrinks in response to rising temperatures.

A team of Sino-Swedish researchers has followed a different path to exploit indirect light, specifically the internal environmental light of buildings: new organic solar cells with a layer made by a mixture of donor and accepting materials, which gives considerable flexibility in developing the solar cells so that they are optimized to precisely manage the wavelength of light. Flexibles, economical to produce and suitable for production by large printers, these new cells produce a small amount of energy but should still be able to power the IoT devices that will soon be common in our homes.

Turning the gaze from the microscope to the sky, the prototype of a miniaturized solar power generator developed in Israel will be sent by NASA to the International Space Station (ISS) in its first launch in 2020. It is a compact, low mass solar concentrator made by molded glass and linked to a monolithic integration of microscale transfer molded solar cells. The prototype stands out for its optical tolerance, which balances out the errors in pointing towards the Sun, structural vibrations and thermal distortion, while providing an unprecedented specific power.

Finally, a news received by the media with a certain outcry was the announcement from Heliogen, a Californian startup financed by Bill Gates, which through solar concentration has reached a temperature above 1000 ° C, thus opening the possibility of using the system as a source of heat instead of fossil fuels in heavy industry, with a clear advantage in terms of reducing climate-changing emissions.

EF Solare Italia firmly believes in the importance of innovation and acts as a driving force for the technological development and growth of the Italian photovoltaic industry, starting with the development of utility-scale electrochemical storage, which, as confirmed by a recent study commissioned to Elemens, is an essential technology to achieve the solar generation goals planned for the next decade.

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