Ayesa investigates the efficiency of the new generation of photovoltaic cells

The field of application of technology to that of renewable energies offers an endless array of opportunities for innovation. Within this context, Ayesa is undertaking significant backing of innovation and the development of new energy solutions based on its GridPilot platform, a technological cloud-based platform to monitor and control distributed energy resources such as batteries or photovoltaic generation, and to aggregate them with the aim of providing, in an optimised and automated manner, energy services that create new revenue sources based on the same.

One of the projects in which Ayesa is currently involved is Starcell, assigned a budget of 4.8 million euros and forms part of the H2020 European programme which ends in December of this year following 36 months’ research. 

This initiative has as its main aim the development of a new generation of fine layer photovoltaic panels, which will be of vital importance in the future integration of this technology in residential and industrial / commercial buildings, as well as in the automation sector.


It seeks to eliminate the current critical raw materials (indium and gallium) and replace these with kesterite, a material formed by metals of low toxicity (Cu, Sn and Zn) which are abundant in the Earth’s crust. This offers a safe supply chain as the production of these metals in not controlled by any country.

 Kesterite provides the most rational and realistic option for the photovoltaic industry beyond technologies based on silicon, as they have proven to offer high levels of stability on a laboratory scale. Likewise, their reuse and recycling are a possibility that Starcell is similarly conducting research into.

Following two years’ research carried out by the consortium members, Ayesa will undertake the installation of these developments in a pilot plant located Spain.

The modules include a small adjoining meteorological station that will measure the wind, humidity and temperature, along with other environmental factors so that these can later be related to conditions and output.

Data created by the different information systems will be handled via an IT system devised by Ayesa to monitor the performance of these energy installations and it will be integrated in Gridpilot.

Thirteen partners participate in Starcell. It is coordinated by IREC and formed by Ayesa, Wirec, Empa, Imperial College, Imra, Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg, CEA, Uppsala Universitet, HZB, Midsummer, Duke University and the National Japanese Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).