Ayesa continues to show its commitment to innovation in the field of energy. The company is currently participating in the H2020 project Custom-Art, which is building on the progress made under Starcell. This project, which has now ended, involved new cells made from kesterite (a mineral which is abundant on Earth) being tested, as well as smart systems to monitor them. This is an area in which Ayesa has outstanding tools and extensive expertise.
Custom-Art has a budget of 8 million euros and 16 participants, namely European companies and research centres. Its aim is to develop the next generation of building-integrated photovoltaic modules (BIPV) and product-integrated photovoltaic modules (PIPV).
Ayesa’s task is to create solutions based on artificial intelligence in order to increase the efficiency of energy production. One of the company’s research strands focuses on platforms based on algorithms and predictive models, which can be used across all fields. However, the area where it has made the most progress has been in energy and smart grids.
As such, Ayesa will be responsible for the pilot project, which will see the technology developed as part of the project, i.e., the new cells, installed at its head office in Seville.
Specifically, it will use the prototype manufactured by CRYS, a curved solar façade, and the prototype manufactured by SUN, a curved solar tile, which will be fitted on the front and on the roof of the building.
Over six months, production time and measurements will be constantly monitored (irradiance, temperature and humidity) and other parameters such as efficiency calculated. Algorithms will also be used to provide smart maintenance.
The system will create comparative graphs and the target values will be compared to theoretical ones. All this will be done using Grid Pilot, Ayesa’s very own monitoring and prediction platform.
BIPV and PIPV
BIPV (building-integrated photovoltaics) and PIPV (product-integrated photovoltaics) are two of the technologies identified to make ‘near-zero energy buildings’ and ‘net-zero energy districts’ a reality, through the installation of a new generation of photovoltaic modules capable of replacing passive elements on buildings, street furniture and vehicles.
This promising scenario can only be achieved by developing cost-efficient and sustainable thin-film technology, in addition to highly aesthetic, flexible and adaptable products.
Unfortunately, the most developed materials currently available on the market contain Cu (In, Ga) and Se2 or CdTe, which are scarce and expensive (In, Ga and Te) or toxic (Cd).
It is within this context that Custom-Art is developing advanced products based on Earth-abundant materials (kesterite), as part of an approach based on the circular economy.
The project will take this technology from TRL4-5 to TRL7, and demonstrate the very competitive rate of efficiency (20% for cells and 16% for modules) and durability (an average of 35 years) it offers, as well as its reduced production cost (75 euros per square metre).
In terms of Ayesa’s participation in the project, the firm will coordinate a full work package and oversee three actions relating to the use, commercialisation and replication of the technology developed. It will also be responsible for overseeing the installation and monitoring the BIPV technology as part of the pilot project.