SFERA-III project: Solar Facilities for the European Research Area

Summer 2022

The SFERA-III project addresses advanced science challenges and integrated research activities in the field of Concentrating Solar Thermal by integrating key European research infrastructures into an ambitious wide project aiming at offering to the R&D community a new level of highquality services.

One project, three main activities
The SFERA-III overall objective is to continue with the work done in SFERA and SFERA-II projects and reinforce the sustainability of the activities of the European advanced Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) research infrastructures.

The project offers researchers in the private or public sector worldwide free Transnational Access to the best facilities and expertise in Concentrated Solar Technologies (CST). Applications can be submitted online to https://sfera3.sollab.eu/ for one of the 15 laboratories in Europe, where applicants can request access to laboratories located in a different country than the applicant institution.

SFERA-III partners also develop Joint Research Activities, with the entire spectrum of current CST research themes in line with the EERA Joint Programme:

  1. Thermal Energy Storage for CST plants
  2. Desalination and solar water treatments
  3. Solar fuels production
  4. Materials for solar receivers and CST components
  5. Linear and point CST technologies
  6. The design of an e-infrastructure aiming to provide virtual access to infrastructures and support the creation of new services.

Additionally, SFERA-III deploys education and training by organizing schools, workshops and webinars as Networking Activities, where upcoming events are announced at the SFERA-III website.

Some key actions
In 2021, SFERA-III has so far provided access to more than 80 projects, and many of them with great success, through the Transnational Access, which shows the necessity towards access to CSP infrastructures in Europe and proves that SFERA-III is a solid network to support the European solar energy community.

SFERA-III is leading excellent Joint Research Activities that aim to increase in the efficiency of both multiple-effect distillation and membrane distillation technologies and improve the process reliability for water treatments and disinfection; to improve testing procedures for chemically active materials used in solar thermochemical fuel production technologies, as well as standard KPIs for assessing the performance of solar fuel production reactors; to increase of accuracy in optical, thermal and mechanical measurement services, allowing better optimization of components of the solar field and receiver.

Finally, SFERA-III participates in major events such as the SolarPACES Conference and organises events such as free Short-Term Trainings and Trainings for Industries, More information is available on our website, Linkedin: @SFERA III – CSP Facilities for the European Research Area or and Twitter @H2020CSP.

Coordinated by Ricardo Sanchez from CIEMAT-PSA, SFERA-III brings together a consortium of 15 partners from 9 countries and runs from 2019 to 2023.

This project has received a €9.1 million EC grant from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 823802