Research activities

Thermal and photovoltaic solar energy


Solar energy is among the most abundant and best distributed energy resources on Earth, but it is still under-exploited. The new concepts of solar systems (with concentration, multi-energy and multi-functions) make it possible to optimize the potential of capture while adapting to the new constraints (in urban environment, solar buildings, decentralized production). The group Solar leads research on new components adapted to the specificities of environments and evolving functions for controlled instantaneous energy production.


  • Analyze the photoconversion mechanisms and their thermal dependence in existing photovoltaic cells or new high efficiency concepts.

  • To study the impact of the operating conditions of photovoltaic components on their electrical performance and their behavior over time.

  • Control the energy dissipation in solar systems by different modes of heat transfer

  • Develop new concepts of components or systems producing electrical / thermal energy

  • Optimize the coupling of components and the energy management of combined, integrated or decentralized solar systems

Scientific skills

The study of building-integrated or decentralized solar systems is based on a multi-physics and multi-scale approach and addresses capture, conversion and distribution / dissipation separately or coupled experimentally and numerically:

  • Development of numerical tools and experimental devices to understand the physical mechanisms related to the photovoltaic or thermal conversion of solar energy

  • Detailed physical analysis of the thermal and electrical behavior of photovoltaic cells under standard or concentrated illumination

  • Knowledge of dynamic and thermal interaction mechanisms within semi-open or closed ventilated components (solar envelope type, air sensors)

  • Component monitoring and characterization of climates and surrounding operating conditions

  • Adapted models for the simulation of solar systems and buildings Database processing in a classical relational representation

  • Methods of characterization of energy and environmental performances (urban, extreme, etc.) of solar systems

Some international collaborations

University of New South Wales (Australia), DIPTEM - University of Genoa (Italy), University of Sherbrooke (Canada), Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT - Canada), Concordia University (Canada), City-U University (Hong -Kong), Fraunhofer ISE Freiburg (Germany), Institute fur Solar Technik SPF (Switzerland)

Some national collaborations

Solar Federation CNRS Fédésol, PROMES (Perpignan), Institute of Nanotechnologies of Lyon, LOCIE (Chambery), LISTIC (Lyon), ENS (Lyon), GRESPI (Reims), ...

Recent industrial partnerships

Edf R & D, Voltec, CIAT, Hydro-Building Systems, Architect Jacques Ferrier, INES-CEA, Platform ASTUS