The ELKH Centre for Energy Research (EK-CER) and the ELKH Wigner Research Centre for Physics (Wigner FK) have made significant progress in renewable energy research, taking advantage of the institutes’ world-class experience in materials physics, chemistry and measurement technology. The results of the four-year VEKOP project, implemented under the Széchenyi 2020 programme with a budget of HUF 564.06 million, will be used to improve the security of energy supply, the creation of more efficient renewable energy production and storage units, and environmental impact studies.

In the strategic research project just completed by EK-CER and the material science and measurement technology groups at Wigner FK, the primary objective was to study photovoltaic power generation, energy storage and other environmental impacts using solar energy.

In recent years, researchers have made outstanding progress in the following areas:

  • the iron-sulphide thin films they have developed offer the potential to create new types of solar cells with a more ideal band structure and therefore higher efficiency in the future;
  • an energy- and material-saving solution for maintaining catalyst coatings in practice has been tested by slightly modifying molecular systems, which will be more efficient than previously in the development of (photo)electrolysis of water, and thus of pure hydrogen gas;
  • a new sampling procedure and measurement system for monitoring the physical and chemical parameters of ultrafine particles in airborne dust – and their potentially toxic components – has been developed, which is particularly suitable for determining particles coming from solid biomass combustion;
  • they have shown that household solar power plants generate variations that can be measured at system level, and have developed the basis for a high-precision solar power generation forecasting system based on the processing of sky-camera images to infer the voltage quality of the distribution network;
  • they have made significant progress in the field of lead halide-based perovskites for novel solar cells;
  • they have developed a laser energy transfer system that can transmit electrical energy wirelessly over large distances;
  • an internationally outstanding Raman spectroscopy laboratory has been established, which is intensively used by Hungarian researchers and foreign research groups for materials analysis measurements;
  • the two institutes have jointly developed a new Raman measurement technology, which is currently being patented.

The improvements will result in more efficient energy generation and transmission, as well as in more accurate environmental and energy distribution forecasts.

More information about the project “Strategic workshop on the technological challenges of a renewable energy system” can be found here.