The principal research activities performed in ENEA in the field of photovoltaics are targeted at making this technology and the field national enterprises competitive by focusing on process and product innovation applied to manufacturing and system technologies, and advanced services to enterprises.

These activities are carried out at the ENEA Portici Research Centre (R&D on thin-film modules, polymeric semiconductor solar cells, flat-plate and concentrating photovoltaic systems), Casaccia Research Centre (R&D on crystalline silicon technologies) and at the research laboratories located in Manfredonia. Manfredonia is the historical test site for large photovoltaic plants, where R&D activities are performed on all system components.

The primary lines of activity are as follows:

  • Design and implementation of photovoltaic devices (crystalline silicon, thin-film silicon, polymers) with morphological, structural, compositional, and electrical characterization of base materials, and optical and electronic modelling of devices;
  • Design and characterization of stand-alone and grid-connected PV components and plants, including the innovative approach for the architectural integration of PV elements in buildings and urban decoration, concentrating plants with design of modules, heliostats and all solar tracker components;
  • Study of plant design solutions for the electrification of isolated or weak-grid communities, with an in-depth examination of the technical problems related to distributed generation and smart grid systems. Telemonitoring for PV plant data transmission.
  • Qualification of photovoltaic modules – complying with the CEI EN 61215 and CEI EN 61646 standards – for a number of stakeholders: manufacturing companies, installers, distributors and/or authorized dealers.