Country: Italy


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Description: ENEA is the name for Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development. It is the second major Italian public research organization, with around 2700 staff employees distributed in its 9 research centers all over the national territory. The Agency’s activities are mainly focused on Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Sources, Nuclear Energy, Climate and the Environment, Safety and Health, New Technologies, Electric System Research. ENEA performs research activities and provides agency services in support to public administrations, public and private enterprises, and citizens for multidisciplinary mission-oriented researches, results dissemination, technological transfer and training activities. ENEA’s multidisciplinary competences and great expertise in managing complex research projects are put at the disposal of the country system. Specifically, its activities are devoted to: basic, mission-oriented, and industrial research exploiting wide-ranging expertise as well as experimental facilities, specialized laboratories, advanced equipment. The strategic objective is to contribute to the diversification in the medium to long term, of energy sources and at the same time reducing emissions and energy dependence on fossil fuels, the spread of low-carbon economy, including through optimization use of energy.
ENEA also develops new technologies and advanced applications; provides public and private bodies with high-tech services, studies, measurements, tests and assessments; delivers training and information activities aimed at providing greater public knowledge and awareness on the Agency’s fields of competence, and a higher level of dissemination and transfer of research results, thus promoting their exploitation for production purposes. ENEA is active in participating in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), H2020 programme and national project funded by Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and Ministry of economic development (MISE).


Photovoltaic Systems and Smart Grid Unit
Primary lines of research activities carried out by Photovoltaic Systems and Smart Grid Unit (DTE-FSN-FOSG), located at Portici (Naples) are as follows: design, development, testing and characterization of PV, CPV and CPV-T components and systems; electric and heat storage management and control systems; modeling and multi-objective optimization strategies for microgrid and smart grid in presence of poly-generation systems and storage; Distributed Energy Resources (DER); RES and their integration in the electrical network; forecasting techniques both for energy production from RES and loads; storage systems including performance testing; integration of storage resources to smart grids; ICT and standardization field; energy performances analysis.
The unit exists since 2011 and includes 3700m² of laboratories. 37 employees are working within the Photovoltaic Systems and Smart Grid Unit.

RES test facilities

Solar plants (PV, CPV and CSP)

Photovoltaic technologies and BOS components laboratory

Electric storage systems testing laboratory

Power converter testing laboratory

Heat storage (medium and high temperature) test facility

Laboratory for sensors

Electronic equipment and laboratory for grid analysis

Performance and lifetime testing under controlled environmental conditions

VSC-Based HVDC demonstration system (under construction)

Technologies and processes for PV modules and life



CPV Outdoor Solar cells, Modules and system Characterization

Description: The outdoor facilities are based on the following sun trackers all them with tracking based on Sun-sensor and Calculation mode:

  • Phocus tracker, area 32m², accuracy +/- 0.2 °
  • Atec Robotic Solar tracker, area 2x2m², accuracy +/- 0.02 °
  • EKO Sun Tracker STR-22, accuracy +/-0.01°, payload 15 Kg balanced

I-V acquisition is realized by electronic load and 6 ½ digital multimeters. Accuracy characterization of solar tracker and PV-C module position towards sun can be assured by a sun pointer probe developed and patented by Enea based on a PSD detector having an accuracy of 0.01 °.

Static Equipment

Description: Phocus tracker, area 32m², accuracy +/- 0.2 °
Atec Robotic

Description: Solar tracker, area 2x2m², accuracy +/- 0.02 °

Description: Solar tracker, accuracy +/-0.01 °, payload 15 kg balanced


Indoor CPV Solar cells and lens Characterization

Description: The indoor ENEA facilities for the characterization of PV-Concentration solar cells and lens.


PV Module Qualification laboratory

Description: The characterization activity carried out over photovoltaic modules aims at better understanding of their quality by measuring the main technical parameters affecting their performances, their operating conditions and reliability. The activities are focused on two main topics:

  1. module quality evaluation
  2. reliability and life time estimation.

Technical specifications (PDF)


Simulation and optimisation Tools:

  • Tool for forecasting of RES production (photovoltaic energy)
  • Tool for grid simulation in presence of DG/RES (PowerFactory from DIgSILENT, NEPLAN, Matlab/Simulink with Simscape/SimPowerSystems Toolbox from MathWorks, etc.)
  • Tool for energy efficiency simulation (i.e. integration of electrical and thermal network for energy districts: COMSOL Multiphysics Modeling Software, PSPICE, PVSyst, AutoCAD, Agilent, etc..)
  • Tool for optimization used for energy networks (IBM CPLEX)


Other ENEA Facilities:


Description: All ENEA main computational resources are integrated in the ENEA-GRID infrastructure which provides to ENEA researchers and their partners an easy access to these multiplatform resources. The GRID infrastructure provides a full set of services for authentication, authorization, resource discovery and management. Users can access easily the GRID services by using a new and friendly homemade interface based on Freenx. Interconnection with other GRID infrastructures is assured by a Shared Proxy Approach for GRID Objects (SPAGO project) that offers a simple gateway to the interoperability with standard EGEE protocols. ENEA participates in EGEE initiative sharing computing resources and competences.


Realization line for high efficiency C-PV and small area cSi Solar Cells

Description: The laboratory gives access to all characterization techniques on material and devices. Characterization tools: I-V dark light AM 1.5 G and under concentration up to 250 suns, external and internal quantum efficiency with electrical and/or optical biasing, minority carrier lifetime measurement of c-Si wafer by quasi-steady state and transient photoconductivity; spectrophotometer for direct and diffused cells and substrates reflectance; Spectral Elipsometry with variable incidence angle, fourpoint probe resistivity.
Static Equipment
E-gun and thermal evaporator

Description: Deposition of metals (Ti/pd/Ag/Al) and oxide and dielectric (SiOx, MgF2, ZnS, Ta2O5)
Girset Spinner Laser patter generator

Description: Realization of photolithographic mask
Karl Suss MA6 Mask-aligner for photolithographic process

Open tube quartz furnaces for diffusions, oxidations and annealing

Rapid thermal processing and Furnaces

Description: Annealing treatments (Tmax=1200 °C)
Wet benches

Description: RCA surface cleaning and chemical processing


Realization Line for high efficiency cost effective cSi Solar Cells

Description: The Research Infrastructure covers all the intermediate steps in cells production, from wafer to complete device. All the needed equipments are available for chemicals steps, diffusions and metal contact formation.


TCO sputter-MOCVD deposition and characterization

Description: The facilities are used to

  • develop and realize high transparency and high conductivity boron doped zinc oxide thin films deposited by Low Pressure Chemical Vapour Deposition (LP-MOCVD)
  • optimise the properties uniformity on large area substrate (30 x 30 cm2) by ZnO by sputtering
  • develop plasma treatments on LP-CVD deposited ZnO thin films as front electrode of silicon based solar cells in order to optimise the ZnO/p-layer interface quality
  • develop thin film silicon based solar cells on LP-CVD zinc oxide
  • use a wider range of characterization methods (SEM, AFM, XRD, Hall effect) and models to analyze films, crystals, interfaces mechanical tests, functional properties, definition of fabrication process

Technical specifications (PDF)


last updated: 05.05.2017

Italian National agency for new technologies, Energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA)