The Renewable Energy group has several laboratory and experimental facilities that are linked to the research carried out within this group. Besides computer infrastructures that are used for several simulation processes, the group has dedicated experimental facilities to support research activities.

Indoor facilities

PV technology development

In this laboratory the whole sequence to prepare solar cells is available. It ranges from crystal growth apparatus, to the final characterization of finished cells.

Image (left): Experimental setup for crystal growth. Temperatures as high as 1420º C are used to melt and crystallize silicon for solar cells.
Image (right): Clean room for thermal processing of solar cells, doping, oxidation and thermal annealing.
Image (left): Data acquisition for Spectral Response measurement of solar cells.
Image (right): Solar simulator for measuring the I-V characteristics of a solar cell.

Weather exposed test chamber

The internal dimensions of the test chamber are 6m x 6.5m with a 3.3m floor to ceiling height. The chamber allows for investigation of passive cooling solutions for open space service rooms (offices, schools, etc.). The chamber is also being used to test the low pressure loss fine particle filter.

ALVI (virtual student)

The group is developing an Arduino based low cost energy audit system. The system includes multi-phase power clamps and a virtual occupant that can upload data to the cloud.


Arduino based energy audit system.

Outdoor facilities

The Renewable Energy group runs the Solar Campus, a laboratory for testing PV systems in real outdoor conditions. Continuous monitoring of installed systems is carried out, and acquired data can be used for teaching purposes enabling the connection between research and teaching. The characterization of new PV system prototypes is part of a partnership collaboration with companies aiming to analyze system performance in outdoor conditions.

Examples of installed PV systems at the Solar Campus.

To enable the characterization of both environmental and operation conditions of the installed photovoltaic systems of the solar campus of FCUL, a new meteorological station started operating at the beginning of January 2015, and has been collecting data from wind, solar radiation, temperature and atmospheric pressure. This unit has several sensors such as piranometers (MS-802), pyreliometers (MS-56), a set for shading and a meteo sensor (WS-500).

Meteorological station at the solar campus of FCUL.

Contact Persons

PV technology development: João Serra |
Solar Campus: Miguel Centeno Brito |
Weather exposed test chamber: Guilherme Carrilho da Graça |


PV Technology Development: FCUL, Building C8, Room 8.4.07 and Room 8.3.19
Weather exposed test chamber: FCUL, Building C1, Room 1.4.