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Location of the French-Israeli workshop
Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel-Aviv
Charles Clore Park
Tel Aviv 68012
Tel: +972-3-5190190 Fax: +972-3-5171777
Wednesday 10 November 2010 - Conference room : Dotan, Sharon, Negev - Every presentation will last 30 minutes,
25 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes of questions
09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 10:00 Opening Chair Session ; Chair: Prof. Eric Seboun, Scientific Attaché, Embassy of France
• Prof. Daniel Weihs, Chief Scientist, Minister of Science and Technology, Israel
• H.E. Christophe Bigot, Ambassador of France in Israel
• Prof. David Cahen, Chairman of Steering Committee, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
First Session – Biofuels I ; Chair: Dr. Yedidya Gafni, Volcani Center, Bet Dagan
10:00 – 10:30 Transgenically Domesticating Marine Micro-algae for Biofuel and Feed Uses: No Competition
with Crops for Land and Water
Dr. Jonathan Gressel, TransAlgae Ltd, Rehovot
10:30 – 11:00 Cell Factories, New perspectives for Biotechnologies
Dr. Mireille Brushi, CNRS Marseille
11:00 – 11:30 Novel Enzyme Paradigms for Biomass Conversion to Biofuels
Dr. Edward Bayer, Biological Chemistry Dept., the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
11:30 – 12:00 Advanced Technologies for Biomass & Wastes - to - Energy Production
Dr. Gerard Antonini, ANR, Université de Compiègne
12:00 –13:30 Lunch hosted by the Minister of Science and Technology, H.E. Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, Israel
Second Session – Photovoltaics I ; Chair: Dr. Eugene Katz, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
13:30 – 14:00 Built-in Quantum Dot Antennas in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Dr. Arie Zaban, Bar-Ilan Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, Ramat-Gan
14:00 – 14:30 State of the Art and Challenges for Chalcogenide Thin Film Solar Cells
Dr. Daniel Lincot, CNRS/ENSCP
14:30 – 15:00 Extremely Thin Absorber (ETA) Nanoporous Solar Cells
Dr. Gary Hodes, Materials and Interfaces Dept., the Weizmann Institute of Science,Rehovot
15:00 –15:30 Coffee break
Third Session – Energy Storage I ; Chair: Dr. Yair Ein Eli, Technion, Israel Inst. of Technology, Haifa
15:30 – 16:00 New Materials for li-ion Batteries from Synthesis to Safety Issues
Dr. Mathieu Morcrette, Director LRCS
16:00 – 16:30 Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Research Using Impedance Spectroscopy
Dr. Yoed Tsur, Chemical Engineering Faculty, Technion, Haifa
16:30 – 17:00 Energy Storage, a Way to Secure Renewable Energies in the Grid
Dr. Pierre Odru, Storage, IFP, Paris
20:30 Gala Dinner (invitation required) - room : Israel A
• H.E. Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, Minister of Science and Technology, Israel
• M.K. Meir Sheetrit, Chairman, Science and Technology Committee, Knesset, Israel
• Dr. François Moisan, Scientific Director ADEME, France
• Dr. Patrick le Quéré, CNRS, France
• Dr. Gilles le Marois, LITEN-CEA, France
• Sagi Dagan, Senior Economist, The National Economic Council, Prime Minister’s Office, Israel
Thursday 11 November 2010
09:00 – 09:30 Registrations
Fourth Session – Photovoltaics II ; Chair: Dr. Yossi Rosenwaks, Tel-Aviv University
09:30 – 10:00 Silicon Thin Solar Cells: Potential & Challenges
Dr. Abdelilah Slaoui, CNRS/INESS
10:00 – 10:30 Maximizing the Silicon Solar Cell Energy Production for the Next Generation
Dr. Naftali Eisenberg, Jerusalem College of Technology
10:30 – 11:00 What materials and technologies for several hundred GWp PV capacities
Dr. Jean-Pierre Joly, Director of INES
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break
Fifth Session - Concentrated Solar Power ; Chair: Dr. Hanna Helena Klein, Ezklein
11:30 – 12:00 High-Performance Solar Thermal Electricity
Dr. Avraham Kribus, Mechanical Eng. Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv
12:00 – 12:30 Solid Hydrogen: the Unique Solution for Intermediate and Mass Energy Storage
Dr. Daniel Fruchart, CNRS Neel Institute, Grenoble
12:30 – 13:00 BrightSource Energy’s Solar Energy Development Center
Dr. Binyamin Koretz, Director, Strategic Planning & IP
13:00 – 13:30 Towards the Future of Concentrating Solar Power
Dr. Cyril Caliot, PROMES, Font-Remeu-Odeillo
13:30 – 15:00 Lunch hosted by Dr. Shlomo Wald, Chief Scientist, Ministry of National Infrastructures, Israel
Sixth Session – Storage II ; Chair: Dr. Micha Asscher, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
15:00 – 15:30 How to store and convert solar & wind energy: electrochemical options for load leveling
Dr. Doron Aurbach, Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
15:30 – 16:00 Intelligent buildings and renewable energy integration
Dr. Seddik Bacha, Laboratory G2elab, France
16:00 – 16:30 Large-Scale Energy-Storage Systems – Technologies and Applications
Dr. Emanuel Peled, Chemistry Dept. Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv
16:30 – 17:00 Coffee break
Seventh Session – Biofuel II ; Chair: Dr. Yuval Shoham, Technion, Haifa
17:00 – 17:30 Enzymes for the conversion of lignocellulosic materials into biofuels
Dr. Frederic Monot, IFP Energies Nouvelles, Rueil-Malmaison Cedex,
17:30 – 18:00 Utilization of Lignocellulosic Agricultural By-products by the White Rot Mushroom Pleurotus
Dr.Yitzhak Hadar, Food and Environment, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
18:00 – 18:30 Biofuels: from the 1st to the 2nd generation
Dr. Bruno Jarry, Academy of Technologies, Paris
18:30 – 19:00 Strategic Implications of an Algal Biomass Future
Dr. Sammy Boussiba, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde Boker
19:15 Transfer to the Residence of the Ambassador of France
19:30 Cocktail at the Residence of the French Ambassador (invitation required)
First Session – Biofuels I
Transgenically domesticating marine micro-algae for biofuel and feed uses: No competition with crops for land
Jonathan Gressel1,2, Ofra Chen1, Shai Einbinder1, Doron Eisenstadt1, and Shai Ufaz1
Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
The cultivation of many wild-type species for biofuels has often been mooted as a solution to the energy crisis.
The promoters of such crops ‘forgot’ that cultivated crops required millennia of selection and breeding to arrive
at present day yields, and the same should apply to wild-type higher plant or algal crops. The most rapid way
to domesticate a crop at present is to introduce the needed genes from the best sources available by genetic
Algae can be cultivated using seawater and industrial carbon-dioxide with much greater fertilizer efficiency and
far higher yields than conventional crops. TransAlgae is a breeding company, developing algae for various bulk
markets. Reliable transformation protocols have been developed for a series of marine micro and pico algae.
Platforms are developed with each species containing two types of genes: (1) at least one herbicide resistance
gene (e.g. modified phytoene desaturase; modified protoporphyrinogen oxidase) to prevent contamination by
other algae; and (2) at least one “mitigating” gene that would prevent establishment of the algae in natural
ecosystems. An example of engineered mitigation is the suppression of carbon capture. Such a phenotype is
not needed in a contained growth system where carbon dioxide is provided. Quality and yield traits such as
increased digestibility, better protein and/or oil composition, better energy utilization, etc. are then added to the
platform. Reduced antennae size, a common target for modification to reduce photoinhibition is unnecessary,
at least with some with pico algae.
At present, the oil from algae is the least valuable bulk co-product that they produce, and unsubsidized produc-
tion of biofuel requires developing the bulk co-products. The price of fishmeal is more than double that of oil,
and the micro-algae can replace fishmeal weight for weight, suggesting that improving algae in this direction can
further enhance their value, but strains are being developed for different climates and market conditions. The
residual oil can be used for biofuels, after removal of the more valuable omega3 fatty acids. Inexpensive, moni-
tored, enclosed system growth and harvest systems had to be worked out for economical cultivation. The dense
cultivation allowed the development of a counter-intuitive flocculation system using inexpensive ingredients in
small quantities as non-toxic flocculants. The ability to harvest such algae cultivated on non-arable desert land,
without the need for fresh water will be the next nail in the coffin of Malthus.
CELL FACTORIES, New Perspectives for Biotechnologies
Laboratoire de Bioénergétique et Ingénierie des Protéines
Institut de Microbiologie de la Méditerranée CNRS
31 Chemin J.Aiguier
13402 Marseille France
On the background of the high interest in green energy, the production and use of biofuel are increasing world-
wide. The development of renewable energy must however meet the major environmental issues, diversification
and security of energy supplies or raw materials and industrial issues.
Through evolutionary time, microbes have explored almost every chemical reaction to find sustenance and a
remarkable variety of microbial activities have the potential to contribute to biofuel production.
Biomass derived from photosynthesis, agricultural, municipal and industrial wastes are one obvious source for
microbial conversion to biogas, a mixture of mainly methane and carbon dioxide via anaerobic digestion.
A cell factory could be defined as the entire process of a living cell (micro-organisms, bacteria) that allow a raw
material to be converted into a product of economical interest. The search for new micro-organisms showing
useful potentials for the production of methane, hydrogen and lipids is an example of linkage between energy
and biodiversity. The knowledge of genomes and also proteomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic studies are
prerequisite for the characterisation of the metabolic pathways involved.
Development of new biotechnological processes includes
• Energetic valorisation of all components of the biomass to produce biofuels of the second generation
(bioethanol and biogas from lignocellulosic biomass) and of third generation (biohydrogen and biolipids
from fermentative and photosynthetic micro-organisms.
• Engineering of mixed cultures with modifications of the structure and the metabolism of microbial communi-
ties. Recent advances in molecular biology have provided new tools that could be used to manipulate the
composition of the microbial community, to select for specific fermentation products and to optimize the
conversion rates and yields.
• Future biorefineries that process a whole biomass plan could produce liquid fuel, edible oil, sugars, animal
feed, power and polymers or chemical intermediates.
Photosynthetic organisms like micro-algae provide the opportunity to couple CO2 sequestration to lipid accu-
mulation and subsequent biodiesel production. The recent investments in microalgae for fuels are well justified
by the potential that these microorganisms offer through their higher lipid productivities per ground area than
oleaginous agricultural crops, as well as lack of competition for arable land.
In the light of recent genome data and the emergence of synthetic biology, research in the biochemistry and
regulation of microbial lipid accumulation is necessary in order to develop competitive technologies for biodiesel
-New biocatalysts, substrate specific and oxygen or temperature resistant,defined by protein structure determi-
nation and protein engineering could be used for biofuel cells.
Development of biomimetic catalysts (example of bacterial hydrogenases).
Novel enzyme paradigms for biomass conversion to biofuels
Department of Biological Chemistry
Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
Cellulose and related plant cell wall polysaccharides (biomass) can be potentially utilized as a low-cost renew-
able source of sugars for conversion to biofuels like ethanol. Since cellulose is pure glucose, its conversion to
fuels has remained a romantic and popular notion for weaning ourselves away from dependence on fossil fuels.
Perhaps the major bottleneck for conversion of biomass to biofuels is the combined high cost and low efficiency
of the cellulases and related enzymes that degrade such polysaccharides to simple sugars. Future research
must thus focus on overcoming the natural recalcitrance of biomass.
Novel cellulase paradigms are currently being drawn. One attractive prospect for biomass conversion involves
the multi-enzyme complex called the cellulosome. In contrast to the free enzyme paradigm, the cellulosome
comprises a set of Lego-like multi-modular components — some structural and some enzymatic, contained into
a discrete complex. Due to the proximity of the various different enzyme subunits and their common targeting
to the cellulose surface, they work with enhanced levels of synergy to degrade the substrate. Another newly
defined paradigm, involves the employment of multi-functional enzyme that consist of more than one catalytic
module in the same protein structure. Yet another paradigm includes the cell-surface attached enzymes, through
which the degradation products (free sugars) are preferentially available to the cell.
Rational bioengineering of cellulase and cellulosomal components for production of tailor-made multi-functional
enzymes and “designer cellulosomes” is now being developed for improved cellulose degradation. Unlike the
native enzyme systems, these artificial higher-order constructions can be produced in large amounts in host cell
systems and their enzymatic content can be strictly controlled. The combination of designer cellulosomes with
novel production concepts may provide future breakthroughs necessary for economical conversion of cellulosic
biomass to biofuels.
Advanced technologies for Biomass & Wastes - to - energy production
Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France
Thermo-chemical conversion processes are now viewed as an alternative to conventional heterogeneous com-
bustion processes, for energy valorization of biomass and / or wastes.
These new conversion processes are based on the prior processing of biomass or wastes, into a secondary fuel,
solid via pyrolysis, or gaseous by gasification.
We describe the fundamental aspects of the conversions implemented in such processes, and the related tech-
nologies, available at pilot or industrial scale.
Questions regarding the preparation of the feed are discussed in the context of sorting mechanical-biological
Energy recovery, in particular, cogeneration for heat/cooling and power, is described in the case of pyro-gasifi-
cation integrated process, or by direct supply of combustion engines or gas turbine, and this, in relation with the
equipments costs and the control of the environmental impacts.
The possibilities of capturing CO2, produced by such technologies, are described in relation to options for re-
covery of CO2.
Second Session – Photovoltaics
Built-in Quantum Dot Antennas in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Sophia Buhbut,Stella Izhakov1, Dan Oronb2 and Arie Zaban
Bar-Ilan Institute of Nanotechnolegy and Advance Materials, Ramat-Gan, 52900, Israel.
Dept. of Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, 76100, Israel.
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), pioneered by Graetzel and coworkers nearly two decades ago, offer an
extremely cheap and simple platform for solar light harvesting. Yet, they suffer from some inherent difficulties,
particularly the low absorption cross sections and relatively narrow spectral absorption band of typical dye
molecules. Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs), with their large absorption cross section and broad absorption
band extending from their band edge to higher energies, have been suggested as natural candidates to replace
organic dyes as sensitizers. However, thus far, QD-sensitized solar cells suffer from problems involving both
charge trapping on the QD surfaces and difficulty in hole extraction from them.
Here we present a design for DSSC where QDs serve as antennas, funnelling absorbed light to the dye mol-
ecules via nonradiative energy transfer, rather than acting directly as charge separating sensitizers. This design
practically separates the processes of light absorption and charge carrier injection, enabling us to optimize
each of these separately. In particular, red dyes exhibiting extremely low absorption in the green can be used
in conjunction with red-emitting QDs to extend the spectral range absorbed by the device. The advantages and
prospects of the three possible designs, dye/QDs/antenna-sensitized solar cells will be discussed.
State of the Art and Challenges for Chalcogenide Thin Film Solar Cells
Institute of Research and Development for Photovoltaic Energy (IRDEP)
Joint laboratory between CNRS, EDF and Chimie Paristech
6 Quai Watier, 78401 Chatou, France.
Up to 2005, in the context of fast growth of the photovoltaic world production, based on crystalline silicon tech-
nologies, the share of thin film technologies, almost completely based on amorphous silicon technologies, was
decreasing from about 9% in 2000 to about 5 % in 2005, raising question marks about the real possibilities of
thin film technologies to compete with main stream crystalline silicon technologies. Within 5 years, from 2005
to 2009, a spectacular reversal of the situation has been experienced with an increase from 5% to about 20%
of the share for thin film solar cells technologies, in a remaining fast growth overall market! How has it made
possible ? The main reason is the endeavour of thin film solar cells based on a non silicon materials, namely
CdTe, from 1% to more than 10 %, on the basis of a real breakthrough in lowering production costs with module
efficiencies around 10 to 11%. In 2009 another chalcogenide compound, CuInSe2 (CIS or CIGS with gallium),
crossed also the 1% level, starting like CdTe an impressive growth, with announced production facilities of more
than 1 GW per year in 2011. Thin film technologies, including silicon thin film solar cells, are now in the fore front
in the race for photovoltaic competitiveness.
This presentation will present the state of the art of CdTe and CIGS technologies, with more attention to the
second one. The structure and main properties of the cells will be recalled. The fundamental physico-chemical
reasons which make such cells so efficient and tolerant to defects will be highlighted. A direct consequence is
the possibility to use many deposition methods from high vacuum evaporation to atmospheric screen printing or
electrodeposition. For the first time photovoltaic modules can be prepared by large volume high throughput and
low cost methods developed up to now in the coating industry.
Challenges for chalcogenide solar cells are related to further increase the efficiencies of both cells and modules.
The record efficiency of CIGS solar cells has been recently pushed up to 20.3 %, and research studies towards
25% have to be engaged. In the meantime the gap with module efficiencies (about 5-6 %) has to be reduced, to
reach at least 15% efficient modules.
Even higher efficiencies can be expected by using thin film multijunctions or third generation concepts. Of
interest is also the adaptation of light concentration beneficial effect on thin film solar cells. Recent results from
IRDEP on microscale CIGS solar cells under concentration will be presented.
On the longer term, for high level of photovoltaic production (at the multi GW or TW levels), the question of
indium (or tellurium) availability, has to be addressed. One explored route is the reduction of consumption for
the same energy production, by reducing the thickness of the layers (from several microns today to much less
than one micron) or using concentration. The other supplementary route is to substitute completely indium. Very
promising results (9.6%) have been recently obtained with using zinc and tin in place of indium, in the compound
Cu2ZnSnS4, which is named CZTS or kesterite.
Extremely Thin Absorber (ETA) nanoporous solar cells
Dept. of Materials and Interfaces
Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Extremely Thin Absorber (ETA) solar cells are a subset of nanoporous cells in which light is absorbed in a lo-
cally very thin (a few nm to tens of nm) relatively low bandgap semiconductor sandwiched between nanoporous,
non-light absorbing electron and hole conductors (nanoporous in order to increase the effective optical thickness
of the absorber) The photogenerated electrons and holes are thus removed rapidly from the thin absorber into
The two most commonly-used electron conductors are TiO2 (anatase) and ZnO. In our studies, we use mainly
CuSCN as hole conductor. TiO2/absorber/CuSCN and ZnO/absorber/CuSCN cells will be described using sev-
eral different semiconductor absorbers (Sb2S3, CdS, CdSe). The various solution methods used in cell fab-
rication will be described. Because of the many interfaces in these cells, interface engineering is particularly
important, and some of these interface issues – both electronic and chemical - will be discussed.
Third Session – Energy Storage I
New Materials for Li-ion Batteries from Synthesis to Safety Issues
Laboratoire de Reactivité et Chimie des Solides (LRCS)
CNRS-Université de Picardie Jules Verne. Amiens
Electrochimical energy storage will play a key role on the development of alternatives energy sources but also
in the future success of electrical vehicles. Increase of gravimetric and volumetric energy densities, power per-
formances but also durability, safety and recyclability are the major scientific issues that must be address by the
international scientific community. Moreover, due to the economic impact of energy storage in the future, indus-
trials partnership must be strengthened in order to fasten the transfer from ideas to industrial products. Since
many years, the LRCS coordinated European (ALISTORE) network and more recently at the national level with
this specific objective.
In this talk, different research directions studied at the LRCS laboratory will be presented :
• Impact of the development of new chemical routes for the synthesis of new materials
• Our strategy to develop an eco-conception battery based on organic materials coming from the bio-
• The issues that need to be solved for two promising technologies such as Li-air and Li-S
• The necessity to take into account safety issues at the early beginning of the development of materials
and salts for electrolyte.
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Research using Impedance Spectroscopy
Yoed Tsur, Shany Hershkovitz and Sioma Baltianski
Department of Chemical Engineering
Technion, 32000 Haifa, Israel
Any future renewable energy portfolio will have to include energy storage and conversion means, preferably
environmentally benign. Fuel cells are considered one of the leading candidates to fill these slots, owing to their
traits of high efficiency and low pollutant emission. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are the leading candidates at
least for stationary applications at a variety of power scales. Their price and impaired stability still hinder market
penetration, though. The latter apparently technical issues pose many basic questions that need to be ad-
dressed. For instance, we need to better understand the kinetics at the gas/electrodes and electrode/electrolyte
interfaces. How to increase reactivity without accelerate degradation. How to match not only the coefficient of
thermal expansion, but also the chemical expansion, etc..
Impedance spectroscopy is a very versatile and powerful tool for the investigation of materials and interface
properties of electrochemical systems. A typical measurement results in a complex function of impedance over
several decades of frequencies. It is sometimes better to analyze the behavior of the sample in the time domain
rather than in the frequency domain. However, the inverse problem of finding the distribution function of relaxa-
tion times (DFRT) is a demanding one. It is involved a Fredholm equation, sometimes even of the second kind.
We have developed a modified Genetic Programming (GP) method for this task. It gives a functional form of the
DFRT in the sample. The evolution force is composed of, among other thing, lowering the discrepancy between
the model’s prediction and the measured data while keeping the model simple in terms of the number of free
parameters. By finding a functional form of the DFRT, one may develop a physical model and compare it to the
function. The application of this measurement and analysis method for SOFCs will be discussed.
Energy storage, a way to secure ; Renewable energies in the grid
IFP Energies nouvelles
Modern renewable energies such as solar, wind power, or marine energies, are clean of greenhouse gas emis-
sions, renewable, and their penetration in the world energy mix is going very fast. Target in the European Union
is to reach around 20% of global electricity production by 2020. However there are some drawbacks. Renewable
electricity production is often out of phase with demand, and this is pointed out as a potential serious problem for
their future developments. Two types of solution may be proposed, which can be complementary: the first one is
to improve the grid with the “smart grid” concepts; the second one is through energy storage.
Energy storage of electricity is not possible directly so it has to be done through specific transformations. Excess
electricity is used to create a potential – gravitational, electrochemical, heat – and then the potential is used
to create back electricity when needed. Hydro pumping is well known and from far the most used, but it has
limitations. Other potential technologies are “Compressed Air Energy Storage” (CAES), specific electrochemi-
cal batteries, such as Redox Flow or sodium sulfur (NaS) batteries, or even lead acid or lithium ions. Hydrogen
is also an interesting candidate through the system of electrolyse - storage - fuel cell. An overview of these
technologies, their advantages and disadvantages, their efficiencies, R&D being carried out, challenges and
opportunities will be provided.
Today only hydro pumping is widely used in the world. However electrochemical batteries are also used in
isolated areas such as in islands depending on large proportion of renewable electricity. And difficulties due to
intermittency are already encountered in european countries, where penetration of renewables begins to be
significant. Improvements of the grid, along with availability of energy storage systems, centralized or not, may
be the way to allow future large penetration of modern renewable energies.
Fourth Session – Photovoltaics II
“Silicon Thin Film Solar Cells: Potential & Challenges”
Thin-Film cell technologies based on silicon with a thickness of less than a few micrometers combine the low-
cost potential of thin film technologies with the advantages of Si as an abundantly available element in the earth’s
crust and a readily manufacturable material for photovoltaics (PVs). In recent years, several technologies have
been developed that promise to take the performance of TF-Si PVs well beyond that of the currently established
amorphous Si PV technology. This presentation will review the research activities in CNRS labs, namely InESS
(Strasbourg) and LPICM (Palaiseau), to this aim. Different routes will be presented: polymorphous and microc-
rystalline Si formation, polycrystalline silicon formed by direct deposition and metal or laser crystallisation, crys-
talline silicon as nanowires or nanodots. The structural and electronic quality of the silicon layers will be reported
and potential and limiting factors towards high efficiency solar cells will be discussed
Maximizing the Silicon Solar Cell Energy Production for the Next Generation
The feed-in tariff (FiT) approach is currently the prime mechanism for promoting strong growth in grid-connected
PV applications representing over 95% of worldwide installations. Under this economic system the energy pro-
duction per dollar (kW.h/$) should become dominant over the parameter used to evaluate PV systems, the
classical $/ Wp.
Besides lowering the cost, two additional approaches are to be developed:
1. Increase solar cell efficiency
2. Increase energy production (for a given efficiency)
The bifacial solar cell could presently be one of the best ways to achieve the triple targets simultaneously.
The bifacial cell structure and experimental data of bifacial module performance will be presented.
What materials and technologies for several hundred GWp PV capacities
INES (Institut National de l’Energie Solaire), 50 Avenue du Lac Léman,
73375 Le Bourget du Lac, France
Solar energy is emerging as a major issue in the energy mix everywhere on the planet. Several technologies are
in competition. In the photovoltaic field Silicon wafer based, thin films, Concentrated PV with III-V cells products
are available and produced already at a large scale.
Each of these technologies is rapidly progressing in terms of cost reduction, efficiencies and reliabilities.
Will one gains the battle at the end? Which one? Will some of them be more dedicated to given applications:
Building integration, solar farms or to given locations according to their irradiation conditions?
Are the presently used materials adapted to a large scale development? What will be the main cost reduction
drivers? Are the environmental issues (toxic materials, recycling) enough taken into account?
Through precise technical data and a selection of innovations partly coming from our Institute we will partly in-
vestigate the possible scenarios of evolution taking into account the respective requisite highlighted above.
A specific attention will be paid to the importance of increasing the PV cell and system conversion efficiency
while increasing the product manufacturability.
Fifth Session - Concentrated Solar Power
High-Performance Solar Thermal Electricity
School of Mechanical Engineering
Tel Aviv University
Current solar thermal power plants operate at low efficiency, typically around 15%. The leading technology is
based on low concentration (parabolic trough), indirect heating (thermal oil), and a steam cycle at moderate tem-
perature (400°C). A significant increase in conversion efficiency requires operation at higher concentration, and
higher temperatures and pressures. Several emerging advances show promise towards increased efficiency:
power towers and improved parabolic troughs with direct steam generation or molten salt (offering also thermal
storage), operating with steam at up to 550*C. However, a significant breakthrough to achieve conversion ef-
ficiency of around 30% on large scale is still distant.
Several paths may lead to the desirable high conversion efficiency: solar steam cycles operating in the super-
critical regime; innovative thermodynamic cycles involving hybridization and cogeneration; and solar gas tur-
bines and Combined Cycles operating at 1000°C and higher. Each of these directions faces major challenges in
both the fundamental sciences (materials, heat transfer, thermodynamics), as well as practical engineering and
Many attempts were made to develop solar technology for heating compressed air to the required high tempera-
tures for a Combined Cycle; French and Israeli researchers were among the pioneers in this area. This cycle can
offer the highest possible conversion efficiency: over 50% from heat to electricity, to achieve the goal of about
30% from solar radiation to electricity. Currently, conservative approaches with tubular receivers are mostly lim-
ited to about 800°C. The more promising volumetric receiver approach can reach much higher temperature, but
requires a transparent window operating under pressure, which is a very challenging mechanical problem. Some
success with volumetric receivers was achieved at lab scale, for example heating air at 20 bar to 1200°C in a
30 kW receiver; and up to 1000°C at 6 bar and 400 kW. However, many open questions and challenges remain,
including aspects of materials, heat transfer, mechanical stability, secondary concentration, increasing receiver
efficiency, design for scale-up, and long-term robustness.
We will review past attempts to develop high-temperature, high-efficiency solar thermal power technology; iden-
tify key obstacles that need to be resolved; and present possible directions for further research and development
toward high-performance solar thermal power plants.
Solid Hydrogen: the Unique Solution for Intermediate and Mass Energy Storage
Directeur de Recherche CNRS – Institut Néel – BP 166, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9 France
Research Manager, McPhy Energy, 26190 La Motte Fanjas France
Search for clean and renewable energy solution is one of the most crucial questions presently addressed to
academic scientists, industry engineers up to politic managers. Hydrogen appears as one of the most interesting
practical answer since it can be produced via new and clean technologies, stored up to distribution for conver-
sion to electrical (FC), thermal or mechanical energies (ICE) or even for chemical applications . To adapt both
production to consumption, solid hydrogen storage forming reversible metal hydrides reveals competitive in
terms of volume efficiency, safety and for other technical and economical aspects.
The most important characteristics (processing, structure, thermodynamic and kinetics) of these solid-gas sys-
tems will be summarized first. Then, the talk will focus first on two classes of most promising metal hydrides
in terms of applications. So, performances and conditions of application will be detailed. The first considered
metal hydride class, based on early d-metals, is devoted to integrated micro-systems and portative devices, both
more specifically operating at or close to room temperature. The second class hydride is based on magnesium
or magnesium rich alloys. Specific processing of the materials and heat transfer management in tanks via op-
timized design, allow propose large to very large and safe stationary units, especially efficient for intermittent
At present CNRS, McPHy Energy SA and other partners work e.g. to extend demonstrations and stationary ap-
plications efficiently gathering production i.e. electrolyzer leaned back on wind or PV sources, and energy con-
version fed back to the grid i.e. via FC or gas turbine. Besides R & D efforts focus on materials and systems, from
the starting elements, the metallurgy and processing of alloys and compounds, optimized design of systems for
the most efficient working condition. Interest in renewed partnerships and collaborations is still expected.
BrightSource Energy’s Solar Energy Development Center
Director, Strategic Planning & IP
With a total gross capacity of 6 megawatts of thermal energy from concentrated solar radiation, the BrightSource
Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC) at the Rotem Industrial Park is the largest solar energy facility in the
Middle East. The SEDC is an operational solar tower plant that provides the company with the ability to test
equipment, materials and procedures as well as construction and operating methods. The solar field and the
receiver are scaled cross-sections of a typical commercial plant, and allow solar-generated steam pressurized
to 140 bar to be solar-superheated to a temperature of 540°C – the same operating parameters planned for
BrightSource’s first commercial plants at Ivanpah Dry Lake in California’s Mojave Desert.
Operating results for entire year, from June 2009 through May 2010, have been analyzed and will be presented
Some of the highlights of the operating results include:
• The 6 MW design point of the SEDC pilot receiver was first reached when maximum absorbed power of 6.04
MW was recorded on September 1, 2010.
• Peak solar-to-thermal efficiency of 54% was achieved, despite the small size of the pilot receiver, which has
greater spillage than a full-sized commercial receiver.
• Average absorbed power increased by 10% over the course of the summer 2009 operating period to 5 MW
during midday peak-insolation hours, primarily from surface treatment of the receiver and better calibration
• Average solar field availability was 97.4% for the year.
• Average daily performance-to-model tracking (i.e., actual-to-expected) improved to 98% accuracy by late
summer and continued improving to approximately 100% accuracy by the end of the 12-month period.
Towards the Future of Concentrating Solar Power
Cyril Caliot, Gilles Flamant
PROMES-CNRS, Centre F. Trombe
7 rue du Four Solaire, 66120 Font-Romeu-Odeillo, France
The PROMES (PROcesses, Materials and Solar Energy) laboratory is a research laboratory belonging to the
French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). The laboratory has strong relations with the University
of Perpignan (UPVD) particularly in the field of Master and Doctorate formations. PROMES is located in two
places: the “Felix Trombe solar furnace” center in Odeillo (Font-Romeu, France) and the Tecnosud center in
Perpignan (France). In September 2010, the laboratory employed 120 persons, including 70 permanent staff.
PROMES laboratory has become the national reference in the field of concentrated solar energy and one of the
key laboratories on solar thermal energy conversion. PROMES is involved in the three activities that constitute a
continuum, research, innovation and education, in close collaboration with the University of Perpignan. The labo-
ratory is divided into five research groups and five departments. PROMES researches are organized into two
main fields: (1) Materials and extreme conditions and (2) Transformation, storage and transport of energy. The
activities are devoted to “low-temperature” solar energy in Perpignan and “high-temperature” solar energy (con-
centrated solar energy) in Odeillo. PROMES has a national mission in the field of concentrated solar systems
because of the unique solar facilities operated by the laboratory, of its project at Themis and of the International
network created in the field. In addition to European projects, the PROMES laboratory has developed a close
collaboration network thanks to the Alliance of European Laboratories for Research and Technology on Solar
Concentrating Systems (SOLLAB), which was created in 2004, and the FP6 European Research Infrastructure
project High flux Solar Facilities for Europe (SOLFACE). The new « Solar Facilities for the European Research
Area » project (SFERA, FP7, 2009-2013, 12 partners, European grant: 7,4 M€) was elected by the European
Commission thanks to the success of SOLFACE and the credibility of SOLLAB. SFERA is a project of the «
Capacities – Research Infrastructures » program that combines coordination activities, joint research activities
and access to infrastructure. From the International point of view, PROMES is involved in International Energy
Agency (IEA) Annexes such as Solar Power And Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES). PROMES is the
French representative at the ExCo and Annex 19 (Optimized Industrial Process Heat and Power Generation with
Thermal Energy Storage). The research activities related to CSP and desalination, solar hydrogen production,
energy storage and material aging are coordinated at the European level by the EERA-CSP (European Energy
Research Alliance on concentrated solar power).
Two major projects are in progress, the PEGASE project at Themis and the Perpignan PV platform (3PV). The
PEGASE Project (Production of Electricity using Gas turbine and Solar Energy) aims at implementing and ex-
perimenting with a hybrid solar-gas turbine demonstration system of about 1.5 - 2 MW based on central receiver
technology and the Brayton cycle. The project objective is to perform the R&D studies necessary to develop
the next generation of thermal solar plants based on tower technology, pressurized air receivers and combined
cycles that will reach a high solar–energy-to-electricity conversion efficiency (30%). The power of targeted in-
dustrial plants is in the tens of MWe. The solar power plants presently under construction in Spain, for example,
are using reliable technologies but are poorly innovative in order to reduce the industrial and financial risks.
Consequently, important R&D efforts must be undertaken to offer credible alternatives with high conversion ef-
ficiencies and low electrical production costs. The thermodynamic cycle is a Brayton type. The project requires
the renewal of about 100 heliostats (exactly 107) of the 200 that initially equipped the Themis solar field. The
expected receiver thermal power is 3,600 kWth, with a 950 W/m2 DNI that corresponds to a 60% solar fraction
of a 1.5 MWe power cycle. The main scientific and technological objectives of this pilot experiment are:
• To develop pressurized-air solar receivers (basic research and technologies) at temperatures up to 1,000°C or
higher. The associated studies deal with, in particular, the understanding of turbulent flows combined with strong
thermal gradients at the wall and with high-temperature materials.
• To validate the scaling-up methodology; by comparison with the SOLGATE project, which is the only compara-
ble R&D project implemented to date (at PSA, Spain), the scaling factor is about 10 (from 0.23 MWe to 2 MWe).
From this point of view, the PEGASE project has a clear international dimension.
• To perform solar energy to electricity conversion with a high solar fraction, in the range 60% - 80% for instan-
taneous values and 50% – 60% for mean annual values (at the first stage).
• To construct a database for the future design and performance prediction of this solar energy conversion mode
for various sizes and solar resources.
• To establish the collaborations (public and private partners) necessary for the future development of such
solar plants. The industrial consortium assembled to realize the PEGASE project is composed of: EDF, TOTAL,
Thermodyn (General Electric), CNIM and Bertin Technologies. St Gobain is participating in the renewal of the
heliostat field (providing new mirrors) and CEA is a research partner in the development of the metallic solar
receiver. The PEGASE project is validated by the Regional Council – National State Contract.
The 3PV scientific and technical platform, dedicated to the study of PV materials, is an important project for
PROMES in connection with the competitiveness cluster DERBI. Combining the 3PV platform and the Themis
platform (multi-solar technologies) offers a unique opportunity for industry to study and characterize PV materi-
als and systems both indoors and outdoors. Unique technical means and competencies will be available in the
platform on thin films, multijunction cells, plasma technologies and concentrating technologies.
Sixth Session – Storage II
How to store and convert solar & wind energy: electrochemical options for load leveling applications.
Department of Chemistry
Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
While we see impressive progress in techniques for harvesting sustainable energy: advance wind turbines, novel
photo-voltaic cells, dye sensitized solar cells and more, we are lacking appropriate technologies for prolonged
energy storage & conversion, the so-called “load leveling” applications. Modern electrochemistry can offer the
most attractive approaches for load leveling applications: rechargeable batteries & EDL (super) capacitors. Main
requirements here are abundant and environmentally friendly components and very prolonged cycling life. Less
important is energy density. In this talk we will discuss several electrochemical options for load leveling applica-
tions: flow batteries, high temperature batteries, improved lead acid batteries, magnesium & Li ion batteries and
EDL capacitors based on activated carbon electrodes. The contribution of BIU to R&D of some of these systems
will be reviewed. Highly interesting are Li ion systems which comprise LixTiOy anodes and LiMPO4 olivine cath-
odes (M = Fe, Mn, Mn+Fe). With these electrodes (which comprise very abundant elements), several relevant
families of polar-aprotic electrolyte solutions can be thermodynamically stable. Hence it is possible to demon-
strate very prolonged cycling with these Li ion battery systems. The chance for Li ion batteries to be developed
to load leveling devices will be discussed.
Intelligent Buildings and Renewable Energy Integration
The renewable energy is a current concern due to its intermittency, its investments costs and the possible grid
disturbances.. The solutions based on storage systems are not mature enough to respond efficiently to these
problems. In other words , the challenge is to create an efficient dialogue between these renewable sources and
the common loads. On the one hand inside the electrical domain itself and on other hand between electrical and
thermal aspects. In this problematic, the control command has a real role to play. Associated with the new ICT
components, intelligent meters and other technologies, the buildings, as a major energetic nodes, are the critical
element for developing a new general electrical and algorithmic architectures for renewable energies integration.
The presentation will focus on the buildings as a mean for renewable integration, voltage and frequency possible
regulator, new technologies integrator and as an interesting subject for academic and industrialist research.
Large-Scale Energy-Storage Systems – Technologies and Applications.
School of Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, 69978
The major demand for large-scale energy storage is in renewable energy and grid-load leveling.
Renewable power sources such as wind and solar power are unpredictable, and tend to increase the voltage
variation in an electric grid. This is especially true for wind power, because of the very large and frequent vari-
ations which reduce the quality of the power. As a result, there is a limit to the amount of power that can be
supplied from wind farms to the grid. Energy-storage capacity would alleviate this restriction, and increase the
Capacity Value by ensuring steady wind energy output under almost any conditions.
Another important application for the technology of electrical-energy storage is power-grid load leveling. Load-
leveling systems allow utility companies to build their production infrastructure to meet average, rather than peak
demand. This is done by storing energy produced at off-peak hours for use during peak hours.
There are several technologies for energy storage. These can be divided into three subgroups: mechanical
(pumped hydro, compressed air), electrical (supercapacitors, superconducting magnets), electrochemical (bat-
teries, flow batteries, hydrogen storage combined with regenerative fuel cells).
The advantages and disadvantages of each technology (cost, energy-conversion efficiency, potential location,
capacity and power) and its application in the implementation of renewable-energy generators (solar and wind)
will be discussed. The activity at TAU will be presented.
Seventh Session – Biofuel II
Enzymes for the conversion of lignocellulosic materials into biofuels
IFP Energies nouvelles, Department of Biotechnology, 1 & 4 avenue de Bois-Préau, 92852
Rueil-Malmaison Cedex, France.
The biological conversion of lignocellulosic raw materials into biofuels such as ethanol generally includes four
steps: i) a physical-chemical pretreatment aiming at breaking up the structure of the lignocellulosic matrix of
plant secondary cell walls to give access of enzymes for their substrates, ii) an enzymatic hydrolysis of the plant
polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicellulose) into monomeric sugars, iii) a conversion of monomeric sugars
into ethanol, and iv) distillation-dehydration of ethanol. The development of these processes is still hampered
by several bottlenecks: the efficiency of the pretreatment which has to be low energy- and chemical-consuming,
the cost of the enzymatic saccharification of cellulose and the use of co-products such as the C5 sugars issued
from hemicellulose which cannot be efficiently converted to ethanol by classical baker’s yeasts used in ethanol
fermentation. Among these bottlenecks, much effort is put on the enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated raw materi-
als, the cost of which is estimated to account for 30-50% of the cost of cellulosic ethanol. Trichoderma reesei is
a filamentous fungi selected for its capacity to secrete high concentrations of cellulases in industrial conditions.
It produces a cocktail of nine major cellulases acting in synergy for a complete hydrolysis of cellulose chains
to glucose. Several approaches have been explored at IFP Energies nouvelles to decrease the cost of the
enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose using T. reesei enzymes. The first one is to reduce the amount of enzymes
needed, either by optimizing the composition of the enzymatic cocktail produced by T. reesei or by improving the
efficiency of some of the enzymes of the cocktail. The second one is to decrease the cost of cellulases, either by
obtaining strains producing high levels of cellulases or by optimizing the process of enzyme production. Several
resultsobtained in National and European collaborative projects will be presented to illustrate these strategies
as well as their possible outcomes on on-going projects.
Utilization of Lignocellulosic Agricultural By-products by the White Rot Mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus
Department of plant Pathology and Microbiology, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environ-
ment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Lignocellulose, found in agricultural, agro-food, forestry and municipal wastes, comprises more than 60% of the
plant biomass produced on earth, and glucose polymers in the form of cellulose comprise 40% (wt) or more
of this biomass. Sugar derived from waste lignocelluloic materials is particularly well-suited for energy applica-
tions because it is inexpensive, widely available and the utilization of lignocellulosic waste offers environmental
benefits. The primary obstacle impeding the production of energy from biomass feedstock is the lack of viable,
low-cost separation and extraction technology for recalcitrant components. In plant cell walls, the majority of
cellulose exists as crystalline microfibrils encapsulated in a lignin-containing matrix. Because the lignin serves
a barrier and inhibits decay by cellulolytic-enzyme producing organisms, lignocellulosic raw materials require a
pre-treatment step to remove lignin and expose the cellulose. Basidiomycetes that belong to a group of white
rot fungi are the only organisms that can mineralize this recalcitrant biopolymer, thus enabling the biodegrada-
tion and utilization of a variety of lignocellulosic agriculture by products. Pleurotus ostreatus is a commercially
important edible mushroom known as the oyster mushroom. We have demonstrated that Pleurotus was able
to selectively degrade lignin when grown on cotton stalks, the level of degradation and level of selectivity were
increased by application of Mn++. Recently, the potential advantage of the fungal treatment was demonstrated
by treatment olive mill solid waste.
Pleurotus species have been found to produce laccase, aryl-alcohol oxidase, and two types of peroxidases:
manganese-dependent peroxidase (MnP) and versatile peroxidase (VP). Annotation of the recently sequenced
P. ostreatus genome revealed nine members in this gene family (mnp 1 -9). All nine genes were found to
be expressed. Addition of Mn++ to the culture medium resulted in up-regulation of 70 fold in mnp3 and mnp9
expression, and a down-regulation of 300 fold in mnp4 expression. Therefore, to obtain direct evidence for the
relative importance of the Mn dependent peroxidases we reduced their expression using RNAi technique. The
silenced mutants showed a reduced ability to degrade aromatic compounds. It is concluded that Mn dependent
peroxidases play important role in lignin degradation.
Biofuels: from the 1st to the 2nd generation
French National Academy of Technology
Fifteen years ago biofuels were seen as an efficient way to help energy- hungry countries curbing their use of
fossil raw materials, with as an additional benefit a fair decrease in their overall CO2 release in the transport sec-
tor. This led to the building of a new industry, based on the efficient processing of agriculture cultivated products
into biodiesel and ethanol using technologies developed during the previous 30 years. With the raise of the world
population to the unprecedented level of over 9 billion individuals expected by 2050, the use of these agriculture
products for the energy production use are now seen as unacceptable as they will be badly needed for food use.
Therefore new technologies have been proposed, which are making use of agricultural and food wastes, forestry
products or even sun light and CO2. These second generations of biofuels processes are presently being busily
tested in several countries worldwide. A review of these technologies with an agenda for their possible develop-
ment to the industrial level will be presented.
Strategic Implications of an Algal Biomass Future
Sammy Boussiba, Stefan Leu
Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory
Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde Boker, Israel
Land use change, eutrophication and pesticide use pose unavoidable, serious environmental problems in agri-
cultural biofuels production. In contrast to agricultural crops, algal biomass can be produced highly sustainable
under proper management, avoiding the above mentioned negative impacts. Algae can be produced on unpro-
ductive desert land, under utilization of ocean or waste water and exploitation and recycling of waste nutrients
from municipal and agricultural sources. Integration of algal (and other aquatic biomass) production into waste
exploitation technologies under utilization and recovery of waste water, waste nutrients and waste CO2 are op-
timal biomass production strategies. Essentially nutrient free water can be released either back into the ocean
or reused for irrigation after a biological polishing step. While no extra carbon credits may be claimed, algal (and
other aquatic biomass production) can claim credits for avoiding eutrophication and land use changes, signifi-
cantly improvng the overall sustainability evaluation of algal biofuels.
Reviewing currently available municipal and agricultural waste and waste water resources indicates a large po-
tential for algal biomass production, sufficient for covering a significant portion of the projected 2030 liquid fuel
demand, though profound infrastructure development were required to appropriately allocate those resources.
Furthermore major research questions to be addressed involve the capacity of various algal species to grow
in waste nutrient based media, at elevated salt concentrations etc, and appropriate culture management for
optimal biomass production. We will present some novel insights concerning those aspects relating both to
freshwater and seawater strains.