ERG and Innovation
ERG’s strategy, which is heavily oriented towards renewable energy sources, also passes through an intense research and innovation phase.
|The University of Milan-Bicocca and ERG SpA have signed an agreement for the establishment of the DeltaTi Research Consortium, one of the objectives of which is the development of an industrial methodology for the production of thermoelectric convertors based on nanostructured silicon.|
The new generation convertors are based on a series of patents held by the University of Milan-Bicocca and they exploit a physical phenomenon known as the Seebeck effect. The Seebeck effect, named after the physicist Thomas J. Seebeck who discovered it in 1821, is a thermoelectric phenomenon whereby, in a circuit made up of couples of metallic conductors or semiconductors, a temperature difference generates electricity. To date, however, this principle, based on thermocouples, has been poorly exploited by the energy industry because the yield from the convertors is normally modest compared to the costs of production which are too high.
The invention, patented by the department of Materials Science of the University of Milan-Bicocca, allows high-efficiency generators based on widely available materials (polycrystalline silicon) to be produced on an industrial scale.
» Read the press release published by Milano Bicocca University on July 5th 2011 (Italian Version)
The Dyepower Consortium, established in 2009, has the objective of creating a pilot line by 2012 for the production of the first organic photovoltaic panels; these are semi-transparent and can be integrated into the architecture. So far the Consortium has successfully passed all of the scientific and technological milestones that have been set and the research is fully in line with the work plan that was originally prepared.
The following are partners of ERG:
- Permasteelisa, a company that operates in the planning and construction of prestigious architectural facades
- University of Turin (General and organic chemistry)
- University of Tor Vergata in Rome (Electronic engineering for the industrialisation of the pilot line)
- University of Ferrara (General chemistry and electrochemistry)
- Dyesol Italia, a leader in this sector for the supply of materials
Advantages of organic photovoltaics:
- Production of panels involves simpler production processes that use less energy, have a lower environmental impact and lower costs.
- Panels can be used in every part of the building as they are able to generate electricity also in situations where light is diffused (roof and vertical surfaces).
- Panels can be produced in various colours, thereby satisfying various architectural requirements.
- Transparency guarantees the use of the panels also in residential contexts.
- Better ability to blend into the architecture, in line with the trends of the sector.