Solar Thermal - Perpignan

Contact - Specialisation Solar Thermal

Contact persons:

Prof. Pierre Neveu

33 (0) 468 682 262

Quentin Falcoz

Address of the University:
UFR SEE, Université de Perpignan Via Domitia
52, avenue Paul Alduy
66860 Perpignan Cedex, France


7, rue du Four Solaire
66120 Font Romeu

Solar Thermal - Perpignan

Specialisation in Solar Thermal at UVPD Perpignan/PROMES, France

Offering Department and Institutions

Host department: PROMES (Process, Material and Solar Energy)
PROMES is a Research Unit of CNRS (UPR 8521) belonging to the Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS) under contract with the University of Perpignan (UPVD). The laboratory is located in three sites: Odeillo-Font Romeu (1 MW CNRS Solar furnace), Targasonne (Themis site, 5 MW central receiver solar facility, a site of "Pyrénées Orientales" Council) and Perpignan, Tecnosud. CNRS and UPVD have created the IN’SOL Unit devoted to solar innovations that is supported by PROMES in Tecnosud site that develops the solar test platform of Perpignan (CESP).PROMES is the leader of the laboratory of excellence SOLSTICE (Solar Energy: Science, Technology and Innovation for Energy Conversion).
The laboratory staff is composed of 150 persons from CNRS and UPVD working together on a common subject, solar energy development on all levels. PROMES is then naturally a founding member of the CNRS research federation on solar energy, FédéSol.
PROMES is organized in 8 research groups and 6 departments. The main research fields are “materials under extreme conditions” and “conversion, storage and transport of solar energy”.
One of the original missions of PROMES is to develop researches with the large scale concentrating facilities of CNRS in Font Romeu (particularly solar furnaces) and of “Pyrénées Orientales” Council in Targasonne (Themis central receiver plant). These researches may be carried up to the demonstrator level as done for the PEGASE project.
Moreover, the laboratory is in charge of the development of the National Platform on concentrated solar energy thanks to the “equipment of excellence” SOCRATE project (Concentrated solar energy, advanced researches and energy technologies). It is also very active in the management of the DERBI competitiveness cluster. PROMES leads the laboratory of excellence SOLSTICE.
Access to the PROMES unique facilities for the European research community is open thanks to the European project SFERA. More generally, the laboratory is strongly connected to the European research thanks to SOLLAB and projects such as CSP2 and OPTS.

Master Programme Solar Energy

The Master Programme Solar Energy (SE) hosts the students of the European Master in Renewable Energy (EUREC Master) during the second semester. The master Solar Energy is a 2 years course programme launched in 2005 and covering fundamentals, applications, materials and technologies for both possible solar conversion modes: thermal and photovoltaic. Students of the EUREC Master follow the part of this SE program related to the thermal conversion, with a specific focus on high temperature processes. The course contents are identical for the two programs, but are taught in English for the EUREC Master students, and are given in PROMES premises in Odeillo, offering unique Concentrating Solar devices.

Lab Facilities

The major part of practical training is organised in the PROMES laboratory located in Odeillo. For the low solar energy and storage energy modules, additional practical training will be organised in PROMES–Perpignan.
In Odeillo :
The PROMES laboratory is equipped with large scale concentrating systems, with a high temperature measurement lab and with pilot scale solar receiver testing facilities at low and high temperature.
Concentrating solar facilties:

  •     10 very high concentration solar furnaces (1kW – 2 kW)
  •     One medium concentration solar furnace (5 kW)
  •     One 50 kW (thermal) dish equipped with a 10 kW Solo Stirling engine
  •     One 1 MW solar furnace
  •     One 5 MW central receiver concentrating facility (Themis)

High temperature measurement lab

  •     Black bodies up to 3000K
  •     Pyrometers and IR camera
  •     Reflectometer
  •     Spectroradiometer

Solar receivers

  •     Mock-ups of pressurized air solar receivers
  •     Porous ceramic volumetric receivers
  •     Tube receivers

In Perpignan
Solar collectors
Various technologies of collectors are available for testing (flat plate, vaccum tubes, air heating). The laboratory is also equipped with an industrial bench for testing of solar collector according to European standard EN12975. 

Solar conversion
Solar heating solar water system with stratified storage tank

Two prototypes of solar cooling are in operation (Silicagel/Water, 7,5 kW and BaCl2/ammonia, 5 kW), both including PCM heat and/or cold storage.

Teaching - Specialisation Solar Thermal

Module Handbook

Download Module Handbook


Module CP Content
Fundamentals 6

Radiative heat transfer

  • Fundamentals of Thermal Radiation
  • Radiative Exchange between Surfaces
  • Radiative properties of opaque surfaces
  • View factors
  • Radiative exchange between grey and diffuse surfaces
  • Equation of Radiative Transfer in Participating Media
  • Radiative Properties of Participating Media
  • Radiative properties of molecular gases
  • Radiative properties of particulate media
  • Radiative Transfer through Participating Media

Combined heat and mass transfer

  • Conduction: Fundamental Equations ,Balance equations ,Examples
  • Convection : Fundamental Equations
  • Forced Convection (resolution of the Couette flow with temperature)
  • Natural Convection (approximation of Boussinesq)
  • Introduction to CFD
Simulation and System Optimization 6

Solar Conversion (solar heating/cooling, microgeneration)

  • Solar water heating
  • Solar air heating
  • Combined Solar System
  • Design softwares
  • Solar cooling :Liquid Absorption technology
  • Solar cooling :Solid sorption technology
  • Microgeneration system : ORC working at low temperature
Solar concentrating systems and receiver
  • The solar resource for concentrating systems: solar spectrum, solar constant and air mass
  • Introduction to concentration optics
  • Linear concentration: parabolic trough and linear Fresnel
  • Point concentration: Dish and Tower (Central receiver systems)
  • High concentration systems: solar furnace and compound parabolic concentrator (CPC)
  • Design and technology of radiative selective surfaces for solar receivers
  • Design and technology of solar receivers (absorbers) for linear concentrators
  • Design and technology of solar receivers for point focusing systems
Energy 6

Solar collector theory and technologies

  • Energy collection and heat transfer in solar collectors – characteristics of materials
  • Design and simulation
  • Overview of the solar collectors technologies
  • Implementation
  • Design software

Solar power plants

  • Introduction to Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)
  • Numeric tools for CSP design and performance evaluation
  • Case study and visit of solar power plants (Themis)
  • Cogeneration systems: electricity and heat, electricity and water
  • Tools for CSP design and performance evaluation
  • Techno-economics of CSP
  • Case study: Parabolic trough plant
  • Case study: Central receiver plant
  • Case study: Dish-engine plant
  • Cogeneration systems
Renewable Storage 6

Thermal Storage

  • Overview of thermal storage (TS)
  • Needs of TS in solar applications
  • Available technologies (sensible, latent heat, thermochemical, ...)
  • Related materials
  • Heat transfer interfaces and fluids
  • Implementation of TS
  • Management and strategy of TS
  • Related companies and products

Solar fuels

  • General introduction, chemical routes to produce solar fuels from solar energy
  • Thermodynamics of solar fuel production
  • Hybrid thermochemical routes, solar and carbonaceous materials -NG, coal, wastes, biomass
  • Renewable thermochemical route, the solar-biomass case study
  • Solar-only thermochemical routes, Redox systems –thermodynamics and materials issues
  • Solar-only thermochemical routes, Metal oxides case study
  • Solar receivers-reactors
Project, Case Study and Innovation 6 Innovative materials for energy conversion
  • Selective surfaces for solar receiver
  • Materials for low temperature solar application
  • Thermos optical properties of materials for solar thermal applications

Project, case study

  • Project
  • Case study: Parabolic trough plant
  • Case study: Central receiver plant
  • Case study: Dish-engine plant


Regulations - Specialisation Solar Thermal

Examination regulations

Please klick to open the examination regulations for the specialisation in Solar Thermal Energy.

Student Support - Specialisation Solar Thermal

International Student Office

Bureau d'Accueil des Etudiants Internationaux
Marie Queralt
33 (0)468 662 011


Residential flats
Private Owners
Real estate agency
- AGENCE FONT-ROMEU IMMOBILIER 33 (0)4 68 30 04 15 - Fax : 33 (0)4 68 30 57 03
- AGENCE LEX IMMOBILIER 33 (0)4 68 30 11 62 - Fax : 33 (0)4 68 30 18 07
- AGENCE IMMOBILIERE L'OLYMPE 33 (0)4 68 30 26 26 - Fax : 33 (0)4 68 30 37 58
- AGENCE PEYROT 33 (0)4 68 30 05 21 - Fax : 33 (0)4 68 30 23 83
- AGENCE IMMO DES CIMES 33 (0)4 68 30 02 77 - Fax : 33 (0)4 68 30 32 11

Font-Romeu tourism office
Tel: 33(0) Fax : 33 (0)
Font-Romeu city hall
Tel: 33 (0)4 68 30 10 22 Fax : 33 (0)4 68 30 24 82

(Changed: 19 Dec 2022)  | 
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