Researchers develop a compact, multipurpose renewable energy system

The “Compact LFR solar collector for polygenerative applications” can provide electric power, thermal energy with storage, and cooling capabilities. It has been developed in Italy, as part of a collaboration between researchers and entrepreneurs.

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The compact LFR solar collector for polygenerative applications © Idea srl The compact LFR solar collector for polygenerative applications © Idea srl

" The main achievement was the design of an easy-to-assemble compact solar collector... specifically suitable for polygeneration in civil and industrial applications. "

Dr Fabio Maria Montagnino, Idea srl

The amount of space required to install the system has been reduced thanks to a compact and lightweight design, meaning it can be installed anywhere from land to canopies over carparks and roofs of industrial buildings.

In addition, a control module can adjust the behaviour of the system according to the environmental conditions and demand for energy, helping it to achieve maximum performance.

Research and development

Further research and design work is now being carried out to improve the system, including the construction of a demo field where its polygenerative capabilities can be tested in real-life conditions. The goal is to commercialise it to enable widespread use, especially in sunny regions.

The system was developed by Idea srl, a company founded in 2006 by entrepreneurs and researchers at the University of Palermo. It works in partnership with ARCA, a Sicilian consortium that acts as a major meeting point between the academic and business communities to support innovation.


Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Compact LFR solar collector for polygenerative applications” is EUR 752 000, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 451 000 from the Operational Programme “Sicily” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period, under priority axis “Dissemination of research, innovation and the information society”.


Draft date

28/01/2016