Success Stories from Transnational Access: the ShARON project, from CENER to CEA

As the 1st SFERA-III campaign for Transnational Access has been achieved, let’s have a look on its most promising projects carried out! This time, we focus on ShARON, a project led by CENER (Spain) that was granted access to the CEA facilities in France in the course of 2019.

About the ShARON project

The ShaRON project, which stands for Solar Absorber Receiver Optical characterization, is developed by the National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER) from Spain. Thanks the 1st Transnational Access Campaign of SFERA-III, the project could use the CEA infrastructures, more specifically the Indoor and Opti-Lab facilities, in 2019.

The objective of ShaRON is to characterise optically different materials and components used in CSP, which previously has been aged by thermal cycling and condensation tests in climatic chambers, in order to compare the measurements with the optical parameters of the components before the ageing tests. To achieve this general goal, specific objectives ware defined:

  1. the optical characterization of four paintings in flat samples of parabolic trough absorbers,
  2. the reflectance measurement of one reflector sample at different angles,
  3. the transmittance measurement of two glass samples at different angles.

The main results of the project

The project expected results will be used to characterise more precisely different simulation absorber models and to develop more efficient absorbers.

Even though the number of samples measured was too low for obtain clear conclusions about the effect of the ageing in solar components, a conference paper with the results and the conclusions obtained by the measurement of optical properties before and after the ageing will be written.

Therefore, this research experience pursues to improve the reliability and feasibility about the high solar receivers and the parabolic-trough collectors (PTC) components.

Successful outcomes

A new relationship has been established between CEA and CENER with exchange of good practices and expertise. Both organisations plan to work again in the future.

Also, the results of the project were included in a publication that was submitted to the SolarPACES 2020 Conference.

About Transnational Access in SFERA-III

The 3rd TA campaign of SFERA-III will be launched in Autumn 2020. This next call for projects will provide free access to 13 state-of-art research infrastructures and 47 installations in Concentrated Solar Thermal power in 8 countries. More information soon!


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 823802