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SINTEF does research to investigate how we can exploit solar energy as a contribution to securing a reliable and sustainable energy supply for the future.

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All renewable energy originates from the sun, and direct harvesting of solar energy, primarily electricity from solar cells (photovoltaics), but also heat from solar collectors gain popularity. Research is necessary to make solar energy cheaper, more accessible and better integrated in our energy supply. 

Solar energy is experiencing a vast growth both in Norway and globally. Many places solar energy is competitive without subsidies. Solar energy will play a pivotal role in the energy transition from fossil to renewables and provide clean energy to a growing population and in parts of the world where many people still do not have access to electricity.  

SINTEF is doing research in many areas which contributes to making solar energy more efficient, more competitive, and more environmentally friendly. This involves increasing the efficiency of solar cells and solar collectors to be able to transform more of the solar radiation to usable electricity and heat, as well as improving the integration of PV installations and solar collectors in buildings and energy systems. We are also doing research on how the production of solar cells and solar installations can be improved. The aim is to reduce costs, improve quality and reduce environmental impacts amongst others by reuse and recycling of materials and components.  

Research topics

Silicon production 
and material development

Silicon is the cornerstone for 95% of today's solar cells. The material still constitutes a large research area.

List of expertise:

Solar cells,

PV modules


Solar cells is the energy source of the future. The price decreases and efficiency increases steadily thanks to research on solar cell and module technology.

List of expertise:

photovoltaic systems

A carbon neutral society requires solar cells implemented on a large scale. Then it is important to develop the optimal system solutions, from solar roofs to large parks, and even floating on the sea!

List of expertise:

Solar heat for the
process industry (SHIP)

A SHIP system provides renewable solar heat  to an industrial process by converting solar heat directly into usable heat.  Research is focused on implementing innovative technologies to increase the operation temperature, optimize the efficiency and the possibility to have cold production.

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Integration technology has become important due to the world’s energy requirements. Solar system integration has a goal to effectively manage solar energy and;  integration issues and compatibility of the different systems  need to be adressed. 

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To be able to maintain the value of materials and PV-modules, research on reducing material- and energy consumption, closing material flows, removing waste, prolonging product lifetime and developing repairable and recircable product design is needed. 


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The webinars are free and open to anyone.

Solar energy is growing firmly both in Norway and internationally. At SINTEF, we research many areas that contribute to making solar energy more efficient, more competitive, and more environmentally friendly.  SINTEF and NTNU are organizing a webinar series to present the hot topics ongoing. Everyone who signs up will be sent a recording of the webinar afterwards. So, if you are interested but unsure if you can attend, sign up and watch the recording later.

Previous webinar:

Upcoming webinars:

  • System Integration
  • Solar energy in the power system
  • Utilization of solar thermal energy
  • Monitoring Installations



SINTEF and Sustainable Energy strengthen collaboration

SINTEF and Sustainable Energy strengthen collaboration

Trondheim, 8 December 2022: a letter of intent has been signed between SINTEF and Sustainable Energy that will guarantee Norwegian industry access to relevant research and testing infrastructure. This will be necessary for realising the green shift.

New solar panels from solar panel waste

New solar panels from solar panel waste

Solar energy is good news for planet Earth – but solar panels are not as climate-friendly as they should be. Researcher Martin Bellmann is using what he calls the ‘black gold’ waste materials from solar panel manufacture to make new panels.



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