The first Workshop for Research Strategies for Solar Energy and Basic Sciences is an international event organized by SERC Chile and CMM (Center for Mathematical Modeling) (through the REDERG008 project by CONICYT-DRI), where the discussion about the future of basic sciences related to solar energy will take place, as well as research strategies.

Different national and international presenters will analyze the physic foundations in relation to solar energy in the meeting, as well as the main opportunities that exist for technological development and advances in the area of basic sciences.

The workshop will encourage the discussion between main decision-makers related to national strategies for solar energy research.

It is aimed at:

Academicians and researchers related to physics and solar energy.

Technological developers interested in solar energy applications.

Postgraduate students interested in solar energy research.

The workshop will be held on January 23, 24, 27 and 28 in the Presidential Hall of the National Congress Building in Santiago (441 Morandé Street).

In addition, on January 27, a mini-symposium will be held: Integration of solar energy and energy management in urban transport systems; where the area on solar energy applications in urban transport systems will be discussed and analyzed, as well as the efficiency measures that will allow reducing the energy consumption of the transportation sector.

This meeting will focus on an open discussion in order to explore future alternatives for cooperation between urban planning, transportation and solar energy.

As a complimentary activity, during January 21 and 22, an Introduction to Solar Energy course will be held, given by Roberto Román. This is an open introductory course, where you can learn different solar energy conversion methods, basic software use, among other subjects.

For more information and details of these events, please send an email to Mariel Lizana at and follow these links:

1st Workshop in Strategies for Solar Energy and Basic Sciences Research

Mini Symposium: Integration of solar energy and energy management in urban transport systems

Introduction to Solar Energy in Chile

Thursday, January 23th: Module I: PV Module for the Atacama Desert
09:00 Reception
09:30 – 10:00 Opening Session.

Rodrigo Palma, SERC Chile.

10:00 – 10:45 Radovan Kopecek, ISC Konstanz. “Need for development of a bifacial glass-glass module for Atacama Desert: high power AtaMo with Chile´s local content”
10:45 – 11:15 Open discussion and reflections
11:15 – 11:45 Coffee break.
11:45 – 12:30 Enrique Cabrera, ISC Konstanz. “Metallization technology for contacting emitters in crystalline silicon (Si) solar cells”
12:30 – 13:00 Open discussion and reflections
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 15:15 Axel Metz; H.A.L.M. Electronik Gmbh “Advanced characterization of solar cells and PV modules”
15:15 – 15:45 Open discussion and reflections
15:45 – 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 – 18:00 Working groups (Three tables)
Friday, January 24th: Module I (Final): PV Module for the Atacama Desert
09:00 Reception
09:30-11:00 Main conclusions of working groups.
11:00-11:30 Coffee break.
11:30-13:00 Discussion Panel and Conclusions Module I: “Strategies for a solar cell development for the north of Chile” Chair: Rodrigo Palma
13:00-14:30 Lunch
Friday, January 24th: Module II:
14:30 – 14:45 Introduction: Marcelo Matus, SERC Chile.
14:45 – 15:15 Eduardo Soto, Fundación Chile.“Importancia de reducir la incertidumbre en la medición de radiación para el diseño y operación de plantas solares”
15:15 – 16:45 Francisco Mardones, Nimbic. “Doing basic sciences and high-technology software from Chile: Nimbic experience”
16:45 – 17:00 Coffee break.
17:00 – 17:30 Ernest Michael, Radio Astronomical Instrumentation Group, Universidad de Chile (Pending confirmation)
17:30 – 18:00 Final Discussion and Conclusions Module II.

Chair: Marcelo Matus

Monday, January 27th: Module III:
09:00 Reception.
09:30 – 09:45 Introduction: Marcelo Matus, SERC Chile.
09:45 – 10:30 Jaime Llanos, Universidad Católica del Norte. “Down- Conversion and Up Conversion Luminescent Materials for Application in Solar Cells”.
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break.
11:30 – 13:00 Conference: Laborelec (Pending confirmation).
13:00 – 15:00 Lunch.
15:00 – 18:00 Mini-Symposium: “Integration of solar energy and energy management in urban transport systems”.

Chair: Jorge Amaya (see info)

Tuesday, January 28th: Module IV: Solar Energy Research Strategies
09:00 Reception.
09:30- 11:00 Conference: Stephan Koch, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.
11:00-11:30 Coffee break.
11:30- 13:00 Conference: Wolfgang Stolz, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.
13:00- 15:00 Lunch.
15:00- 17:00 Panel Discussion: “Opportunities and challenges for a solar energy research strategy”.

Chair: Marcelo Matus

17:00-18:00 Closure cocktail.


Enrique Cabrera

Dr. Enrique Cabrera received his Dipl.-Ing. degree (honors) in electrical engineering and electrical power systems from the Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH) in 2008. As a part of his studies, he spent two semesters at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen in Germany as a DAAD scholarship holder. During this time, he attended numerous lectures, seminars and field trips dealing with renewable energy. In 2013, he received his PhD degree in physics in the field of metallisation of silicon solar cells at the International Solar Energy Research Center (ISC) Konstanz in cooperation with the University of Konstanz. He is currently working on the EU Project Hercules and supporting research and development cooperation projects in Chile and South America.


Metallization technology for contacting emitters in crystalline silicon (Si) solar cells”.

Screen printing is predicted to remain the most widely spread metallization technology for contacting emitters in crystalline silicon (Si) solar cells until 2016 and we believe that this dominance will last at least 15 more years. Its successful development has been possible due to its high degree of industrialization and due to the lack of market ready, cost-effective alternatives. The current most important limitation is that the silver (Ag) used in the front contact screen printed paste is the second most important material cost factor in the current solar cell fabrication process. 14% of the world Ag supply is estimated to be consumed by the photovoltaic industry in 2015 and the Ag price is expected to continue to increase. This drastic growth in demand raises the need for alternatives. An interesting substitute of Ag is provided by Copper (Cu) due to its high conductive and low cost. However, the major drawback of Cu is its high diffusion coefficient in Si even at room temperature paired with its detrimental influence on the Si properties. In this presentation, we summarize the properties and potential of existing Ag-technology. In the second part we will analyse the promising approach by Cu as contacting material and economical alternative, which could provide an opportunity for the growth in the Chilean Cu production.

Radovan Kopecek

Dr. Radovan Kopecek, born in Brno (former Czechoslovakia), obtained his Diploma in Physics at the University of Stuttgart in 1998, researching superconductive fullerides. In addition, he studied at Portland State University (Oregon, USA) for one year, where he obtained a Master of Science in 1995. Towards the end of his studies in Stuttgart, he worked at the Max-Planck-Institut (MPI) and afterwards at the Institute of Physical Electronics (IPE) as a research assistant in the field of crystalline Si for PV applications. He joined Professor Ernst Bucher’s Konstanz-based group in 1998 in order to write his PhD dissertation on the topic of thin film silicon solar cells, which he completed in November 2002. Until the end of 2006, he headed several national and international projects at the University of Konstanz as a group leader. These projects focused on silicon feedstock and the development of crystalline Si thin film n-type solar cells. One of the founders of ISC Konstanz, Dr. Kopecek has been working at the institute as a full time manager and researcher since January 2007, and is currently the leader of the Advanced Solar Cells department. He is responsible for several European and national research projects that revolve around silicon feedstock and around the development of solar cells, with a focus on n-type devices. Further, Dr. Kopecek has been teaching the basics and applications of PV at the DHBW in Friedrichshafen since 2012.


“Need for development of a bifacial glass-glass module for Atacama Desert: high power AtaMo with Chile´s local content”.

According to the ITRPV (International Roadmap for PV), a large fraction of future solar cells will be n-type solar cells with the highest efficiencies and fabricated using low-cost processes. As the standard p-type silicon solar cell in mass production is completely optimized and has therefore reached its cost limit, it is currently very difficult for new solar cell concepts to be cost effective from the outset when introduced into production. Consequently, in the current market situation, the introduction of new solar cell concepts to the market is not straightforward. The only way to achieve this is to use the fully adapted standard processes employed in today’s manufacturing lines and only upgrade them with a few industrially approved process steps – such as laser ablation and boron diffusion – in order to implement low-cost device structures with stable efficiencies well above 20%.

Such n-type solar cells are in 80% of the cases bifacial and show a very good response from the rear as well. Many module companies are switching their production to glass-glass modules, as on one hand glass is becoming cheaper than the back sheet and on the other such modules are more stable in time. This opens new paths for bifaciality as bifacial systems can have a gain in energy yield of up to 30% and therefore make the total invest into the such system extremely interesting.  For desert conditions such modules have to be adapted, which will be the focus of this talk. The author will describe how desert modules have to behave and how AtaMo (Atacama Module) can also include Chile´s local content such as Cu-Metallization. This will be described in more detail by Dr. Enrique Cabrera who made his PhD on screen printed metallization for PV mass production.

This talk will give as well an overview of n-type and bifacial cell concepts already present on the market and of promising technologies ready for pilot production; the latter were summarized and discussed at the 3rd  nPV workshop in April 2013 in Chambéry, France and will be shown in progress again at the 4th nPV workshop in March 2014 in Herstogensbosch, Netherlands. In order to introduce bifaciality faster into the PV market, ISC Konstanz and INES organize the second bifacial workshop on 26th/27th May 2014 in Chambery, France. The consequences for module manufacturing, as well as for measurement techniques and for requirements in respect of new standardization for cell and module characterization, will also be discussed and in more detail by following speaker Dr. Alex Metz from H.A.L.M..

In this presentation the following topics will be discussed and answered:

  • PV past and future: why new developments are essential now?
  • PV in desert areas: what are the necessary requirements for modules and systems?
  • Bifacialty: why will that become extremely important for future systems?
  • AtaMo: how will such a module look like?

Stephan Koch:

Stephan W. Koch has been a professor of Physics at Philipps-University Marburg (Germany), and an adjunct professor at the College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson/USA, since 1993. He spent eight years, first as associate professor, then as professor of Physics and Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. He was a Heisenberg Fellow at the University Frankfurt/Germany in 1985, and a visiting scientist at IBM Reserach in 1981 and 1983. Prof. Dr. Koch received his MS and PhD in Physics from the Goethe-University Frankfurt (Germany) in 1977 and 1979, respectively. His fields of major current interests include condensed matter theory, light-matter interaction effects in atoms and condensed matter systems, optical and electronic properties of semiconductors, many-body interactions, coherent and ultrafast phenomena, semiconductor laser theory, and microcavity effects. He received the 1999 Max-Planck Research Prize, the 1997 Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the 2008 “Outstanding Referee” lifetime award of the American Physical Society, and the 2006 Prize for the Advancement of Women in Science (Frauenfoerderpreis) of the Philipps-University Marburg. Prof. Koch was a DivisionalAssociate Editor of “Physical Review Letters” 1997 – 2000, and a Topical Editor of the “European Physics Journal” 1998 – 2005, is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, and a member of the German Physical Society (DPG). He is the author or co-author of 7 books, editor of 1 book, and author or co-author of more than 550 publications in refereed scientific journals with more than 15,000 citations leading to an h-index of 65.

Francisco Mardones

Francisco Mardones is General Manager of Nimbic Chile, an R&D center of Nimbic Inc in Santiago de Chile. Nimbic is based in Mountain View, California and develops state-of-the-art software for Electronic Design Automation, specifically in electromagnetic simulation both on premises and in the cloud. Francisco has a professional degree in Electronics Engineering and has established and managed R&D facilities in Chile for US-based companies, developing links with local Universities and Government agencies to promote the development of high technology in Chile.


“Doing basic sciences and high-technology software from Chile: Nimbic experience”.

The aim of this presentation is to analyze the technological development capabilities in Chile, showing examples of projects involving different stakeholders, such as universities, government and industry. In particular, the experience of Nimbic in Chile doing basic sciences, high-tech software and the use of cloud computation for semiconductor electromagnetic simulations will be presented. Also, the main challenges and opportunities for further development will be discussed.

Jaime Llanos:

Dr. Jaime Llanos has a Bachelor degree in Sciences, specialized in Chemistry from Universidad de Chile in 1977. He also is Doctor in Sciences from Max Planck Institut for Solid State Research, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart (1984), where he also received a postdoctoral degree.

He authors more than 70 ISI Publications and is a Fondecyt researcher from 1989. He is currently working as Titular Professor in Universidad Católica del Norte and Universidad de Antofagasta.


“Down- Conversion and Up Conversion Luminescent Materials for Application in Solar Cells”.

The design of new materials that can be used in the development of alternative sources of energy or more efficient materials that would reduce the global demand for electricity in widespread applications in industry, buildings, and transportation is thus one of the most important challenges for solid-state chemist and materials scientist.

In this regard, the development in new systems that could help in dropping substantially the electricity consumption or the development of new sources of energy has been of high interest. Between the new energy sources proposed, one the most import and promising is the direct conversion of solar energy to electricity by photovoltaic cells. At present the photovoltaic area is predominantly based on crystalline and polycrystalline silicon, and in the last decade dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) have appeared as a low cost alternative. An important role in these areas has been played by the chemistry of the rare-earth elements. Nowadays, the lanthanide elements have been considered the “jewels of the functional materials” and specifically, the interest in this chemistry has been focused on the preparation of new luminescent or energy converting materials, known generically as inorganic phosphors.

Taking into account the necessity of designing new materials in the development of alternative sources of energy or more efficient materials to reduce the global demand for electricity, our research is devoted to the synthesis, characterization and theoretical study of the optical properties of new inorganic phosphors devised for applications in dye-sensitized solar cells. We propose a systematic study of the luminescent down-conversion and up-conversion properties of new inorganic phosphors and their application as luminescent materials in dye-sensitized and photovoltaic solar cells. Our interest is to determine how these inorganic phosphors can help in improving the light-harvesting process increasing the photocurrent in these solar cells.

In order to gain some insight of the electronic structure of both the host material and the inorganic phosphors obtained by doping with rare earth ions we propose also to perform a parallel computational study of these materials using ab-initio electronic structure calculations within the DFT approximation. These computational studies will be carried out using state-of-the-art methods included in the CRYSTAL and SIESTA programs.

Wolfgang Stolz:

Dr. Wolfgang Stolz is currently the Head of the Structure and Technology Research Laboratory at Philipps-Universität Marburg, and Adjunct Professor of the Optical Sciences Center at University of Arizona. His expertise is in experimental physiscs, semiconductor theory and technology development, and optoelectronic device applications. Dr. Wolfgang Stolz received his Doctoral degree in Physics at Universität Stuttgart, and later he received his Habilitation in Experimental Physics at Philipps-Universität Marburg. With more than 30 years of professional and academic experience, Dr. Wolfgang Stolz has received many awards from the German Society of Crystal Growth, from the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology and from the Basic Research Laboratory. In addition of the many published papers, Dr. Stolz has registered a great number of patents related with semiconductor applications.

Mini Symposium

The Mini Symposium: Integration of solar energy and energy management in urban transport systems aims to discuss and analyse the research area related with the application of solar energy in urban transport systems, as well as energy efficiency measures that can reduce the energy consumption of a transport sector. After some conferences, the event will be focused on an open discussion among the participants to explore future initiatives and collaborations between transport, electricity, urban planning and solar energy sector.

This event is embedded in the 1st Workshop in Strategies for Solar Energy and Basic Sciences Research, that runs from January 23th to January 28th, 2014.

Addressed to:

  • Academics and researchers related with transport and/or solar energy systems.
  • Technological developers interested in solar energy and smart grids applications.
  • Professionals related with the solar energy sector, transport sector and electrical networks.
  • Postgraduate students interested in solar energy research applied to the transport sector.

Organizing Committee:

  • Jorge Amaya
  • Pablo Orellana


  • Paula Uribe, Centro de Modelamiento Matemático.
  • Pablo Orellana, Centro de Modelamiento Matemático.
  • Marcelo Matus, Solar Energy Research Center.
  • Raphael Hofstädter, Technische Universität Wien.

Monday, January 27th, 2014. 15:00 – 18:00 hrs.

15:00 – 15:20 Paula Uribe: Energy model for urban train transportation system.

15:20 – 15:40 Pablo Orellana: Thermal impact of energy losses in an underground transportation system.

15:40 – 16:00 Raphael Hofstädter: Energy Optimal Control of Thermal Comfort in Trams.

16:00 – 16:20 Break.

16:20 – 16:40 Marcelo Matus: Integration of solar energy and energy management to rapid transport systems.

16:40 – 18:00 Panel discussion: What is the best approach to integrate renewable energies with the transport sector in an urban context?

Chair: Roberto Román

This event is embedded in the 1st Workshop in Strategies for Solar Energy and Basic Sciences Research, that runs from January 23th to January 28th, 2014.


Paula Uribe

Paula Uribe is an electrical engineer since 2007, and has been working at the Center for the Mathematical Modeling – University of Chile (CMM) as a research engineer since then. She has worked in several projects from different industries, mainly in the area of telecommunications, optimization and operations research, and lately in energy optimization, performing research, design, modeling and implementation tasks.


“Energy model for urban transportation system”

In order to perform an integral energy analysis for an urban train transportation system, four large scale systems and their interactions shall be considered: Trains, Tunnels (and exterior environment), Stations and Electrical Substations; each characterized by a set of parameters and mathematical relations that describe their operation in terms of energy consumption. The main aspects that influence the energy consumption of the system are trains technological characteristics, passenger load, speed profiles, electrical energy consumption (HVAC systems, lighting, signaling and auxiliaries) and overall performance. Important outputs of this analysis are the overall energy usage in different systems (total energy breakdown), the overall impact of a change in a subsystem on overall energy usage and the impact of technological changes in a system in overall performance. Different scenarios can be calculated and compared with this simulation tool, helping the decision makers when defining operational strategies and selecting innovative solutions.

Pablo Orellana:

Pablo Orellana is a mechanical engineer since 2012, and has worked at CMM since November 2012. While studying, he was involved in the design and build of the solar car Eolian 2, that participated on the Atacama Solar Car race in Chile and the World Solar Challenge in Australia. His work at CMM involves thermal modeling, in the OSIRIS project, as well as the project with Metro de Santiago and AChEE.


“Thermal impact of energy losses in an underground transportation system”

In this presentation a thermal model developed at CMM will be shown. This model analyses the thermal impact of energy losses in an underground transport system, as well as the thermal losses due to the number of passengers in transit. Also the model delivers a breakdown of the thermal losses in order to identify the most important factors that influence the temperature of the system. Also the humidity calculations will be shown, in order to asses effectively the passenger comfort on the subway stations.

Raphael Hofstädter:

Raphael N. Hofstädter received his master degree in process engineering after only 4 years in December 2009. Between March 2010 and December 2013 he was working at the Vienna University of Technology and contributed in the field of thermal problems for urban rail vehicles (mainly trams and metros). Currently he is finishing his doctoral thesis. Since January 2014 he is employed at Alstom Transport Germany GmbH as patent and innovation manager.


“Energy optimal control of thermal comfort in trams”

In this presentation a thermal comfort control for trams is shown, which minimises the power consumption of the heating, air conditioning and ventilation system. The objective is to achieve a satisfying indoor climate in a tram with the smallest electrical effort possible, by using methods of control engineering and closely related sciences. First, mathematical models — based on the fundamental laws and balance laws of thermodynamics — of all thermally relevant components are stated. Individual components modelled are: Interior of the tram, the HVAC and the controller to calculate the temperature, relative humidity and carbon dioxide concentration in the interior of the tram. In the next step the numerical values of the parameters for the created models are estimated. This is exemplary explained for the heat capacity and the heat transfer coefficient of the vehicle. Then, a new controller is developed as cascaded controller based on the linearised models of the plant (interior of the tram and HVAC unit). The master control loop, whose controller is a model-predictive controller, regulates the thermal comfort inside the tram. The controller of the slave control loop is realised with a mixed-integer optimisation, which converts the set-point of the auxiliary control variable in an energy-optimal way. For the mixed-integer problem a heuristic solution is used. The algorithms were implemented on a rapid controller prototyping platform, tested during several climatic wind tunnel tests first and daily application is proven during on-site measurements since July 2013.

Marcelo Matus:

Master of Science in Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineer at the University of Arizona. His work include near 20 years of participation in small and large scale software development projects in Chile, Mexico and US, including monolithic, distributed (1.000+ servers) and parallel (clusters and single image) systems. Currently he is member of the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC Chile).


“Integration of solar energy and energy management to rapid transport systems”

The rapid urban transport system is known for its electric energy-intensive operation, with most of the energy demand coming from the electricity needed to provide traction power to trains. This presentation examines the potential for energy efficiency and integration of solar energy in the train operation and other electricity consumptions, such as lighting, air conditioning, etc. After performing a literature review of some international initiatives, a case study is developed to explore the application of the solutions in a real context based on the Metro of Santiago’s needs. The analysis also considers the design and simulation of a smart-grid solution integrating solar energy and energy storage systems.

Roberto Román:

Roberto is Mechanical Engineer, University of Chile and Post graduate studies in Solar Energy, Université de Provence, Marseille, France. He is Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Chile and Vice President for Membership Affairs, of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). Some recent projects in which he have been involved are: FONDEF (Development of a Molecular Reactor for Energy Generation from Biomass at the small and medium scale level); MODURBAN (Modular Urban Guided Rail Systems, VI Framework Program, European Commission); CYTED (Iberoamerican Science and Technology Project); RISSPA (Iberoamerican Solar Drying Thematic Network); and CONICYT-EXPLORA Science and Education Projects 2000-2010. He published more than 15 Scientific Publications in the fields of energy and renewable energy research and he has been Editor of two books with the responsibility of one chapter in each. Coauthor of the book ¿Se Necesitan Represas en la Patagonia?, Ocho Libro Editores, 2009; over 30 presentations in International Congresses and Seminars and numerous technical reports.


The Mini-Symposium will be held at the Former National Congress Building (Ex Congreso Nacional), Santiago – Chile, as part of the 1st Workshop in Strategies for Solar Energy and Basic Sciences Research.

Ex Congreso Nacional

Catedral 1158, Santiago – Chile

For more information please contact  Mariel Lizana