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In the Spotlight: FBK, EURAC, Soltigua


Fondazione Bruno Kessler

Fondazione Bruno Kessler is a private non-profit research centre working for the public interest. Established by the government of the Autonomous Province of Trento, FBK has a strong international orientation and conducts research in the areas of Information Technology, Materials and Microsystems, Nuclear Physics, Mathematics, Italian-German Historical Studies, Religious Studies, and Effectiveness of Public Policies.

In simple terms, Fondazione Bruno Kessler’s mission is to conduct scientific research, develop technology, advance knowledge, provide services to the local community and to foster innovation. The commitment to the exploration of innovative scientific frontiers, with particular emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches and applications, characterize the profile of FBK in terms of originality and complementarity.

Within the Energy sector, activities on Concentrated Solar Power, Hydrogen storage and Renewable Energy Technologies are part of ARES (Applied Research on Energy Systems) research unit. ARES focus research on applied innovative energy system, providing support to research, innovation and technology transfer, both at the local and the international level. The value proposition can be identified in several support options, from a customized proposed technology, to a service oriented support to the assessment of a whole value chain. ARES offers its know-how, expertise and facilities in the energy domain in order to achieve a measurable value on a common objective.

In Bricker, FBK is involved in the system integration and energy analysis for the main active components coming from the technology providers. Within this framework, a control strategy for the continuous management and smooth operation of the BRICKER Systems is proposed to the plant owners. Simulation tools and dedicated analysis are conducted, in order to characterize the overall system behaviour and performances before plant commissioning. 

"The Bricker project is a unique occasion to work first hand on promising and innovative technologies, which many engineers have so far only seen on paper, with the objective to demonstrate that they can work together. For people in the energy sector like us, this opportunity is both challenging and an existing professional experience, from which much can be achieved and learned."

Fabrizio Alberti,
Energy Research Engineer,


EURAC is an applied research centre located in Bolzano, Italy. Founded in 1992 as a private association, EURAC currently has eleven institutes organised into four main areas of research: Autonomies, Mountains, Health and Technologies.

These institutes work closely with international organisations such as the Carpathian and Alpine Conventions, the UN, as well as several territorial agencies in the fields of sustainable development and energy technologies. The work of the institutes is largely financed through European funding, with contributions from the centre's members as well as a financial agreement with the Province of Bolzano.

The Institute for Renewable Energy works mainly in the field of system integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions for buildings. The activities range from monitoring over numerical simulation to laboratory testing. The Institute for Renewable Energy is internally structured in four research groups: (i) Energy Efficient Buildings (with focus on net-zero energy buildings, energy efficiency in historical buildings and energetic refurbishment of existing buildings); (ii) Photovoltaic Energy Systems (with focus on solar resources, performance and reliability of PV modules and systems and their integration into buildings and products); (iii) Sustainable Heating and Cooling Systems (with focus on hybrid and efficient heating and cooling systems for buildings, industry and sustainable districts); and (iv) Urban and Regional Energy Systems (with focus on regional renewable energy resource analysis and sustainable urban energy planning).

Within the BRICKER project, EURAC coordinates the activities of Work Package 4. The aim is to integrate passive (PCM insulating materials, aerating window and ventilated wall fac╠žade) and active (biomass boiler, Organic Rankine Cycle unit, parabolic trough collectors) technologies in the energy renovation of non-residential, public owned target buildings. Heating and cooling loads of the three demo buildings are therefore covered through the standardized BRICKER energy active system, which is also capable of generating renewable electricity for building needs. In order to promote replicable and exploitable outcomes from the project, a clear focus is given on the development of a clear and structured methodological approach. This consists in identifying cost-optimal renovation scenarios according to specific building energy demands and local climatic characteristics.  

"In BRICKER, it is important that we establish guidelines that enable us to assess if a chosen solution is really economically and energetically viable. It is in the interest of Europe that this project provides general indications to help replicate results everywhere"

Matteo D’Antoni,
Senior Researcher at the solar thermal heating and cooling team,


Soltigua is the only company worldwide to sell both parabolic troughs and Fresnel concentrators for medium temperature applications (100-330°C).

Soltigua’s products have been the first tracking and concentrating collectors to be tested and certified up to 250°C according to the EN 12975 standard. Soltigua’s manufacturing volumes are growing with its industrial sales. Current maximum capacity is 30 MWt/year. Engineering is being continuously improved also via Soltigua’s participation to several FP7 and Horizon 2020 collaborative research projects such as Bricker. Soltigua operates on a worldwide basis either directly or via a network of selected specialized integrators of solar thermal systems.

Within Bricker, the main role of Soltigua will be to perform the following tasks:

  • develop a new, enhanced version of its already best in class parabolic trough collector.
  • manufacture two prototype solar fields of to serve the installation in Turkey and Spain.
  • support the system integration design.

and to be active in the dissemination and exploitation activities, with particular reference towards the public building categories of hospitals and universities. 

"The public sector is one of the natural customers for our innovative technologies based on renewable energy. Retrofitting public buildings with solutions which are not only convenient but also highly innovative generates a positive impact which is part of what public service is about. We are therefore glad to take part in this project which pioneers not only the technologies but also the way in which they can be put together in a system and also linked to the overall economic and policy targets of the owners of public buildings."

Francesco Orioli,
Director of Soltigua