Solar furnace Odeillo
Solar Thermal Specialization at PROMES-CNRS (EUREC Master)
Solar Thermal Specialization at PROMES-CNRS (EUREC Master)ATE)
Solar furnace
A unique environment for a unique education program
at the biggest solar furnace in the world

6th floor
Harness the power of the Sun
Funny experiments in sunny weather
Work with on-site solar research facilities
Visit state-of-the-art commercial solar power plants
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Want to train in solar thermal energy?

Want to get a European Master degree?

The Solar Thermal & Associated Renewable Storage (STARS) education program is a specialization semester. It is part of the European Master in Renewable Energy (EMRE) coordinated by EUREC association of European Renewable Energy Research Centers association.
This high quality formation in Solar Thermal & Associated Renewable Storage has been operating since 2011. It is supervised by Perpignan University and expert teachers from PROMES-CNRS laboratory (Processes, Materials and Solar Energy) in the South of France.

Learn about solar thermal energy

Solar thermal energy is different from photovoltaic solar panels, which directly convert the sun’s radiation into electricity. While the public often associates solar energy with photovoltaic electricity, one of the primary utilities of solar radiation in nature is to produce heat. Solar thermal technologies mimic reptilian organisms in heating under the sun an absorbing material which then transfers this heat to a fluid.

Such systems can be used to produce solar hot water at a few tens of Celsius degrees for residential purposes, or to produce steam for industries (Solar Heat for Industrial Processes). In Concentrated Solar thermal Power (CSP) plants, the sun radiation is first concentrated by mirrors to heat a fluid up to several hundreds of Celsius degrees and feed a steam or gas turbine to produce Solar Thermal Electricity (STE). This first conversion step allows for easy and cheap large scale heat storage, which comes as a great remedy to the intermittent nature of solar energy and offers dispatchability.

Education program overview

The Solar Thermal & Associated Renewable Energy master specialization program offers a very innovative formation and training in all solar thermal sciences and technologies. This includes a unique focus on Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST), Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Solar Thermal Electricity (STE), Solar Heat for Industrial Processes (SHIP), Solar Fuels (e.g. hydrogen generation, carbon dioxide reduction), etc.
It also addresses the related question of high temperature renewable heat storage, for instance using waste materials from industries. Large-scale cheap heat storage capacities for continuous power production are indeed the main advantage of solar thermal over other intermittent renewable energies such as PV and wind.

During the Solar Thermal & Associated Renewable Energy education program, students will acquire:

  • Multidisciplinary skills in optics, thermal transfer, materials science, thermodynamics, energetics, etc.
  • Unique skills in system simulation (work with industrial softwares and numerical tools dedicated to CSP design and simulation)
  • Experience on unique solar facilities


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