SuNEC Home Page | Registration | Program |
General Info | Organization | Contact | News
SuNEC 2014: Helionomics Made Real
the SuNEC 2014 video and photo gallery
The 4th edition of the Sun New Energy
Conference (SuNEC) has successfully taken place in Sicily, 8-9
September 2014, with delegates registered to attend from 9 countries
including South Africa. The eBook
of the conference Book of Abstract is available online on all main
digital bookstores online.
The event -- organised by Sicily's PV Research Pole -- started with a
informal reception in the swimpool area on the evening before the main
On the first morning of the conference, the conference was opened by
the Regional Minister for Energy, Salvatore
Calleri, who announced the forthcoming creation of Sicily's Solar Pole, a new research
and education Centre jointly owned by Sicily's Government and Italy's
Narional Research Council.
On the same day the Mayors of
Palermo, Leoluca Orlando, and
of Grand Bassam (Côte d'Ivoire), Georges
Philippe Ezaley saluted the delegates with two speeches
emphasizing the economic and environmental relevance of today's low
solar energy technologies for urban communities in either developed and
The scientific program opened with a lecture of Professor Ranjit Koodali, who
described the appraoch of his team at University
of South Dakota to design and reliably make a photocatalytic material
capable to directly split water into hydrogen and oxygen upon
The team has developed ta mesoporous sol-gel silica-titania composite
doped with semiconductor CdS clusters which is currently the best
performing photocatalyst capable to induce water photolysis.
A complementary approach approach to solar water splitting was
described in the lecture of Dr Jesper Jacobsson, Uppsala University, who described how placing the
CuInxGa1-xSe2 (CIGS) semiconductors in series and tuning them for efficient absorption
of the solar spectrum
(achieved by varying the In:Ga
ratio, their device can reach beyond 10% solar-to-hydrogen
This simple approach based on chemical tuning the band gaps of
photoabsorbers opens the way to the low cost production of solar
hydrogen, namely the green, powerful fuel needed to exit the energy and
environmental global crises. The approach indeed has room for an
increase of several percentage points in STH efficiency.
On September 9th, Francesco Meneguzzo, Italy's Research Council,
described a new physicochemical clean route for abating yeast residues
in water from fermentation streams. Tested on semi-industrial scale (in
a reactor > 100 L), the new method relies on hydrocavitation induced
by electricity coupled to extra energy originating from circulating the
liquid in an aptly developed vertical U-shaped tube.
The outcome is full degradation of residual yeast at 8 C below the
state of the art temperature using at least 20% less energy.
The presentation of Professor Michael
Detty, University of New
York at Buffalo, was given on behalf of Professor Detty by Dr. Mario
Pagliaro, Italy's Research Council, whose Group co-operates on the
topics of the talk with the team at UB since almost a decade. Xerogel
coatings produced by the sol-gel process as antifouling and
fouling-release surfaces and no longer a research curiosity.
Research undertaken by the US chemists is now moving the research from
lab bench to commercial reality. The presentation prepared by Dr Detty
addressed all major points concerning non biocidal sol-gel antifouling
coating, and was concluded by the striking image aof a large vessel
navigating through North America's seas coated only with AquaFast and
AquaFast Pro formulations.
The president and the vice president for technology of Western CO, Giovanni
Cimini and Marco Fiorani,
gave a lecture on the impressive outcomes of residential energy
independence real experimentation in Italy's homes where PV modules and
state-of-the art commercial batteries were installed in the course of
Higher than 85% energy independence from the grid was measured and
analysed. The results will now be used to develop a series of
commercial solutions capable to cover the full energy residential
requirements in Italy, where the world's 2nd largest PV installed power
Ph Student Gerro
University, South Africa, gave
an excellent lecture on combined solar heat and power with microgrid
storage and layered smartgrid control towards supplying off-grid rural
villages. There have been hundreds of projects aimed to provide clean
energy to off-grid villages in Africa, he said opening his lecture. But
We believe, he added, that one reason was the lack of flexibility. We
must start from the different energy needs of different communities.
And then develop a flexible system capable to provide power, heat and
even cooling adapting to the energy daily demands.
Albanese, Italy's Research Council, gave a lecture
aimed to answer the question whether electric cars sustainable. The
outcomes of a detailed analysis using Italy's power market as reference
point to a strong synergy between PV generation and electric mobility,
which clearly reinforces the economic sustainability of the electric
The return of investment and payback time are so large that the
economic sustainability is there. The last obstacle in Europe, he
concluded, is the initial capital expense at times of "credit crunch".
of Palermo, presented an overview on the applications of nanotechnology
to sustainable energy. She also presented the results of several
University Masters on nanotechnology at her University calling for the
need to integrate different disciplinary competences for successful
Four poster presentation complemented the scientific
program. Professor Luis
Sánchez Granados, University of Cordoba, Spain, presented the interesing results
in the photocatalytic removal of NOx with
hematite, in place of conventional titania using the low fraction of UV
radiation present in visible light.
Prinsloo Stellenbosch University, South
Africa, presented the results of the Evaluation of a Dynamic
Platform in a Solar Thermal Concentrator Design for Autonomous Power
Generation in Rural Africa.
de Paula Martin Jimenez, University of Malaga, Spain,
presented a poster on the characterization of anodized alumina surfaces
by SNMS and optical models.
Professor José Ramón
Ramos Barrado, from the same University, presented a
poster on the microstructure of Al-Si interface on polished and
textured Cz silicon by screen-printing and dispensing technology.
Award, Social program and farewells
After a vote of a commitee led by Prof. Koodali, Gerro Prinsloo won the best poster
presentation award, namely a copy of the book Solar
Hydrogen (RSC Publishing, 2012).
Selected works presented at SuNEC 2014 have been submitted for
publication to Energy Science & Engineering,
the open-access Wiley's journal with which the SuNEC organizers
have aptly partnered.
Since its launch, high quality papers have been received across the
broad scope of the journal, including these highlights:
generation biorefineries will solve the food, biofuels, and
environmental trilemma in the energy-food-water nexus
Y-H Percival Zhang
bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint
of natural gas
Robert W. Howarth
On the afternoon of September 9th, delegates and accompanying persons
took part in wonderful social program, including a guided tour of
Cefalù and its monumental Cathedral built starting in 1131, widely
considered one of the world's most important cultural and religious
Before the gala dinner based on Sicilian cuisine served at the Relais
Sant'Anastasia with an amazing position from where the sightseeing
extends from Cefalù to a large part of Sicily's nothern coast,
delegates were guided in a tour of the winemakery,
one of Sicily's largest and best,
The 4th SuNEC Conference was very popular with delegates and visitors
alike. Many commented on the highly-efficient conference organisation
and programme management, calling the event "an unforgettable
The 5th SuNEC - Sun New
Energy Conference (and social program) will take place in September
2015, once again in Sicily, and we look forward to welcoming speakers
and delegates to Sicily once more.
Previous SuNEC editions
Back to the home
page of SuNEC