Photonics in Sustainable Environment & Energy
FBG instrumentation fuel bundle_VUB

Photonics in Sustainable Environment & Energy

Photonics is part of many aspects of modern life. Green photonics is similarly pervasive and is well placed to tackle the environmental and energy related challenges that we face. Green photonics concerns the latest photonics and optoelectronic tools and materials that will reduce power consumption, enable cleaner manufacturing, and create new energy generation for a broad range of applications.

Green photonics covers a broad range of photonic technologies and applications: photovoltaic electricity generation, highly efficient solid-state lighting (SSL), new energy-efficient communication technologies, optical sensing for improved energy efficiency and reduced pollution, and clean manufacturing using laser processing. If our societies are to save energy, reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and protect our fragile environment, we will have to find more efficient ways to produce and consume energy, and photonics offers solutions for both.

The advent of optical fiber-based sensor technologies now also allows for highly efficient and sustainable exploitation of energy resources, not only in the domain of oil and gas industry, but also in the field of onshore and offshore wind turbines.

Laser flow velocimetry_CNRS-FEMTO-ST

Examples of where photonics is applied in Sustainable Environment & Energy:

  • Solar cells
    • Transparent, flexible solar cells
    • Large area flexible PV panels
    • Glass laminated decorative PV panels
  • Indoor and outdoor equipment allowing to test optical components for the exploitation of solar energy
  • Micro and nano optical components for light harvesting and daylight systems
  • Optical design for solar concentration exploitation
  • Distributed fibre sensors for energy delivery optimization
  • PIC-based fibre readout systems for wind turbines
  • Structural health monitoring of wind turbines
  • Pipeline monitoring