We are rapidly consuming fossil fuels. Emissions of gaseous and particulate pollutants from the use of these fuels have harmful effects on the environment and on human health. The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly clear. The technology in this cluster is very diverse. Optical sensors, solar cells and remote sensing contribute to this energy transition. This contribution lies in three areas: decentralized energy generation, large-scale energy storage and climate and environmental monitoring.
Optical sensors for car batteries and fuel cells
At the moment we are coordinating the preparation for development projects for optical fiber sensors for monitoring car batteries and fuel cells. The Technology Readiness Level for these sensors varies: temperature sensors are available on the market, and gas concentration sensor technology is still in the research phase.
Optimizing efficiency of solar cell systems
In cooperation with a Dutch startup company we work on improving the efficiency of solar energy systems with new types of photovoltaic cells.
Air quality and climate gasses are monitored worldwide from satellites. Other useful data can be gathered about water quality, vegetation, groundwater and drought, via small satellites. The building blocks are available at the DOC partner companies and universities; nano satellite based observation systems have proven to be affordable for a broad range of companies, and even for student projects.
The technologies developed for remote sensing from space can often also be applied for ground based monitoring systems, for example for monitoring of gass leakage from industrial plants.