PROMES : Processes, Materials and Solar Energy


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The laboratory is made up 150 people from the CNRS (France’s national centre for scientific research) and the UPVD, and researches solar power and all of its applications. As such, it is a founding member of FédEsol, the CNRS’s federation for research into solar power.

One of PROMES’s original briefs is to conduct research in conjunction with the CNRS’s large-scale concentrated solar power installations in Font Romeu (solar furnaces in particular), as well as with those of the Conseil Général of the Pyrénées-Orientale region in Targasonne (the Thémis solar power tower). A number of these projects - such as the PEGASE project - involve actually developing demonstrators. The laboratory is also tasked with developing the national concentrated solar power research centre through the SOCRATE Equipex project (Concentrated Solar Power: Advanced Research and Technologies for Use in Energy) and plays a major role in managing the DERBI competitivity cluster. PROMES also coordinates the SOLSTICE labex project.

SOCRATE EQUIPEX project (Concentrated Solar Power: Advanced Research and Technologies for Use in Energy). Its aim is to create a national test platform with an international dimension to research concentrated solar power. The platform boasts all of the resources needed to conduct research and develop technologies for the sector – concentrated solar power in particular.

PROMES has made its outstanding facilities available to the European research community through the SFERA project. More widely, the laboratory works very closely alongside a number of other bodies at European level through SOLLAB and the CSP2 and OPTS projects, for example.


Research areas

  • Materials and extreme conditions
  • Conversion storage and transport energy


  •  EnRMAT technology platform (C2M-CESP) : Renewable energies, materials, applications and transfers.
  • The 1 megawatt solar furnace (MWSF)
  • 11 mean sizes solar furnaces (MSSFs)
  • A 5 MW pilot central receiver tower Themis (CD 66)
  • Solar reactors and receivers
  • Thermal radiation metrology
  • Equipments for materials elaboration and characterisation (bulk and plasma surface coatings)


Institutional partnerships
  • ADEME, Agence Nationale de la Recherche, CEA, CNES, ESA, IRSN, NASA, OSEO
Industrial partnerships
  • Acciona Energie, Air Liquide, Arcelor-Mittal, AREVA, Dow Corning, EDF, Europlasma, Exosun, General Electric, GDF Suez, Helioprocess, Heraklès, Photowatt, Pyrescom, Résolution, Rhodia, RTE, Safran Eng., Saint-Gobain, Saunier-Duval (Vaillant), SEMCO Eng., SNECMA, SolarEuromed, Thalès, Cryogenic, TOTAL, Veolia Eau, Vilmor...

Additional information

European programmes
  • EUROSUNMED : Euro-mediterranean cooperation on research and training in sun based renewable energies.
  • SFERA : Solar Facilities for the European Research Aera
  • CSP2 : Concentrated Solar Power in Particles
  • EU-SOLARIS : European Solar Resaerch Infrastructure for Concentrated Solar Power
  • STAGE-STE : Scientific and technological alliance for guaranteeing the Eurpean excellence in concentrating solar thermal energy.
  • RAPID : Reactive atmospheric plasma processing, education network
  • INPATH-TES : Innovation Pathways for TES
ANR Programmes
  • DRyRSP : Dry cooling and water producing system for Rankine cycle driven thermodynamic solar power processes.
  • DROID : Distributed fibre-optic dosimeter
  • DENOPI : Accidental dewatering of spent nuclear fuel storage pool
  • HD-Plasm-A-SINOCH :High Density CVD/PVD Plasmas for a-SiNOCH coating
  • ESSI
  • SESCO : High-temperature sensible heat based storage using integrated heat exchanger / storage modules made of vitrified asbestos-containing waste.
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Date of update November 27, 2019