PROMES : Processes, Materials and Solar Energy


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The PROMES laboratory is a CNRS Proprietary Unit (UPR 8521) related to the Institute of Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS), under agreement with the University of Perpignan via Domitia (UPVD). The laboratory is located on three sites: Odeillo-Font Romeu (1 MW Solar furnace of the CNRS), Targasonne (Thémis, 5 MW tower power plant, site of the Department Council of the Pyrénées Orientales) and Perpignan (Tecnosud).The CNRS and the UPVD - together with PROMES - have created the IM’SOL Mixed Service Unit (solar innovations) in the Tecnosud site, where the Solar Testing Centre of Perpignan (CESP) is being developped. PROMES leads the laboratory of excellence (Labex) SOLSTICE (SOLAR: Sciences, Technologies, Innovations for Energy Conversion)

One of the original missions of PROMES is to develop researches with the large French concentration solar facilities of the CNRS in Font-Romeu (Solar Furnaces in particular) and of the Department Council of the Pyrénées Orientales in Targasonne (Themis Solar Tower). These researches can be carried up to the demonstrator level. In addition, the laboratory is in charge of the development of the national research platform on concentrated solar power, which was made possible by the Equipex SOCRATE (Concentrated Solar Power: Advanced Research and Energy Technologies), and it is very active in the management of the DERBI innovation centre.

Research areas

  • Materials and extreme conditions
  • Conversion storage and transport energy
  • Next Generation Solar Power Plants (CSPG)


  • The 1 megawatt solar furnace ( MWSF )
  • 11 medium power solar furnaces ( MSSFs )
  • The Themis solar power plant (owned by the Department Council of the Pyrénées Orientales)
  • Solar reactors and enclosures
  • Materials Characterization Platform (PCM) made of 3 units (12 facilities)
  • Technological Platform EnRMAT (C2M-CESP) : renewable resources, materials, implementations and transfers
  • Solar radiation measurement

PROMES is giving the European reseach community access to its outstanding facilities through the SFERA3 and EU-SOLARIS projects. The PROMES laboratory is very involved in European research : it coordinates and is the partner of H2020 projects (dedicated to the development of new solar plants concepts).


The Perpignan University (UPVD) trainings focused on energy are linked to PROMES Laboratory, especially the SupEnR School of Engineering, the EEA Master degree, the Master of Energy, but also the European EUREC Master degree (with « Solar thermal » speciality).


Institutional partnerships
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

  • H2020 - Next-CSP - « High Temperature concentrated solar thermal power plant with particle receiver and direct thermal storage »
  • H2020 - POLYPHEM - « Small-Scale Solar Thermal Combined Cycle »
  • H2020 - SFERA 3 - « Solar Facilities for the European Research Area 3 »
  • H2020 – MINISTOR – « Minimal Size Thermal and Electrical Energy Storage System for In-Situ Residential Installation »
  • H2020 – SOLPART - « Hight Temperature Solar-Heated Reactors for Industrial Prioduction of Reactive Particulates »

ANR Programmes

  • OPTICLINE - « Optimisation of high temperature heat-storage by thermocline technology »
  • STELLAR - « Sustainable metal fuels for the transport of the future »
  • RECIF - « Isolated microgrid for smart electricity/cooling cogeneration »
  • NANOPLAST - « Nanocomposite Plasma coatings for concentrated Solar Thermal energy conversion »
  • DROID - « Distributed optic fiber dosimeter »
  • METASOL - « Solar iron metallurgy based on renewable or bio-sourced reducers »
  • ThermHyVal - « Hybrid thermochemical processes for the valorisation of heat waste from eco-industrial parks »
  • SOLPHOTOCAT - « Storage and Conversion of SOLar energy via PHOTOchemical and CATalytic reactions »
  • SOLAIRE - (SOLar, Artificial Intelligence, REceiver) - « Machine learning for solar receivers at high level temperature »
  • PLASSEL - « Multifrequency low temperature plasma at atmospheric pressure and metallic salt for a one step nanocomposite thin film process, safe by design: application to plasmonic and magnetic nanocomposite»
  • NanoHype - « Temperature Profile in Nanomagnet based Hyperthermia Devices »
  • AM-ACTS - « Additive Manufacturing of Actively Cooled Thermal Shields »
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Date of update September 26, 2022