The career path of our start-up company goes back to 2012, when, due to the significant growth of the renewable energy market, R&D projects regarding high-temperature thermal energy storage and conversion began their development at the Technical University of Madrid.
Despite some small conceptual and technical developments that started in 2012, the most relevant activities started in 2017 within the project AMADEUS, coordinated by UPM, where seven EU partners participated to develop the proof of concept of the technology by the end of 2019. The NATHALIE project was followed up to conduct a market assessment of the technology.
As a result of these and other R&D projects, THERMOPHOTON was started in 2021 by a multidisciplinary group of professionals and researchers with business development experience to bring this technology to the market.
Carlos holds a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration. He has exemplary experience in finance and has played pivotal roles in starting up companies with disruptive technology. He has steered the launch of several lab prototypes with great success and acceptance to the market. Since 2006, Carlos has been highly involved in the development of industrialization projects and has transformed companies based on traditional production into highly integrated technology, adding great value to the production.
After graduating in Electrical Engineering in 2004, Alejandro obtained his Ph.D. in 2011 from UPM. The focus of his research career was on very high-temperature thermal energy storage and thermophotovoltaic energy conversion. He then conducted research at the Technical University of Madrid, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and the Technical University of Catalonia. Alejandro is also a co-author of more than 40 scientific publications and 5 patents. Since 2021, he has been an Associate Professor at the Department of Physical Electronics, Electrical Engineering, and Applied Physics of UPM and also a research scientist at the Instituto de Energía Solar.
Emilio is an Industrial Engineer (UPM, Madrid), an MSc in Environmental Management for Business (Cranfield University, UK), and an MSc in Energy Efficiency. He has over 15 years of experience in starting and managing companies in the industrial and renewable energy sectors. He also participated and managed different R&D projects in cooperation with companies and research institutions. Emilio has a strong customer-oriented profile and participating in projects in Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Brazil, Turkey, the USA, and Europe.
Ignacio is a full-time professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Head of the Instruments and Systems Integration research group at the Solar Energy Institute. His research activity was focused on high-efficiency photovoltaic concepts and applications and the development of characterization procedures, instruments, and testing equipment for photovoltaic cells, modules, and systems. Ignacio has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals and international conferences and contributed to 80 research projects, 30 of which as the principal investigator. He has also co-founded Solar Added Value, a technological company, a spin-off from UPM, focusing on the PV sector. He is a member of the Working Group 7 of the IEC Technical Committee 82, devoted to the development of CPV international normative and a member of the Management Board of the EERA (European Energy Research Alliance) Joint Programme on PV Solar Energy and the coordinator of the sub-program 4 devoted to CPV.
Carlos is an engineer in telecommunications and has been working in the field of photovoltaic research since 1994. He is a full-time professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Currently, he is the director of the Solar Energy Institute and heads the research group on Silicon and New Concepts of Solar Cells. He has extensive experience in the manufacturing and characterization of solar cells and in the fields of silicon purification for photovoltaics and ultra-high temperature energy storage. He has participated in 45 R&D projects, 33 of which he is the principal investigator. Carlos has published more than 60 scientific papers in journals, participated in more than 110 in conferences and has lent his contribution to 5 patents.
Esther completed her degree in Physics in 2009 at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. In 2010, Esther obtained a scholarship to develop her Doctoral Thesis at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM); specializing in the characterization of Intermediate Band Solar Cells. She was then hired as a postdoctoral researcher at the Fraunhofer-ISE in Germany to develop the processing of laser power converters for wireless power transmission applications (obtaining a remarkable photovoltaic efficiency of 68.9%). She then returned to UPM to work with thermo-photovoltaic converters. Her postdoctoral fellowship facilitated her position as an Assistant Professor.
Pablo is a track-tenure assistant professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Automation, and Applied Physics at the School of Industrial Design and Engineering (ETSIDI) at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) in Madrid, Spain. He works as a researcher in photovoltaics (PV) at the Solar Energy Institute (IES)-UPM in the design, fabrication, and characterization of PV devices and systems, including novel thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells and systems aimed at thermal energy storage and heat recovery at ultra-high temperatures as well as other novel PV concepts such as intermediate band solar cells (IBSC) and three-terminal heterojunction bipolar transistor solar cells (3T-HBTSC). He has worked in the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (INES)-CEA. In 2012, Pablo obtained Ph.D. with honors (Summa Cum Laude) in novel PV concepts at Prof. Antonio Martí’s research group at IES-UPM. This work on IBSC implemented with quantum dots (QD) was awarded one of the UPM Best Ph.D. Thesis Prizes. As part of Ph.D. training, he spent 3 months at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) at the University of Tokyo, in Japan, where he learnt III-V growth and device processing of nanostructures for high efficiency PV. As regards of university education, Pablo graduated as Telecommunication Engineer from UPM and Electronic Engineer from the French ENSEA.