CRISTAL project summary

The project aimed to contribute to the integration and strengthening of European research on Renewable Energy Sources and associated power converters, controllers and combined use. The project is a step forward in securing a leading role for Europe in sustainable energy systems, strategically important to some EC Programme objectives: large scale implementation of Distributed Energy Resources (DER), energy storage technologies and systems for grid connected applications. It was focused on the development of key enabling technologies for distributed / smart energy networks, with high power quality and service security.

The technical issues coordinated were concerned with solar, wind and micro-hydro systems control in conjunction with compensatory energy storage systems (fuel cells, hydrogen) and connection to the grid. The activities achieve the exchange of expertise through visits, longer studies and meetings, enabling the coordination of the DER modelling, simulation and system integration work, leading to the identification of controllers that enable high efficiency operation and solutions to grid connection issues. Open access events were organised to raise public awareness on sustainability and renewable energy. A final general meeting collated the exchange of expertise into conclusive reports.

Benefits include: increased awareness and enhanced knowledge on sustainable energy systems, both for participants and general public, correlated European research in DER and the identification of niche areas for further coordinated research, to comply with EC/national policies.

Completed project summary:

The activities successfully completed during the project by the consortium members include:
  • Setup of this website to which a discussion forum was added later.
  • Submission of eight conference papers to IEEE OPTIM Conference. This objective was achieved earlier than planned, due to the late start of the project (delayed by the European Commission) and the fixed date of the OPTIM conference. The target was exceeded, with 16 papers submitted and co-authored by the consortium partners, instead of the originally planned eight.
  • One special session on Renewable Energy and Sustainability at IEEE OPTIM Conference. Again, this activity was brought forward from the second year of the project to month six, for the reasons explained above. The conference general chairmen have specifically congratulated our project consortium for organising the best attended special session in the conference (the room of our special session presentations was always full, with over 35 people attending). The number of papers from the consortium exceeded those planned and there were 25 papers in total presented in the consortium's special session.
  • The first set of four work visits aimed for partners in each workpackage to get to know each other, finding out about each other's work relevant to the project and correlating existing research on Distributed Renewables. These visits were successful and the summary of the technical discussions / presentations is included in the technical reports forming the deliverable of the first round of visits.
  • Two longer duration (two months) study visits To avoid overlap with the OPTIM conference and the first round of short visits, these were slightly delayed from their original schedule but both were completed in the first year of the project.
  • A first general meeting took place in Cambridge, organised by ARU (consortium coordinator) in December 2008.
  • The first general meeting took place in Cambridge, organised by ARU (consortium coordinator) over 3 days in December 2008. This included a day visit to the Beacon Energy Farm, near Loughborough, demonstrating to the participants renewables in practice/UK expertise in relation to the proposed topology for consortium investigations. The 3 day meeting also included a seminar on renewables, where the main non-confidential outcomes of the CRISTAL project were presented along with several other presentations covering many aspects of renewables.
  • Four work visits took place in the second year continuing the co-ordination of the current research activities carried out at individual institutions and sharing good practice in sustainable electricity generation.
  • Eleven local events/seminars open to the general public were organised to raise awareness on sustainable, renewable energy sources.
  • The final meeting of the project took place in November 2009 hosted by TEI in Greece when final institutional reports and the four workpackage reports were presented, collated together in the final report.
The final report for the project can be downloaded here.

Project activities

The project activities were split into four workpackages:
Workpackage 1 - Power Converters & Control for RES
Workpackage 2 - Photovoltaic Energy & Micro-hydro Systems
Workpackage 3 - Wind (and Wave) Energy Systems
Workpackage 4 - Sustainability, fuel cells, hydrogen technologies and applications


Project Co-ordinator: Prof Marcian Cirstea -
Project Support: Ann Woolley -

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Funded by the European Commission under the Framework 6 Programme

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