Materiales para energía y medio ambiente (Tecnalia)

Tecnalia Research & Innovation is the first private R & D center in Spain and one of the most important in Europe. Tecnalia is organized into seven business divisions fully interconnected, where cooperation works through mainstreaming teams, projects and clients working together, combining experience, commitment and knowledge. Tecnalia team consists of more than 1,450 experts. It has been very active in FP7, participating in 264 projects and coordination of 64 of them and their turnover was 113 M € in 2011. In the field of Intellectual Property Rights, Tecnalia has 24 patents pending, 108 granted patents, with a return of 2 M € per year

Research in flow batteries is led by the area of Materials for Energy and Environment belonging to the Division of Energy and Environment, where more than 250 people combine their efforts in R & D to develop technologies, products and tools for a rational and sustainable use of energy, focusing on clean sources of generation and energy companies of the future. The ongoing evolution towards a more efficient and cleaner electricity system requires the development of new energy models based on smart grids, renewable energy and distributed generation. In this context, energy storage is called to play a key role as an effective means to provide the flexibility needed to address these challenges. From this conviction TECNALIA is working to improve both energy storage costs savings and performance at all levels of the value chain:

  • Materials and components. Development of electrodes, membranes, bipolar plates, electrolytes and other components for fuel cells and batteries, with a special focus on redox flow batteries and metal-air batteries . TECNALIA firm commitment in flow batteries represents our belief that low-cost technologies are called to allow the massive penetration of energy storage technologies in the energy market. Nanomaterials and ionic liquids and are key materials for these developments.
  • Module development. Electric and thermal design, including the battery managing systems (BMS). Our automatic testing platform for energy storage is the baseline of our activity for the advanced modelling of energy storage and simulations, including new algorithms development for SOC (State of Charge) and SOH (state of Health) evaluation.
  • Power electronics. Innovative topologies (multilevel, resonant, interlaced) and advanced control algorithms. TECNALIA has developed  DC / DC and  DC / AC multinivel conversors that proporcionates a better efficiency as well as reduction of size, weight and cost.
  • Market and applications.Development of tools for the techno-economic analysis: technology selection, location, size, cost benefit analysis, efficient operating strategies.

TECNALIA is member of EASE (European Association for storage of energy) and EERA (European Energy Research Alliance; smart grids and energy storage groups working groups).

Group facilities include a laboratory of materials and surface engineering, PVD and CVD equipment, screen printing and hot pressing manufacturing equipment for electrodes manufacturing. And also an electrochemistry lab with equipment for manufacturing and control of fuel cells, battery components and systems. Among the equipment we highlight: a multichannel potentiostat for individual cells and small batteries, a testbed to test up to 15 batteries KW, RDE (rotating disk electrode), RRE (rotating ring disk electrode), half cells, impedance analyzers, etc. In addition, for the analysis of composition and microstructural characterization TECNALIA has SEM, DRX, XPS, FTIR, AFM, Raman and ICP. TECNALIA also has a suitable microgrid for integration of battery in the network studies. This experimental facility is used for development and demonstration of technologies for distributed generation, and includes a network simulator and analytical tools of power quality. Thanks to this microgrid, you can analyze and evaluate protocols for network integration, components and control strategies.

Active project:

  • New Concept of Metal-Air Battery for Automotive Application based on Advanced Nanomaterials (NECOBAUT), FP7, GC.NMP.2012-1
    Tecnalia leaded a project for the development of a Iron-air battery. It participated in the developments of iron anodes and air catodes, and components integration.
  • Desarrollo de actividades de investigación en almacenamiento de energía electroquímica y térmica (EnergiGUNE’13 ), Gobierno Vasco (Etortek 2013), 01/01/2013-31/12/2014
    Development of components for flow batteries including ionic exchange membranes for vanadium redox flow batteries.
  • Almacenamiento de Energía Eléctrica - REDOX2015, MICINN IPT-2011-1690-920000, 03/05/2011-06/07/2013.
    Development of a Vanadium redox flow battery, hibrid organic-inorganic ionic exchange membranes.
  • Energía Eólica Offshore 2020 (CENIT-AZIMUT): Almacenamiento de energía en baterías de flujo.
    Development of electrodes, electrolites material cell integration.
  • Investigación tecnologías basadas en líquidos iónicos para aplicaciones industriales: baterías de flujo (CENIT-LIQUION) ,2010-2013.
    Development of ionic liquid redox flow batteries.
  • Desarrollo de actividades de investigación en almacenamiento de energía electroquímica y térmica (EnergiGUNE’10 ), Gobierno Vasco (Etortek 2010), 01/01/2010-31/12/2012
    Development of electrodes, membranes  for flow batteries using plasma technologies.
  • Desarrollo de soluciones tecnológicas para la RED eléctrica ESpañola del 2025 (REDES 2025).
    Membrane and electrode testing, Launch of  a specific lab focused on flow batteries.


  • Alberto García Luis:  Principal Investigator.
  • Francisco José Fernández Carretero: Researcher.
  • Yolanda Belaustegi Ituarte: Researcher.
  • Mikel Insausti Munduate: Researcher.
  • Alfredo Pacheco Tanaka: Researcher.
  • Amal Siriwardana: Researcher.