Solutions to improve the use of renewable energies, micro networks and smart cities were some of the topics discussed at the ENER16 renewable energy symposium, one of the main national scientific meetings on the subject that was held at the Curicó Campus of our University.

The activity took place between May 11 and 13, with the aim of bringing together the regional and national community to learn about these new trends and lines of research that are being implemented in the main international centers that seek effective and sustainable innovations. to energy.

The Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Technology Transfer, Gonzalo Herrera, and the dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Claudio Tenreiro, inaugurated the event, organized by the Energy Conversion and Power Electronics Laboratory (LCEEP) of the aforementioned Faculty, who gave the welcome the event to more than 200 attendees.

Gonzalo Herrera highlighted the work they are doing in the Faculty of Engineering and other units of the Institution in the energy issue. “The University is working in different areas of renewable energy, both in the dissemination of various energy sources, their most innovative uses, as well as in the development of cutting-edge research, which transcends our borders,” he said.

Specifically highlighted the effort of engineering academics who are advancing in several lines of research and technology transfer in development. Among these is the one related to conventional uses, but optimized, as is the case of innovations in wood heaters. On the other hand, he referred to the advances in the development of research in Non-Conventional Renewable Energy (ERNC) as “is the case of power electronics, an area in which a technology center related to this issue will soon be established.”


Along with the conferences given during the three days of the activity, the Energy Fair was held, an event in which different companies, public institutions and academic units from our House of Studies participated, presenting projects, innovations and services in renewable energies .

Among the participating companies were Siemens and Gamesa, as well as the Ministries of Energy and Environment, and the Center for Research and Transfer in Irrigation and Agrometeology (Citra) and the School of Design of the UTALCA.

Another of the activities highlighted were the visits of the participants to the Curicó Campus laboratories, where they could see technical demonstrations at the Kipus technology centers and the Energy Conversion and Power Electronics Laboratory. The dean Claudio Tenreiro talked about initiatives that are implemented related to different sources of energy, its diffusion and the development of innovative technologies. “With this we want to contribute to the competitiveness of companies in the area and of course the country. I believe that companies will end up convincing themselves of the need to incorporate these energies in their processes and for this reason, as a University, we are taking the first step to develop them and that those interested can observe their operation so that later they can be integrated “, he explained.


The new technologies that are being applied in countries like the United Kingdom, Argentina, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, USA and Denmark for a sustainable development through the use of renewable energies, were addressed in the meeting by their own creators, among they are the researcher Patrick Wheeler, from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, who works together with the academics of Engineering. “We are developing several projects between our University and that of Talca with the support of the British Government, which makes us very happy and we hope to continue doing joint activities. Chile has potential for the development of various renewable energies and more progress has been made in recent years. That’s very good, “said Wheeler, adding that the government and companies should invest more in research and product development.


One of the entrepreneurs who was at ENER 16, Jorge Balduzzi, said that “it is very interesting that a seminar of this nature is being held here with foreign researchers who, together with the professors of the University, look at the industry on, towards where is the future of renewable energy?

The symposium included other activities such as conferences and work meetings that sought to link the academy with the public and private sectors to promote new projects. Professor Marco Rivera, president of the organizing committee, was satisfied with the results. “More than 200 participants gathered from different places such as Argentina, Uruguay, foreign guests, and representatives of universities from Antofagasta, Valparaíso, Santiago, Concepción, Temuco, Valdivia and Punta Arenas, so we believe that a lot of impact will be generated,” he said.

“We are opening this year a technological center in the area of ​​energy conversion and through this center we intend to continue growing as a research group, strengthening ties with national and foreign partners, and actively collaborating with entities also within the University”, pointed out

The symposium is part of the Newton Picarte Project for the Development of Institutional Capacities that was awarded to Professor Rivera, called “Power Electronics for Renewable Energy Systems”. The initiative, funded by the British Government, aims to generate a training program that allows to bring English experts in the area of ​​renewable energies, in particular from the University of Nottingham, who provide Chilean researchers with new skills to focus their research in that area, in aspects such as micro networks, smart grids, smart cities, energy management and control of power converters.