Welsh scientists are working on establishing the ‘Next Generation’ of solar energy panels, which will be cheaper and a lot more environmentally friendly than the present day solar systems.
The solar cells which are being designed by Swansea University researchers and testers will be unbelievably slim and light and it has been said they will be up to 30 times thinner than a single strand of hair and produced using only a few milligrams of copper, zinc and tin.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has funded Swansea University £2million for a research project to develop the next generation solar panel cells, which will be safer and more viable. In addition to this they’ll also be sufficient for extensive manufacturing in the UK.
Swansea University’s College of Engineering is part of the Photovoltaic Technology established on Earth Abundant Materials (PVTEAM) program in company with the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Northumbria, and Loughborough and industrial partners Tata Steel, Johnson Matthey and NSG Holding (Europe) looking to take part in the immense market prospects of a solar powered future.
Dr Trystan Watson, Senior lecturer and Swansea leader of the PVTEAM project said:
“The material processing for the project will be based at Swansea’s sustainable product engineering centre for innovative functional industrial coatings which will oversee scale-up strategies and the preparation of economic and technological assessment of the new cells.
“It is important that we increase our capabilities of using the sun as an energy source.
“This research project is dedicated to developing and delivering improved materials to make solar more environmentally sustainable cells that can be manufactured at scale so that the UK manufacturing industries can turn this technology into creating wealth and jobs.”
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