Swansea University is a research-led university established in 1920 and located in Swansea, Wales. Research into Photovoltaics is carried out at Swansea through the SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre. SPECIFIC was established in 2010 in the emerging technology area of functional industrial coatings with a £20M grant from EPSRC, Innovate Uk , the Welsh Government and industrial partners (Tata Steel, NSG Pilkington and Akzo Nobel). Its ultimate purpose is to nucleate and accelerate the creation of a new UK industry in disruptive coating technologies that can be applied to Buildings such that they can capture, store and release energy. The core focus is to develop the “Active Building” concept where new energy technologies are integrated into the building fabric to create an overall positive energy balance. This has been achieved in collaboration with established and nascent UK businesses by creating a critical mass of research and innovation expertise and establishing a National Centre of Excellence in Functional Coatings. One of the primary research activities at SPECIFIC is the scale-up and testing of 3rd generation photovoltaics. The initial research focus on solar energy materials at SPECIFIC since 2011 has been considerably reinforced in later years with a £7m investment (Sêr Solar) from the Welsh Government creating a strategic partnership with Imperial College and expanding the academic team on solar PV at Swansea. Swansea University hosts a doctoral training centre in functional coatings (The materials and manufacturing academy), is a partner for the EPSRC Supersolar hub and is becoming the nucleation and focal point for the UKs printed PV scale up activity.
Main role and tasks in the project
SPECIFIC, Swansea University PV Group led by Professor Trystan Watson has a team of 50 people including group leaders in photochemistry, device physics, stability assessments and scale-up. The groups are underpinned by PhD students, post-docs and technology transfer fellows ensuring continuation of the research from the fundamental understanding of materials function to the application into building prototypes. The PV team have research activities in material development, device manufacturing, characterisation, scale up and processing and demonstrators. The team are involved in the development of a number of different PV technologies including perovskite, OPV, CZTS and perovskite-silicon tandem devices. SPECIFIC has contributed a wide range of technical developments to the field of solution processed solar cells including increasing device stability, process throughput, reduction in capital costs and glass substrate development. SPECIFIC has recently fabricated the UKs largest perovskite module using only low-cost printing processes.
Swansea University contributes in WP7, WP8 and WP10. In regards infrastructure, we bring the PV manufacturing cleanroom facilities, access to testing and characterisation equipment and access to module and building demonstrato