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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/I032541/1
Title Photovoltaics for Future Societies
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 20%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 20%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Architecture and the Built Environment) 20%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Econometrics) 10%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Town and Country Planning) 10%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Business and Management Studies) 10%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 10%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 10%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 10%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 30%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 10%;
Principal Investigator Dr A R Buckley
No email address given
Physics and Astronomy
University of Sheffield
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 July 2011
End Date 29 January 2016
Duration 55 months
Total Grant Value £1,366,123
Industrial Sectors No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Energy : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr A R Buckley , Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield (99.994%)
  Other Investigator Ms P Chiles , Architectural Studies, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Dr DA Stone , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Dr MP Foster , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Professor N (Nicky ) Gregson , Geography, Durham University (0.001%)
Professor DG Lidzey , Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Dr M Watson , Geography, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract Globally, humanity faces profound challenges in meeting increasing energy demand in the face of climate change and peak oil. The development and application of small-scale technologies for energy conversion and energy efficiency is an essential component amongst the collection of strategies that will be necessary to confront these challenges. Technological progress in this field is swift with new development promising leaps in cost reduction, efficiency and in flexibility of application. However, regardless of technical efficiency, new technologies will only make a difference as long as they are successfully integrated into people's living environments. First generation PV is well established as part of low carbon energy strategies, most notably in highly developed states like Germany and Japan. Its application is now extending rapidly as efficiencies improve and costs come down as a result of government support. Nevertheless, PV has vast unrealised potential, as a relatively efficient means of generating electricity which can be utilised in a far wider range of situations than competing technologies like wind, water or biomass. PV is therefore uniquely disruptive in its potential to eventually enable most consumers of energy to become producers of energy. The realisation of this potential will require significant further reductions in cost along with a massive increase manufacturing volumes. Two emerging technologies that promise such low cost and high volume, at relatively high and steadily improving power efficiency are organic photovoltaics (OPV) (Dresden based spin out Heliatek recently report power conversion efficiency of 7.7%) and the luminescent solar concentrator (LSC), where manufacturing methods employing low cost raw materials and roll-to-roll or high-speed sheet deposition are the focus of significant effort.We will use a participatory approach that involves architects, engineers, residents and facilitators as well as social and physical scientists to research next generation photovoltaic devices and systems for deployment into two different case study locations. These locations will social housing projects operated by Sheffield City Council and urban high-rise buildings in Bangladesh. These locations present users with not only cultural differences but differences of energy infrastructure, norms of energy use, radical differences in built environment and tenure. The project will address factors that potentially limit the uptake of low cost next generation PV in these (and other) locations. Factors that are critical when step reductions in cost for these next generation technologies have to be balanced against a reduction in intrinsic stability of organic materials when compared to their inorganic counter part. These are: firstly, the role of lifetime and reliability and how replacement and maintenance fit socially into a low cost PV solution; secondly, the social 'advantage' of such technology in terms of aesthetics & form given the ability to engineer flexible and differently coloured PV devices using organic materials; and finally, the effectiveness of complete PV power conversion systems and how to make the most of social advantages while preserving technical requirements. Critical to the proposed programme of work is to position these challenges within packages of social science research, in such a way that the development of our scientific and technical thinking can feed from this work and develop in a recursive manner
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/11/11