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Reference Number EP/D060214/2
Title Development of a Novel Tunnel-junction-free Concentrator Cell and its Evaluation for a Smart Windows Application
Status Completed
Energy Categories RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (General Engineering and Mineral & Mining Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor PC Eames
No email address given
Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Loughborough University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2006
End Date 30 November 2008
Duration 26 months
Total Grant Value £150,343
Industrial Sectors Electronics; Energy
Region East Midlands
Programme Information & Communication Technology, Materials, Mechanical and Medical Eng, Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor PC Eames , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University (100.000%)
Web Site
Abstract We propose to develop a novel type of solar cell that will generate electricity from sunlight with efficiency above 30%. This is at least twice the efficiency of the cells currently used to power roadside signs and comparable with the highest efficiency tandem cells which power satellites in space. However, our cell offers many advantages over the tandem, in particular the absence of a tunnel-junction. This means they can cope with the large variations in the intensity and spectral contentof sunlight on buildings and in the light-concentrating systems which reduce the cost of solar electricity. Our cell is particularly suited to an exciting new application - smart windows. These are double-glazed facades containing arrays of small plastic lenses which follow the sun's movement and focus sunlight onto small, unobtrusive solar cells. Direct sunlight is removed and the air-conditioning load reduced, while the smart windows provide combined heat and power (CHP) for the building. Even in London the electricity generated would power the office behind a south facing wall. The smart windows also allow glare-free diffuse sunlight into the room, which is ideal lighting for a computer screen. The cells will also be ideal for integration into hybrid CHP systems that provide electricity and hot water from concentrated sunlight with a natural gas backup. The new device incorporates the novel, nanostructured solar cell that the Imperial group have developed in collaboration with the EPSRC National Centre for III-V Technologies. The Centre for Sustainable Technologies will characterise the cell performance on prototype concentrators of the new UK company SolarStructure, which has recently been formed to manufacture smart windows
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 15/03/07