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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/M014088/1
Title High Speed, Energy Efficient Manufacturing of Cadmium Telluride Solar Cells
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 (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr E Woolley
No email address given
Sch of Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng
Loughborough University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 05 January 2015
End Date 30 September 2016
Duration 20 months
Total Grant Value £282,948
Industrial Sectors Manufacturing
Region East Midlands
Programme Manufacturing : Manufacturing
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr E Woolley , Sch of Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng, Loughborough University (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Dr G Claudio , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Professor JR Tyrer , Sch of Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng, Loughborough University (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , M-Solv Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Power Vision Limited (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Photovoltaic cells (the main component of solar panels) play a large part in an international effort to improve global resilience to inevitable future energy supplies shortages from fossil based fuels. The majority of photovoltaics (PV) are currently manufactured from silicon (1st generation), but the fastest growing market share belongs to Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) thin film PV (a 2nd generation technology). Because CdTe offers many advantages over crystalline silicon such as cost, availability and weight, thin-film CdTe solar cells are the basis of a new PV technology with a major commercial impact on solar energy production.Unfortunately, like silicon, CdTe suffers from the need for substantial energy input during manufacture which means that energy payback period is typically in excess of 2 years. This paradoxical problem with CdTe could be partly overcome if new manufacturing technologies could be developed to substantially reduce process energy and allow for the substitution of alternative materials for their construction, which also supports the objective of reducing their energy footprint.The technological advancements to be made within this project will be based around thin film deposition techniques (sputtering) and novel heat treatment (laser annealing) of these thin film CdTe layers. These processes will be monitored in order to predict and detect faults, minimise the energy requirement and improve process speeds.The project objectives will be reached by bringing together a number of research groups from different disciplines: sustainable manufacturing, photovoltaics and laser processing. The investigators involved from these research groups have extensive experience in their respective fields, access to extended knowledge within their groups, and world-class research facilities. These attributes alongside a carefully planned programme of work with risk management strategies will significantly contribute towards project success. The overall impact of the proposed project in manufacturing will include: substantially reduced energy demand to produce solar panel systems; the potential to initiate UK industry for the manufacture of CdTe PV; cheaper, lighter, more versatile PV for a wide range of competitive applications; and generation of new academic and industrial knowledge in thin film deposition and laser annealing
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 19/01/15