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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/K000292/1
Title SPECIFIC Tranche 1: Buildings as Power Stations
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 40%;
Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 20%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Energy storage) 40%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 60%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Architecture and the Built Environment) 20%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 50%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 25%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 25%;
Principal Investigator Dr DA Worsley
No email address given
Swansea University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 July 2012
End Date 30 June 2016
Duration 48 months
Total Grant Value £2,791,868
Industrial Sectors Construction; Energy; Manufacturing
Region Wales
Programme Manufacturing : Manufacturing
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr DA Worsley , Engineering, Swansea University (99.991%)
  Other Investigator Dr M Evans , Engineering, Swansea University (0.001%)
Professor TC Claypole , Engineering, Swansea University (0.001%)
Dr JH Sullivan , Engineering, Swansea University (0.001%)
Dr G Williams , Engineering, Swansea University (0.001%)
Professor DT Gethin , Engineering, Swansea University (0.001%)
Professor N McMurray , Engineering, Swansea University (0.001%)
Professor P Jones , Architecture, Cardiff University (0.001%)
Professor KC Molloy , Chemistry, University of Bath (0.001%)
Professor PJ (Peter ) Hall , Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract Every day more solar energy falls on the Earth's surface than the whole of human kind will use in 27 years. At this point we do little to harvest this energy. Buildings are major consumers of energy and yet they are often clad in metal and glass, both materials which can be capable of sophisticated engineering. In the UK annual production of metal and glass for construction of the outside faces of buildings is running at around 300 million square metres per annum. The aim of SPECIFIC as an Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) is to rapidly adapt excellent small scale devices that have been demonstrated in UK universities, scale up their application and ensure their stability so that the outsides of building can become active surfaces, essentially converting buildings into power stations. The key feature will be to combine technologies such that the panels will generate, store and release energy. This will create a whole new manufacturing sector for the UK as well as making a serious contribution towards our renewable energy targets and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Already as part of the IKCs activity in the first nine months we have produced demonstrator systems at an A4 scale to show to architects and building owners to gauge the market attractiveness. A major activity is underway with partners including Tata, Dyesol, Imperial College, Bangor and Bath University to 'industrialize' the manufacture of a new type of solar cell (the dye sensitized solar cell). The advantage this system has is it works well in lower light conditions and with low angles of illumination so making it ideal for application in Europe. A key is what to do with this electricity however since it is often generated when we do not need it. As such a key component of the next phase of the SPECIFIC IKC is to work with partners to develop a suitable storage option. This is a very different challenge to developing batteries for a mobile phone or computer. The key criteria are that it must last up to 40 years, be rechargeable every day, be made from sustainable and non toxic elements and have relatively low cost. This eliminates most of the more modern battery technologies and the IKC will be working on a revision of the original 'Edison' cells based on Nickel and Iron with support from Sheffield University and Tata (iron) and Vale Inco (Nickel). Another key aspect that often puts people off renewables is the appearance on a building. As such over the next two years we will be setting up work with colleagues at the Welsh School of Architecture and with product designers to make sure the products that UK industry produce are not only technically excellent but also aesthetically pleasing. In parallel we are building a pilot manufacturing facility next to the Innovation Centre to allow demonstration scale products to be made which can be attached and trialled on real buildings to evaluate their performance
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 24/09/12