ATIP Vlog: Working with Industry to Develop Photovoltaic Solutions

In the last of our photovoltaic research vlog series, we find out about the ATIP – Application Targeted and Integrated Photovoltaics – programme, led by Professor James Durrant from SPECIFIC and Imperial College London. The programme aims to advance organic and perovskite solar cells into applications that current solar technologies are not suitable for.

Our combined science and engineering expertise can address the whole challenge from the fundamental issues currently limiting the advance of next-generation printed PV technology to the larger scale application-related challenges.

Here are the vlog timings:

0.00 Why continue your research at Swansea after Sêr Solar ended? Professor James Durrant, ATIP Principal Investigator

1.29 Working with CSEM Brasil – company testimonial

1.43 How does industrial demand influence ATIP’s research? Professor Paul Meredith, ATIP Co-Investigator and Director

2.46 Working with Polysolar – company testimonial

3.10 How have you developed cohesion between multiple project partners through lockdown? Dr Silvia Villarroya-Lidon, ATIP Programme Manager

More about ATIP

ATIP brings together world-renowned research groups in next-generation PV at Swansea University, Imperial College London and Oxford University.

The programme is focused on reducing carbon emissions from two sectors where organic and perovskite PV could overcome the severe limitations of the incumbent silicon technology:

  • High-value communications/aerospace technology such as lightweight power sources for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
  • The built environment and transport, such as PV for integrated semi-transparent glazing, laminated steel roofing products and local (indoor) Internet of Things power sources.

ATIP also involves industrial partners from across the PV supply chain – early manufacturers of the PV technology, component suppliers and large end users who understand the technical and cost requirements to deliver a viable product to market.

ATIP and SPECIFIC

Prof James Durrant joined SPECIFIC as Sêr Cymru Research chair in Solar Energy Research in 2014. The project he established – Sêr Solar – enabled a world-class research programme in printed photovoltaics, combining Imperial College London’s expertise in fundamental physics and SPECIFIC’s work on scale-up and stability of next-generation photovoltaics.

With ATIP, the team will be able to continue much of that work and establish new research streams in collaboration with the Department of Physics at Oxford University and the Centre for Innovative Semi-conductor Manufacture at Swansea University.

ATIP is funded by a programme grant from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, which is intended enhance the UK’s capability in critical areas of research by “bringing together ‘best with best’ teams”.

With these three leading centres working together, we will be able to advance the next generation of solar technologies from the lab to the real world more quickly, for the benefit of the UK and the rest of the world.

What next for ATIP?

ATIP is a five-year programme and began in July 2020. Starting a new research programme in the middle of a pandemic and lockdowns has been challenging. Nevertheless, the team has been busy, with several research symposia and technical workshops. Now we are working on the outline for each of the different application targeted programs in order to prioritise and define the research work ahead. We are also planning the 1 year Technical Review meeting for September 2021.

Over the next five years the programme’s objectives are to:

  1. Develop understanding of the processes that determine performance and scalability of organic and perovskite PV.
  2. Develop new materials and devices that target efficiency, stability, environmental impact, and cost compatibility for selected market applications where they have unique selling points (USPs) related to incumbent PV technologies.
  3. Demonstrate upscaling and integration strategies to maintain lab-scale efficiencies in integrated sub-modules with viable operational stability in at least one printed PV platform.

It will also provide multi-disciplinary training for researchers and support the nascent next-generation PV industry.

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