Our Labs and Facilities
Our research teams are working to develop and scale-up the next generation of technologies, which will feed into future industry. Our integrated facilities provide lab-to-line capability, helping to prove the Active Buildings concept.
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Pilot Manufacturing Resource Centre (PMRC)
At Baglan Energy Park in Port Talbot, our pilot production plant is unique in the world. It is a vital stepping-stone in the development of our novel coatings, as they mature from lab samples into real products, and it is also a proving ground for the new industry and the manufacturing systems that will drive their commercial success. With academics and product development specialists working closely together, on one site, ideas can move quickly between the lab and factory floor.
In addition to the pilot manufacturing facilities, labs and engineering workshops support product integration and system development and allow us to build demonstrators and bespoke equipment in-house.
Hot Dip Process Simulator
Bay Campus Laboratories and Cleanroom
These laboratories opened in 2015 at Swansea University Bay Campus. The labs and cleanroom provide state-of-the-art materials and manufacturing research facilities.
Our printed photovoltaics team are developing materials and manufacturing methods to produce solar cells on glass and steel construction materials. These materials will replace conventional roofing, cladding, and glazing products, so buildings can generate a significant proportion of their electricity demand from the fabric of the building alone.
The cleanroom provides a stable and consistent environment for research, as well as a larger space to co-locate all solar cell activity. The cleanroom requires temperature control to maintain 21°C very reliably, and humidity control to be less than 30% relative humidity at all times.
The cleanroom houses three gloveboxes for research requiring an oxygen-free atmosphere, and a change area, which allows operators to gown up in a controlled area, minimising the introduction of particles into the room.
Applied Photochemistry Lab
Bay Campus Cleanroom
Analytical and Electrochemistry Lab
PV Device Physics Lab
PV Characterisation Lab
PV Manufacturing Lab
Electrical Energy Storage Lab
The SHED (Solar Heat Energy Demonstrator)
The Solar Heat Energy Demonstrator in Margam is used to trial two large-scale solar heat storage demonstrators. It is a 1990s industrial unit that has been retrofitted with solar technology, and as a result, has been running without gas since 2012. The SHED is also home to two other major projects: Transport for Wales’ Active Train Shelter and a test-rig to analyse five commercially available PV and solar thermal technologies.