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Wirral, United Kingdom

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2013.4.0-2 | Award Amount: 5.13M | Year: 2013

The ArtESun project combines the multidisciplinary and complementary competences of top-level European research groups and industries in order to make significant steps towards high-efficiency >15%, stable and cost efficient OPV technology. For this purpose, the project objectives are set to make break-through advances in the state of the art in terms of (i) the development of innovative high efficient OPV materials which can be used to demonstrate the cost-effective non-vacuum production of large area arbitrary size and shape OPV modules (ii) understanding of the long term stable operation and the degradation mechanisms at the material and OPV device level (iii) the development of roll-to-roll (R2R) additive non-vacuum coating and printing techniques emphasizing efficient materials usage and cost efficient R2R processing and (iv) demonstration of high performance arbitrary size and shape OPV systems in environments relevant to its expected future applications.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-1.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.17M | Year: 2010

Renewable energy production is a key driver for innovation in the material domain. Researchers and industries look to reduce the energy cost and to increase the efficiency of PV solar cells. Nanotechnologies and nanomaterials show broad opportunities. Indeed, at the nanoscale level, energy band gaps depend on nanomaterial architectures (nanoparticles size, bulk dispersion, interfaces with embedding matrix). Silicon nanocrystals allow the design of highly efficiency architectures, like multijunction solar cells or low-cost, optimised, thin film solar cells. The usual elaboration technique is based on the deposition of either multilayer or nanocomposite material in which excess silicon is aggregated into nanoparticles through high temperature annealing. No control of nanoparticle size and bulk dispersion is possible. Moreover, only limited surrounding materials could be considered (silicon containing). This prevents any knowledge-based tuning of the material properties. The main objective of SNAPSUN project is to develop a nanomaterial with reliable and tailored characteristics. To overcome limitations described above, fully tailored silicon nanoparticles will be optimised, in terms of size (3nm) and size dispersion (>10%;0.3nm). The SNAPSUN innovation is the incorporation of these silicon nanoparticles in a wide band gap material, such as silicon carbide or Transparent Conductive Oxides (TCO). This architecture will allow band gap engineering through accurate structure control, together with exceptional electrical characteristics (resistivity, carrier lifetime, etc.) in order to produce high conversion efficiencies above 25 %. Control of material structure will arise from the development of very promising processes allowing the separation of nanoparticle generation and embedding matrix codeposition. Vacuum and wet technologies will be used to target low-cost solar cells with a target production cost below 0.5 /Wpeak.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 544.33K | Year: 2009

Low emissivity glass, sometimes known as low E or low energy glass, is playing an increasingly significant role in building energy efficiency. The key feature of this glass technology is a thin coating with a refractive index chosen to enhance the capture of solar energy and reduce heat loss from within the building. There is a significant opportunity to develop new improved low E coatings coupled with more efficient cost effect processes to fabricate them. This project addresses both of these topics by targeting increased performance and reduced cost compared with current low energy glazing. With increasing environmental awareness, more emphasis is now being placed on ways to save energy in any building, domestic or commercial, and Glazing products can play an important role to minimise heat loss from these structures. This heat loss is normally measured by the thermal transmittance or U value and in its most basic terms, the lower the U value, the greater the thermal insulation. Insulating Glass Units incorporating low emissivity glass can significantly improve the Thermal Insulation values hence the improved performance targeted on the project will have a large impact. It is estimated that if all the existing buildings in Europe without low-E glazing were to have it installed to current regulations recently introduced relating to minimum energy efficiency standards, it would save 27-30% of building energy and 140 M Tonnes of carbon dioxide.

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