Solar cells

Illustrative Research Themes

  • Photovoltaics (PV)
    High efficiency, multi-junction, printable thin-film and building-integrated
  • Solar power conversion
    Power cycles, solar thermal, cogeneration/heat and power, hybrid PV/thermal,trigeneration/cooling
  • Near-net-zero-energy buildings
  • Performance feedback, analytics and optimisation
  • Renewable energy systems integration
  • Storage and smart grid integration

Solar+: From components to systems

From research into solar cell materials through to whole-system development: Solar+ aims to make the most from the solar resource.

Component technologies such as high efficiency solar cell devices and printed solar cell coatings combined with thermal and storage technologies and tailored demand-matching will deliver optimised power systems.

The hub will bridge the deployment gap between basic research and commercial application by enabling development, testing, commercial prototyping and demonstration, essential if solar technology is to fulfil its major role in future energy supply and deliver a meaningful impact on global carbon emissions.

This initiative will depend upon external end-user involvement and Imperial Solar+ is currently seeking research and collaboration partners.

Imperial College London

"Solar+ at Imperial West provides a research and innovation hub for industry and academia to translate today’s research and components into tomorrow’s optimised energy systems"

Consistently rated amongst the world’s best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research.

With its extensive Solar Network, Imperial offers first-class research from components to systems, supported by policy specialists including the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment.

Printable thin-film photovoltaic devices; high-efficiency, concentrator,multi-junction and thin-film photovoltaics; solar thermal and hybrid power systems; building-integrated solar; energy storage; smart grids and demand-side management; global monitoring analytics; heating and cooling: these are the many areas in which significant R&D challenges remain.

This will be fuelled by a rapidly growing solar industry estimated to be worth $240bn p.a. by 2050, with Saudi Arabia alone planning a $109bn spend to 2032 and the UK targeting a near 10-fold increase in PV deployment to 2020.