Welcome to the web site of the Solar Energy Laboratory, part of the Energy Technology Research Group within the School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton.

Our aim is interdisciplinary research into photovoltaic devices and systems, linking theory and experiment with applications. We have strong links with the Materials and Energy Research Groups, the Schools of Chemistry and Mathematical Sciences, and the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre in the area for of silicon device fabrication. There are a number of collaborative research projects, within USTARK and internationally, including the European Union SARA project, the UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and the Supergen PV21 Consortium of six UK Universities.

Current research focuses on hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells, with activity comprising device fabrication, characterisation and modelling. There is also active interest in fundamental studies and high efficiency solar cells. The solar group runs the STaR photovoltaic test facility, instrumental to the creation of Engineering Recommendation G77/1 (later G83) for the connection of photovoltaic generators to the utility networks, and now acting as the UK certification centre. Our algorithm for stand alone system sizing has been adopted by the World Health Organisation for the solar vaccine cold chain. The range of completed projects include work sponsored by The Carbon Trust, Royal Academy of Engineering, European Commission, European Space Agency, Department of Trade and Industry, UK Research Councils, Ministry of Defence, and a number of industrial projects.

The principal areas of our work include:

Solar cell
  • Novel solar cell materials & devices, including third-generation concepts
  • Application of light harvesting and other concepts from photosynthesis
  • Fluorescent collectors and photonic solar energy capture
  • Radiation damage to solar cells in space
  • Sizing and design of stand alone-alone PV and hybrid systems
  • Innovative integration schemes for PV systems, microgeneration and microgrids
  • Solar architecture and energy in buildings

We provide services to industry and the photovoltaic community using facilities which have helped create the current regulatory framework for photovoltaics in the UK. Our courses and seminars have been adopted by UNESCO and the British Council.

Last Reviewed: 12.02.10
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