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In this presentation Chris will discuss recent work at Durham in which we have developed and used a Techno-Economic Model of the Levelised Cost of Energy to better understand how the physical characteristics of emerging photovoltaics (such as efficiency, degradation and cost) influence the competitiveness of grid connected solar power from these devices.

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Professor Chris Groves, Department of Engineering

Whilst commercial Silicon Photovoltaic (solar cell) technologies are cheap, efficient, and mass produced, there is significant excitement in the research and industrial solar community as to the potential of emerging Photovoltaic devices fabricated from differing materials.  These new materials which include Perovskites, Organics (plastics) and more, have the potential to drive down the price of solar still further as they can be made using special inks rather than (somewhat) energy intensive crystal wafers.  These new materials open up the possibility of new solar applications such as power sources for the Internet of Things, or supplementing the power generated by Grid Connected Silicon solar cells. 

In this presentation I will discuss recent work at Durham in which we have developed and used a Techno-Economic Model of the Levelised Cost of Energy to better understand how the physical characteristics of emerging photovoltaics (such as efficiency, degradation and cost) influence the competitiveness of grid connected solar power from these devices.  Using this approach we are able to demonstrate the relative importance of device characteristic, recommend future research directions to speed device development, and demonstrate how the path of optimal technology development may be different depending on physical and human geography. 

Chris Groves is a Professor in the Department of Engineering whose research focusses on realising the potential of new (energy) materials in the outside world.  He completed his Engineering degrees at Sheffield University, prior to joining the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge and then the Chemistry Department at the University of Washington, Seattle as a Postdoctoral researcher, before joining Durham in 2009.

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