The University of Southampton

Towards cost-effective solar energy

Published: 20 February 2008

Dr Darren Bagnall of ECS is talking about his plans to make solar energy a reality on BBC Radio 4's Material World (Thursday 21 February).

Dr Bagnall predicted last year that solar energy would become a truly cost-competitive energy by 2025, and he has been invited on the programme, along with Dr Ken Durose from Durham University, to discuss his plans to make this prediction a reality.

He will describe how he believes that large numbers of self-organised 'nanodevices' integrated within large areas, such as roofs, are likely to reach efficiencies in the 10-20 per cent range.

'The idea is to make solar energy work across large expanses,' he said. 'If we covered every roof with billions of tiny nanodevices, we could harness the energy we need.'

According to Dr Bagnall, the new Mountbatten Building currently under construction at the University will host a new state-of-the-art toolset including high-resolution electron beam direct-write, optical lithography to make his plans feasible.

With funding from the EPSRC-funded 'Supergen - photovoltaics for the 21st century', over the past four years, photovoltaics has become Dr Bagnall's most important research activity. His overall aim is to improve photovoltaics by the application of nanotechnology

Material World is on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 21 February at 16.30.

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