Bath helps to make solar cells more sustainable

The University of Bath has announced some of its scientists are part of a £2 million research project to develop safer, cheaper and more sustainable new materials for solar cells.

Professor Aron Walsh - Bath University

Professor Aron Walsh – Bath University

The “PVTeam” project aims to develop new active materials for photovoltaic solar cells based on abundant and low cost elements, says the university.

Specifically, the research objective is to replace key elements such as gallium, indium, cadmium and tellurium with abundant non-toxic alternatives, “while developing and implementing processes compatible with large-scale manufacturing in the UK”.

PVTeam? It stands for Photovoltaic Technology based on Earth Abundant Materials…

“The key raw materials currently used in the production of solar cells such as gallium and cadmium have low abundance, high costs and high toxicity,” said Professor Aron Walsh. “So finding alternatives will not only make solar cells cheaper but also safer and more sustainable for the environment.”

The Bath researchers comprise: Professors Kieran Molloy, Laurie Peter, Aron Walsh and Mark Weller from the University’s Department of Chemistry.

The PVTeam consortium, which is led by the University of Bristol, also includes the universities of Northumbria, Swansea and Loughborough and the industrial partners Tata Steel, Pilkington NSG and Johnson Matthey, and SMEs, M-Solve and Semimetrics.

The project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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