Accurate solar forecasting is essential for managing and increasing adoption rates of grid-connected solar systems. Forecasts for regionally-distributed PV systems and individual solar power plants can be provided based on a proprietary PV system modelling methodology and expertise in combining Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and real-time observations with artificial intelligence techniques.
Renewable energy power plant performance is maximised using an advanced suite of weather and climate-based optimisation and control strategies for hybrid systems that incorporate energy storage. Risk mitigation strategies are developed that can be used by operators to ensure generation is secure and optimised and ensures maximum returns in the competitive energy market.
Using the connection between energy and meteorology to develop models that lead to the promotion of cost-effective and sustainable weather and climate risk-management strategies for the energy industry.
Cutting-edge research into a range of topics related to improved, lower cost solar photovoltaic energy conversion including; Tandem, Reduced Operating Temperature, High-Efficiency and Vehicle-Integrated Solar Photovoltaics.
Research into high-efficiency silicon solar cells, tandem solar cells, perovskite solar cells, manufacturing cost analysis and integration of photovoltaics for a wide range of applications, e.g. buildings, portable devices and vehicles.
Fabricating III-V PV solar cells—multi-junction solar cells made from III-V semiconductor alloys that are used in spacecraft and concentrator systems and are the most efficient available—from the epitaxial growth of high-quality III-V materials using molecular beam epitaxy to device processing and testing.
High performance semiconducting devices are synthesised chemically from nanomaterial and quantum dot colloids. These nanomaterials have applications in solar cells, batteries, renewable fuels and luminescent solar concentrators.
Development and fabrication of high-efficiency semitransparent organic and tandem solar cells for window applications. Optimising the device structure design of tandem devices to improve the device efficiency toward a theoretical efficiency of 40 percent.
Copper plated electrical contacts to solar cells can provide the advantages of high conductivity and low cost, however copper plating processes can present challenges in terms of equipment availability, process control, durability and waste management.
Developing power electronic-based optimiser circuits that maximise the energy output, in real time, from photovoltaic panels that have become shaded, hot or are deteriorating. Doing so attacks the costs and benefits of PV systems from two significant directions, improves the yield and enhances the return on investment.
Using simulations to identify interconnection and light structuring approaches that maximise electricity yield, which is a more useful determinant of the levelised cost of electricity for a location than standard test conditions.
The use of simulations to predict how wafer firing, cell interconnection and module lamination processes affect the induced stress in silicon wafers that can cause cracks, which limit production yield and module durability.
Investigating a wide range of passivating contacts, which selectively extract the holes and electrons and reduce surface recombination in industrial silicon solar cells, to mitigate recombination losses at the contacts and improve efficiency.
It is quite well accepted that tandem solar cells are the most promising way to achieve a solar cell efficiency in excess of 30%. If these are to be silicon based, they will require both buffer and surface passivation layers in order to maximise their performance.