By Nick Gilbert
A new solar energy project to increase industry partnerships, research and training is to be led by the Loughborough University.
The £5 million SUPERSOLAR hub will consist of a standards lab for devices using solar energy, a community that links university research to the industry and a training program.
The RCUK energy program, which is led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is providing the funds for the program. The Energy Generation and Supply Knowledge Transfer Network along with the Universities of Oxford, Bath, Sheffield, Liverpool and Southampton are collaborating in the project.
Professor Mike Walls at Loughborough’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST) will be leading the new SUPERSOLAR hub project. CREST is involved in conducting research in renewable energy, energy in buildings, solar and thermal energy, solar PV, wind power, and grid integration and connection.
The Chief Executive of EPSRC, Professor David Delpy, stated that the research hub will help address the major challenges faced in development of solar technologies in the country. Study of different ways of generating low carbon energy is required for preventing climate change and for lowering carbon emissions.
Professor Walls expressed that the SUPERSOLAR initiative aims to further develop research that was being done on solar devices. The initiative will endeavor to develop a network between companies and the research universities.
The increase in cost of fossil fuel energy and decrease in cost of solar panels have boosted the growth in solar market. Global warming and the increase in demand for energy are also influencing the growth of the PV solar technology market.