A consortium of UK universities led by Loughborough University, have announced the formation of a SUPERSOLAR Hub to drive research, training and industry partnerships in the burgeoning UK solar energy sector.

The £5 million pound SUPERSOLAR project aims to play a prominent role in co-ordinating research activities, establishing networks of academic and industrial researchers, conducting cross-technology research and providing a focal point for international co-operation.    

The hub will also establish the UK’s first accredited solar efficiency measurement facility and a solar PV training programme. The project will cover all types of PV technologies including new materials, thin film chalcopyrite, c-Si, thin film a-Si, dye sensitised solar cells, organic PV, concentrator PV, PV systems performance and testing.

The hub will be funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-led RCUK energy programme. Other Universities signed up to the project are Bath, Liverpool, Oxford, Sheffield and Southampton.  

Professor Mike Walls from Loughborough’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST) said: “This initiative is aimed at building on some great innovative research already carried out on solar devices in the UK.  We aim to continue to conduct ground-breaking research and also build a network of universities and companies to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by this exciting industry.”

Professor David Delpy, EPSRC’s Chief Executive added: “The SUPERSOLAR research hub will bring together the UK Solar energy research community to address the key research challenges facing the development of the next generation of solar technologies.  Scientific research into all forms of low carbon energy generation is essential if we are to reduce carbon emissions and avert dangerous climate change.”

The video below briefly outlines the aim on the new SUPERSOLAR hub: