Batteries and Solar + ETP

The Battery and Solar Theme consists of two of the most critical technologies for the energy transition to net zero.

Solar energy is one of the most abundant energy sources available, with the earth’s surface receiving enough energy from the sun to satisfy the global energy demand several thousand times over. Solar photovoltaic (PV) devices convert energy from the sun directly into electricity. Solar PV has seen a remarkable price decrease over the past five years and is now comparable with wind. Furthermore, solar thermal is a key technology to help in the decarbonisation of heat. 

Energy storage is becoming increasingly important due to the increasing energy demand for economic and social development. Storage of energy is fast becoming one of the principal challenges facing the energy sector. In particular, when renewable energy generation outstrips demand, in periods of high generation, battery technology and energy storage can steps-in and provide balance to energy utilisation issues. 

The Batteries and Solar Theme is led by Professor Graeme Cooke at the University of Glasgow and Dr Thomas Jones at the University of Dundee. ETP universities have significant expertise in the physics, chemistry and engineering of established and emerging technologies in solar cells and batteries, and are well-placed to support industries developing these technologies.  

Materials Development & Characterisation Offered Under Theme

The scientists within ETP’s battery and solar theme embrace many disciplines including Chemical and materials synthesis, Chemical and materials characterization, Electrochemistry, Heterogeneous catalysis, Surface characterisation, Systems design, Computer simulation and Modelling and Process engineering.

Please get in touch so that we can address your needs.

Silicon Photovoltaics

Silicon Photovoltaics (PV) are a well-established technology and are sometimes referred to as “first generation” panels. Silicon based solar panels used to be expensive but innovations have drastically reduced the cost. Today’s silicon solar cells are highly efficient and stable (24% and >20 years) and dominate the solar market. 

Ground and rooftop silicon PV panels are an essential global technology for the net zero transition. Research at ETP’s universities is exploring the engineering around silicon panels including systems integration, building integrated PV (BIPV), combined PV & storage, floating solar, PV-powered internet-of-things, solar-assisted electric vehicles and more. 

Solar Thermal

Solar thermal energy systems use energy from the sun to heat water for domestic and commercial applications. Solar thermal can be used on a small scale basis for district heating to provide heat for a whole community or district. Solar thermal provides an opportunity for Scotland to provide, renewable affordable heat, as well as being a technology to help tackle fuel poverty. 

Multiple innovative companies in Scotland are developing solar thermal technologies. ETP universities are studying concentrating solar thermal systems, heat transfer processes to improve efficiencies, materials development such as phase change materials, as well as system integration.