With solar set to contribute increasingly to global power generation over coming years, research into how photovoltaic technologies can align with the circular economy is becoming the focus of more research effort. Increasing numbers of silicon solar modules will be reaching end-of-life and next generation PV technologies will soon be deployed in new application areas and settings. In moving towards solar energy generation truly becoming part of the circular economy, recycling and re-use of valuable materials have roles to play, as does the intelligent design of future PV technologies.
This webinar brings together leading researchers in photovoltaics who are placing emphasis on the requirements for a circular economy and integration of photovoltaics with products. They will present their latest developments and discuss future trends in PV design and manufacturing, as the solar industry strives to build towards a circular economy for sustainable energy production.
The webinar will include a panel session and opportunity to put questions to the speakers.
Event Chair: Dr Elliot Woolley, Loughborough University
The speakers are announced as follows, talk titles to be confirmed:
Professor Neil Beattie, Northumbria University
Talk title: A design-led approach to photovoltaics manufacturing
Traditional approaches to PV manufacturing are technology-led and target economies of scale manufacturing. This has resulted in great progress in terms of cost-reduction but offers only limited opportunities for product integration. Recently, we have developed a process which allows low-cost manufacturing of solution processed inorganic thin film solar cells in any geometry and pattern. In this talk, I will present how this enables a design-led approach to PV and has the potential to add complementary generation capacity that is aesthetically integrated with products in the built environment and beyond.
Dr Katie Shanks, University of Exeter
Talk title: Can Less be More? – resource efficient energy using: Concentrator Photovoltaics, recycled PV, upcycled glass and biodegradable optics
How “green” can a PV system be? The current most efficient photovoltaic materials, are typically also the most polluting to mine and process. Concentrator photovoltaics can reduce the amount of PV material required, but high quality optics can be equally complex to design and manufacture. Is resource efficiency more important than energy efficiency? This talk will present the factors and options for more environmentally friendly PV methods within a circular economy. Focusing on concentrator PV benefits and the potential for further community focused initiatives using recycled materials.
Dr Sam Stranks, University of Cambridge
Talk title: Life Cycle Assessments and Recycling Strategies for High-Performance Perovskite Solar Cells
Halide perovskite solar cells are generating enormous excitement for high-performance yet inexpensive single junction and tandem solar cells. Here, I will discuss considerations for such technologies within a circular economy. I will cover recent collaborative works exploring life cycle assessments of perovskite single junction and tandem photovoltaic modules including recycling schemes, demonstrating promise for large-scale, sustainable deployment. I will outline the challenges of such studies from the perspective of a PV technologist, and how closer interactions with technology development at early stage could drive more sustainable design.
Dr Annalisa Bruno, Nanyang Technological University
Talk title: Colored, Stable and Flexible Co-evaporated perovskites solar cells and minimodules
Operational stability of perovskite solar cells is constantly improving. The interest in transferring the existing technology into large-area perovskite modules using industrial compatible techniques is exploding, and looking forward to tandem integration and building-integrated photovoltaics, we have also developed coloured semi-transparent PSCs and mini-modules for all the range of colours realized.
Professor Angele Reinders, Eindhoven University of Technology
Talk title: Designing with photovoltaics – how about that?