From: Click Green Staff, ClickGreen, More from this Affiliate
Published May 21, 2014 10:00 AM

Technology reducing cost of solar panels by half

A world expert on solar panels will today outline how his pioneering work is set to significantly improve the performance of solar panels whilst simultaneously contributing to their cost being reduced by half. The technology will be commercialized within the next five years.

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Professor Stuart Wenham, from the University of New South Wales (UNSW Australia), receive the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize of £300,000 in recognition of his work. He was chosen from high caliber candidates from across the world to be awarded the IET's biggest prize, which will enable the continuation of his groundbreaking work.

Professor Wenham's research has uncovered a mechanism to control hydrogen atoms to correct deficiencies in silicon — the most costly part of a solar cell. His process allows lower-quality silicon to outperform solar cells made from better quality materials.

Professor Wenham said: "It is a great honor to receive the A F Harvey Engineering Prize and the international recognition that it brings to our breakthrough technology. Our research team at UNSW, which has held the world record in silicon solar cell efficiency for many years, has discovered how to control the charge state of hydrogen atoms in silicon and we will be working with the world’s biggest manufacturers to commercialize this low-cost technology. This generous prize will go a long way to helping us take this research to the next stage."

IET President, Barry Brooks, said: "Professor Wenham has played a pivotal role in the wide scale development of silicon solar cell technology. His pioneering research and internationally recognized leadership in the field will enable commercial exploitation of the technology for the benefit of the global community seeking renewable energy solutions at affordable prices. He is a truly deserving recipient of the IET A F Harvey Engineering Prize and an inspiration to all engineers." 

Professor Wenham's lecture takes place today at 18:30 at The Royal College of Surgeons in central London.

Professor Wenham is the third recipient of the IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize, which is named after Dr. A F Harvey, an IET member. Dr. Harvey bequeathed a generous sum of money to the IET for a Trust Fund to be set up in his name after his death to be used for the advancement of research into the fields of medical, microwave, laser or radar engineering.

Read more at ENN affiliate Click Green.

Solar Panels image via Shutterstock.

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