India, Britain to make next-gen solar cells

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A team of researchers from Britain and India has kicked off a project to develop the next-generation photovoltaics (PV) in the country with the aim to have mobile labs that can manufacture these devices at a lower cost.

Image for representational purpose only

According to IANS, the 8 million pound Strategic University Network to Revolutionise Indian Solar Energy (SUNRISE) project is powered by the Global Challenges Research Fund to rapidly accelerate and prove low cost printed PV and tandem solar cells for use in off grid Indian communities within the lifetime of the project (October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2021). One of the project investigators, Matthew Davies of Britain’s Swansea University said that they  need to catalyse interest in scientific research in India to help this project.”

The Indian partners include IIT Delhi, NPL Delhi, CSIR Hydrabad, IISER Pune and IIT Kanpur.To enable the manufacturing of next-gen technologies in India, the strategy is to set up graduate programmes in the respective areas. While the current generation of PVs tap into silicon, the stress is on crafting materials and technologies of low toxicity, that are cheap to make and of high performance. They should be printable and flexible as well.

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The research impact of scalable and stable low cost metal mounted PV products will be supported by technology demonstration at five off grid village communities (each of up to 20,000 people).

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