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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N020863/1
Title: SPECIFIC IKC Phase 2
Principal Investigator: Worsley, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Charbonneau, Dr C Pleydell-Pearce, Professor C Williams, Professor G
McMurray, Professor HN Carnie, Professor M Davies, Professor M
Margadonna, Professor S Watson, Professor T Jewell, Dr EH
Durrant, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BASF BiPVco Cogent Power Ltd
ELMERIC GmbH G-24i Is3 Limited
Jaguar Land Rover Limited Moixa Energy Holdings Ltd (group) NSG Group (UK)
Oxford Photovoltaics Ltd Sony Tata Steel Limited
The Solar Press UK Ltd. Welsh Government
Department: College of Engineering
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 April 2016 Ends: 31 March 2025 Value (£): 2,997,633
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Storage Manufacturing Machine & Plant
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Construction
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Sep 2015 IKC - SPECIFIC and CSIC Phase 2 11 September 2015 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The UK faces a challenge of providing an energy system that is secure, sustainable and affordable. The cost of upgrading the power infrastructure is estimated to be £200bn using a centralised energy generation model. We believe that the Buildings as Power Stations concept can create a whole new manufacturing and business opportunity and dramatically reduce the investment required to create a secure future for the next generation. Even reducing the power infrastructure investment by 10% represents a £20bn UK opportunity which is mirrored across the developed world.

So far on our journey we have had substantial impact and SPECIFIC is a key component to ensure commercialisation of these disruptive technologies principally though leadership of demonstration of new technology in the built environment. Research leadership and excellence is backed up by the publishing of 149 papers, international invited conference presentations and an expanding portfolio of 29 patents. A network of over 52 early adopter industrial partners, spanning both large corporates through to a selection of fast moving and innovative SMEs has also been grown. Where no company or market yet exists we have elected to spin two companies out. Alongside this, world class facilities have been created for large scale research and demonstration of product manufacture, including three pilot lines co-located with world class scientific research instrumentation. The opening of the Solcer Demonstration house in July this year is a key milestone; with colleagues at the Welsh School of Architecture (Cardiff) and the construction supply chain, this 'Active House' uses EXISTING technology harnessed in a unique way to generate up to twice as much energy as it uses. Combining solar electric and thermal generation and storage systems the house is globally unique and with a construction cost of under £150k it is affordable.

The journey into the next decade brings both challenge and opportunity. We intend to build on the success of the first four years and to deliver critical new technologies to market, including printed photovoltaics at half the current commercial Si cost, safer building scale aqueous batteries delivering the opportunity to time shift renewable generation to demand, and solar thermal integrated storage solutions which create Active Buildings that do not require gas heating. Each of these sectors alone represent a billion pound opportunity and together they create a compelling case for a paradigm shift in our energy matrix from centralised generation and grid distribution to a model of distributed energy generation.

This is disruptive technology so accurate market assessment is challenging. However, considering domestic new build in isolation, with 145,000 new UK homes built in 2014 and assuming an average £125k construction cost (proved through the Solcer House project) this translates to a >£1.8bn annual domestic new build opportunity if only 10% of new homes use the Buildings as Powerstations concept. Given it is affordable, environmentally friendly and offers building owners an additional income stream this projection is conservative. The opportunity in retrofit is even larger as is that in commercial and industrial buildings. The associated manufacturing opportunity will create 5000 jobs in the construction supply chain and give the UK, centred in Wales, a 'once in a lifetime opportunity' to lead the world using technology invented, developed, proven and manufactured here. Wales and the UK can be a beacon of leadership for developed and developing nations alike in a new industrial revolution.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk