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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X025217/1
Title: Swansea TATA Research and Innovation Prosperity Partnership for Printed Perovskite PV (STRIPS)
Principal Investigator: Watson, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Worsley, Professor D Carnie, Professor M Baker, Dr J
Jewell, Dr EH Davies, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr D Beynon
Project Partners:
Swansea University Tata Steel Limited
Department: College of Engineering
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2023 Ends: 31 March 2028 Value (£): 2,593,380
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Nov 2022 Prosperity Partnership Round 5 Full Proposal Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The current climate crisis and the recent COP26 meetings in the UK are a wake up call for action to rapidly develop new ways of delievering the energy we need without the need for any fossil fuels. In the UK 40% of carbon emissions come from heating buildings and as we transition to EVs we will need more and more electricity to enable heating and mobility to be possible without carbon emissions. STRIPS aims to explore one of the most exciting discoveries of recent years, Perovskite PV, deployed using relatively low cost and simple printing processes onto steel roofing and walling products to produce a new class of energy generating materials which are not reliant on supply chains focussed in China. Solar PV globally is likely to be one of the principal energy sources for the future and we must develop new routes to provide solar solutions and the aim of this prosperity partnership is to develop a UK solar business within TATA Steel that will enable the functionalisation of the up to 75 million square metres of cladding and roofing produced in the UK annually (of which 70% is used in the UK!).

If we take around 10% of this production and functionalise with a 15% module efficiency this equates to a 1.7GW power source in one sun! Clearly we need to solve the intermittency of solar power however this is more and more soluble as we add storage to our buildings and use the storage opportunities in vehicles which can share power back to the building when it is dark. In particular this kind of steel product will be really key in decarbonising supermarkets, hospitals, schools, factories and distribution centres as well as homes. To illustrate potential the Swansea Amazon distribution centre is effectively a 12MW solar untapped solar resource. This could power the operation within the building and the majority of the the delivery vehicles that move in and out of the centre every day.

This is not without challenges and that is what the partnership between TATA Steel and Swansea University aims to solve. We need to develop stable and low cost materials and explore how to deposit these first onto plastic or metal foils which can be then laminated into steel panels to create solar surfaces. We will also explore the greater challenges of printing directly onto coil coated steel which can be made at up to 200 metres per minute which is the game changer. Swansea University not only has expertise to support this but critically pilot manufacturing facilities at different scales to enable cm, metre and km production in a phased way.

We will start the work looking at deployment in the UK and trials will be undertaken on some of our shared 'Active Buildings' to solve some of the lifetime and stability issues. We will also be establishing a training, skills and engagement activity to support the creation of the future workforce for the new industry and also explore how to make the technology most easily deployable in different situations from UK homes, public buildings and factories.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk