Creating more efficient solar energy

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The supply of clean, sustainable, and affordable energy is a key issue in India and across the world. There is a need for a low upfront cost, high-efficiency source of energy production to improve the quality of life in villages in India.

The Newton-Bhabha APEX-II programme is a flagship project in solar energy between India and the UK, building on the achievements of an early programme. It focuses on addressing the challenges of perovskite solar cells (PSC) which have proved successful in terms of efficiency and costs but have shown materials and device instability from ambient humidity and oxygen in the air.

The project has advanced the technology and led to patents. Cheaper and low upfront cost processing has attracted interest from manufacturing companies in India and abroad, which may wish to adopt PSC technology for manufacturing once it gains stability against ambient factors.

In addition, the project has built up strong partnerships between academic groups from the two countries, marked by several offshoot projects, high-quality, high-impact joint publications, patents and more than 50 exchange visits of early career researchers.

The impact of the project has been significant – it is providing a technology that will be environmentally friendly, cost effective, efficient, and stable for global need. The upfront cost of the manufacturing is much lower compared to other front-line technologies.

Professor Hari Upadhyaya

This project was winner of the UK-India Newton Prize 2017

Advancing the Efficiency and the Production Potential of Excitonic Solar Cells (APEX)-II

Project leads: Professor Hari Upadhyaya, London South Bank University, UK and Professor Viresh Dutta, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi,

Project partners: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Department for Science and Technology, India