An innovative UK solar start up that was spun out from Oxford University has taken a major step towards commercial production, after revealing it has set a new efficiency record for its solar glass technology.
Oxford PV has pioneered the development of perovskite thin-film solar cells, which according to the company can be integrated with glass to create glass-fronted buildings that would be capable of powering much of their lighting and IT infrastructure using solar power.
The company announced last week that it had delivered a new conversion efficiency record for the technology of 15.4 per cent, up significantly on the 10.9 per cent recorded last year.
Significantly, the company said it had achieved the results without using Mesoporous Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) as a semiconductor, resulting in higher levels of efficiency and improved cell stability. It also argued that its thin-film cell manufacturing process and focus on low-cost materials meant it would be able to offer a cost-effective technology that it will be able to license to glass manufacturers.
Dr Henry Snaith, founder and chief scientific officer at the company, said further improvements were in the pipeline.
“Our plan was to continuously optimise our perovskite solar cells towards a goal of more than 20 per cent efficiency, but these results are ahead of expectations,” he said in a statement. “I see no reason why we can’t aim higher now and accelerate the transfer of our technology into production.”
The company, which is backed by £4.2m in equity and grant funding, recently moved into a product development facility at Begbroke Science Park near Oxford, and is now looking to identify a production facility that would allow it to launch the new solar cells commercially early next year.
BusinessGreen understands the company is also poised to launch a second funding push to secure further financial backing in the coming months.