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Thursday, November 19, 2009

03/07/09: QuantaSol unveils 28.3% efficient single-junction solar cell World record

QuantaSol unveils 28.3% efficient single-junction solar cell World record made public at UK’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

QuantaSol Ltd, a new independent designer and manufacturer of strain-balanced quantum-well solar cells, has developed what it believes to be the most efficient single junction solar cell ever manufactured. Developed in just two years, QuantaSol's single-junction device has been independently tested by Fraunhofer ISE as achieving 28.3% efficiency at greater than 500 suns.

QuantaSol was established in June 2007 as a spin-out of Imperial College London to commercialise the University’s solar cell IP and offer devices to concentrator Photovoltaic (PV) systems developers. Imperial will be featuring a QuantaSol device as part of its presence at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition in London this week.

“Our technology is the industry’s best kept secret. This is the first time that anyone has successfully combined high efficiency with ease of manufacture, historically a bug-bear of the solar cell industry,” said Kevin Arthur, QuantaSol’s CEO. “We’re now gearing up to provide multi-junction cells of even higher efficiencies as early as Q1 2010.”

QuantaSol’s approach combines several nanostructures, of two or more different alloys, in order to obtain synthetic crystals that overcome the problems associated with current solar cell designs. It also greatly enhances the photovoltaic conversion efficiency.

The company, which has a development laboratory in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, completed a £2m second funding round last week. It will now concentrate on cutting the cost of ownership of solar energy by moving to multi-junction devices.

For further information on Quantasol:

Monday, June 29, 2009

29/06/09: Post Doctoral & PhD Scholarships positions available *CLOSING SOON*

29/06/09: Post Doctoral & PhD Scholarships positions available *CLOSING SOON*

Two Arnold F Graves Post Doctoral Fellowships and two PhD Scholarships available within the Solar Energy Group in DEL.
Closing date for Post Doctoral positions: 29th June

For further information see Opportunities

29/06/09: Dublin Energy Lab seminar series continues on July 7th @ 3pm

The Dublin Energy Lab seminar series continues on July 7th at 3pm in Meeting Room 1 in the Focas Institute with Group 2 presenting
  1. Kevin O'Farrell
  2. Caitriona Walsh
  3. Timothy O'Leary
  4. Keith Sunderland
  5. Derek Kearney

  6. Lacour Ayompe
Look forward to seeing you all there!

Friday, June 26, 2009

26/06/09: Round-the-world Solar Powered Plane!

Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard has unveiled a prototype of the solar-powered plane he hopes eventually to fly around the world.

Solar Impulse plane

The initial version, spanning 61m but weighing just 1,500kg, will undergo trials to prove it can fly at night.

Dr Piccard, who made history in 1999 by circling the globe non-stop in a balloon, says he wants to demonstrate the potential of renewable energies.

He hopes to fly a later version of the plane across the Atlantic in 2012.

The flight would be a risky endeavour. Only now is solar and battery technology becoming mature enough to sustain flight through the night - and then only in unmanned planes.

But Dr Piccard's Solar Impulse team has invested tremendous energy - and no little money - in trying to find what they believe is a breakthrough design.

"I love this type of vision where you set the goal and then you try to find a way to reach it, because this is challenging," he told BBC News.

For more information see

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

03/06/09: 2 Post Doctoral Fellowships & 2 PhD Scholarships available *APPLY NOW*

Two Arnold F Graves Post Doctoral Fellowships and two PhD Scholarships available within the Solar Energy Group in DEL.
Closing date for Post Doctoral positions: 29th June

For further information see Opportunities

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

02/06/09: EU researchers achieve €1/Wp and module efficiencies of 16.4%

European photovoltaic research project achieves new world record in efficiency

Researchers of the European funded project CrystalClear have successfully developed innovative technologies for silicon solar modules to be manufactured at €1 per watt-peak of power. Moreover they have achieved world-record efficiencies for modules with multicrystalline silicon solar cells. Their full-size solar modules have achieved a premium aperture area conversion efficiency of 16.0 to 16.4%.

The previous world-record was held by Sandia National Laboratory (USA), at 15.5% aperture-area efficiency. This means that the main project target of reducing the costs of PV modules by more than 50% (if produced in large volumes) has been achieved.

The low-cost technologies developed in the consortium are all characterised by the use of very thin silicon wafers, advanced solar cell designs and processing, innovative module assembly, and high efficiencies. An important common feature is the very effective reduction of conversion losses that normally occur at the surfaces of the cells.

The world record was achieved using industrial-scale equipment for interconnection and encapsulation of rear-contact cells. The new module design and manufacturing process is based on interconnection of the cells using conductive adhesives and a patterned conductive foil. The 16.0% efficient module was built with 36 cells of 120 micron thickness only (the 16.4% module had 160 micron cells), much thinner than the 180-200 micron thickness used by industry. All modules were made without any cell breakage, underlining the potential for cost reduction and the feasibility for use in production

For more info see

02/06/09: Guest lecture today by Assistant Professor Soteris Kalogirou entitled ‘A Solar Energy Future’

Assistant Professor  Soteris Kalogirou will give a guest lecture today on ‘A Solar Energy Future’ by Dr. at 2pm in Room 227 in Bolton Street.

Assist. Professor  Kalogirou lectures in Mechanical Engineering at the Higher Technical Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus. He has over 20 years of research experience in the area of solar energy and particularly in flat plate and concentrating collectors, desalination and absorption cooling. Since 1995 he has been involved in pioneering research dealing with the use of artificial intelligence methodologies for modelling the performance of energy and solar energy systems. He has 22 book contributions and has published 180 papers including 80 peer-reviewed journal papers  and has received almost 1,500 citations. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

13/05/09: New European record of 19.6% for thin film CIGS solar cells

European record: CIS thin-film solar cell efficiency
11.05.2009: This latest achievement will accelerate the further progress of thin-film photovoltaics. The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung, ZSW) has successfully transferred a more efficient coating technology, which was previously only possible at the laboratory level, to a pilot production line. By utilising an inline multistage process in its automated coating plant, the institute has set a new European record by achieving an efficiency of 19.6 percent for thinfilm solar cells from copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIS or CIGS for short). … Source: Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung (ZSW)

Monday, April 27, 2009

28/04/09: EurObserv’ER consortium releases their Renewable Energy Barometers

28/04/09: EurObserv’ER consortium releases their Renewable Energy Barometers

See link to download Barometers for Renewable Energy Technologies


9 533,3 MWc in the EU 

Spain and Germany set the pace for the world photovoltaic market in 2008, which grew to more than twice its 2007 size. The European Union continued to drive photocell installation with an additional 4 592.3 MWp in 2008, or 151.6% growth over 2007. However, European growth prospects for the photovoltaic market in 2009 are being dampened by the global financial crisis and the scheduled slow-down of the Spanish market.

Click here for full version


65 GW in EU

The globalisation of wind energy is on the move. Installed wind power worldwide raced past the symbolic threshold of 100,000 MW in the course of the year with an installed capacity estimated at 120,823.5 MW worldwide. The world has never known an energy sector develop so quickly. Although growth in the European Union market fell slightly in 2008 (- 1.8% at 8,447.1 MW), growth was spectacular in the United States (+ 59.4% at 8,358MW) and in China (+ 90.7% at 6,300 MW).

Click here for full version


66.4 MTOE of solid biomass produced in the 
european union in 2007

Primary energy production from solid biomass increased more slowly in the 27-member European Union in 2007. First available estimations evaluate production in the region of 66.4 Mtoe, i.e. only 0.7 Mtoe more than in 2006. While the exceptional climatic conditions of 2007 explain this slowdown, evolutions remain contrasted between the different EU countries and do not always reflect the same realities.

Click here for full version


A 2 000 MWTH market

After two years of very strong growth, the solar thermal market (taking all technologies (including unglazed flexible collectors into account) marked time in 2007 with 6.9% less collectors being sold with respect to year 2006. In the end, this market reached 2.9 million m2 vs. 3.1 million m2 in 2006, i.e. an equivalent capacity of more than 2 000 MWth. This decrease is explained for a large part by a strong decline of the German market, the largest market of the European Union. Conversely, other countries are continuing to develop their markets and are showing double-digit growth rates.

Click here for full version



For the first time, EurObserv’ER is publishing a survey of renewable energy recovery from incineration of municipal waste. This sector of activity, which is entirely linked to the issue of municipal
waste treatment, represents a considerable portion of renewable energy production. According to the first available estimations, 6.1 Mtoe of energy was recovered in 2007 in the European Union, i.e., a growth of 6.3% in relation to 2006.

Click here for full version



The major increase in the price of fossil fuels has made biogas more attractive.The applications of biogas – which were once limited to recycling and/or recovering energy from waste – have widened with the use of energy crops. This has stimulated European production, which has now reached 5.9 Mtep, i.e., a 20.5% increase in relation to 2006.

Click here for full version

Biofuels barometer

7.7 Mtoe consumed in EU in 2007

Biofuels represent 2.6% of the energy content of all the fuels used in road transport in Europe today. Nearly half of the target of 5.75% for 2010 set by the directive on biofuels has thus been reached in four years time. 
To achieve 5.75%, the European Union is going to have to increase its production and doubtless call even more on imports, at a moment when biofuels are found at the core of complex ecological and economic issues.

Click here for full version

27/04/09: Next DEL seminar May 6th 3-5pm

The next DEL Seminar will take place on May 6th at 3pm 

Group 1 will present 
  1. Adolf Acquaye 
  2. Maria Jose Roo Ons 
  3. Ahmad Hasan 
  4. Manus Kennedy 
  5. Barry Cullen 
  6. Wayne Doherty 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

17/04/09: ECN Achieves 16.4% World-Record Efficiency For Innovative Solar Module with multicrystalline silicon solar cells

17.04.2009: Researchers of the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) have achieved a premium conversion efficiency of 16.4% (aperture area) on a full-size solar module, a new world-record efficiency for photovoltaic modules with multicrystalline silicon solar cells. The previous world-record was held by Sandia National Laboratory (USA), at 15.5% aperture-area efficiency. Several modules with aperture-area efficiencies beyond 16% were manufactured with high-efficiency cells made from wafers supplied by REC Wafer Norway and Deutsche Solar. The world record is achieved using industrial-scale equipment for interconnection and encapsulation of rear-contact cells. This equipment is provided by the Dutch equipment builder Eurotron. The research and development has been financed by the European Commission within the project CrystalClear and by the Dutch government through SenterNovem. … Source: Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

31/03/09: Power Electronics and Control for Renewable Energy & Drives Lecture April 2nd

“Power Electronics and Control for Renewable Energy & Drives”
Speakers: Dr. Josep Pou and Dr. Antoni Arias.

Visiting lecture
2 April 2009 in Room KA -310, DIT Kevin Street at 2:30 PM

For more information please contact Dr Malabika Basu (

Saturday, February 28, 2009

27/02/09: Minister Ryan announces incentives for micro-generation

Farmers and households to sell excess electricity back to national grid - First 4,000 will get guaranteed price of 19 cent a kWh - Plan will boost rural economy and reduce electricity costs Dublin, 26th February, 2009

Energy Minister Eamon Ryan today announced measures to encourage the on-site generation of electricity in homes and farms across Ireland. Among the measures is a guaranteed price of 19 cent per kilowatt hour of electricity produced. This competitive feed-in tariff will apply to the first 4,000 micro-generation installations countrywide over the next three years. Eligible installations include small scale wind, photovoltaic, hydro and combined heat and power. Traditionally, the electricity network was designed to accommodate the flow of electricity from large centralised plants to customers dispersed throughout the country. Micro-generation at local level now introduces two-way flows to the electricity system. Local generators will have the ability to be paid by the ESB for electricity that is surplus to their own requirements and export it back to the national grid.

The new support price is being introduced along with a number of other measures in the Government's micro-generation programme including:
- Connection: An "Inform and Fit" connection policy to be introduced by ESB Networks to reduce the length of time and complexity of the connection process. Sustainable Energy Ireland also has clear information explaining the connection process.
- Grant assistance for R & D: This pilot study includes grant assistance for 40% of the cost of 50 trial units (of up to 50kW) countrywide. Applications are being accepted by Sustainable Energy Ireland.
- Planning exemptions: The Department of Environment has made small scale generation from low-carbon sources exempt from planning permission. The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources wil l continue to work with the Department of Environment on planning issues surrounding renewable energy installations.

Announcing the programme Minister Ryan said, "We are changing the rules and changing the nature of electricity generation in Ireland. Before you received your power from a central source and paid for it. Now you can generate for yourself and be paid for the excess you don't use. This type of on-site electricity generation will boost the rural economy. It will put more money into consumers' pockets. This type of long-term investment with a guaranteed return represents the best value for spending and lending. All our farms and houses can be micro-generators. We can use our abundant natural resources to bolster the economy, create green-collar jobs and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. Every year, we send €6 billion out of this country on fossil fuels. This type of generation will help reduce this dependence and this outflow of money. We do not want to be dependent on Russia or Saudi Arabia for our energy needs; we can supply our own."

For further information: Customers interested in installing microgeneration technologies and with technical queries contact ESB Networks at 1850 372 757. Further detail will be available from ESB Customer Supply shortly

Those interested in the small and micro-scale pilot field trials, contact: SEI at 01 8369080; or email
Customer Connection guide for micro generation are available at and
A full guide to connecting renewable and CHP electricity generators of all sizes to the network is available at
The export price will be available for up to 4000 micro generation units for a period three years. This suite of measures will then inform the development of a long-term micro generation programme.
ESB Customer Supply and ESB Networks will contribute 9 cents and 10 cents respectively towards this tariff. Domestic electricity users registered with ESB will receive a full tariff of 19c/kWh within limits set out above. Non-ESB customers will receive a 10c/kWh tariff for any excess electricity sold back to the grid.

27/02/09: SEI CEO launches guidelines for upgrading dwellings to PassivHaus standard

Professor Owen Lewis, CEO of SEI, launched new guidelines for upgrading existing dwellings in Ireland to the PassivHaus Standard at See the Light 2009 Conference in Galway on 5th February.

The new guidelines provide practical advice on the utilisation of construction products, materials and techniques that minimize waste, improve air quality, increase energy efficiency and protect the environment. They also include two Irish case studies in retro-fitting existing houses to the PassivHaus Standard.Guidelines can be downloaded at

Sunday, February 15, 2009

16/02/09: DEL PhD Seminar continues on March 6th at 9am

The Dublin Energy Lab PhD seminar series continues on March 6th at 9am with Group 4 presenting
  • Jawad Sarwar
  • Nasif Shams
  • Moin Hanif
  • Zhe Li
  • Subhash Chandra
  • Shafiuzzaman Khan Khadem

Look forward to seeing you all there!

13/02/09: **PhD Scholarship Available**

PhD Scholarship Available on 'Design of an Energy-Based Controller for an Active Solar Collector'

The main aim of this project is to develop a prototype microprocessor based control system that improves the energy capture of an active solar collector water heating system operating under Irish meteorological conditions. The microprocessor controller is to be programmed with high-level mathematical algorithms, developed using modelling, simulation and experimental testing of a DIT solar collector system. In developing this control system, the intention is to expose and train a graduate student in research methodologies relating to dynamic systems modelling, simulation, model validation, control algorithm development and implementation.

For more information please contact Dr. Mick Mc Keever, School of Electrical Engineering Systems, DIT, 01 4024941

Thursday, January 29, 2009

29/01/09: Irish Solar Energy Society next meeting 9th March at 6pm in DCU

The Solar Energy Society of Ireland will hold its next meeting in DCU on March 9th at 6pm.
Everyone welcome

More details to follow

For further information on the Society, please contact

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

28/10/09: €100 million funding awarded to Ireland's electricity interconnector project

East-West interconnector is vital to Ireland’s energy needs and boost for the economy –
Minister Eamon Ryan Dublin 28 January, 2009

Energy Minister Eamon Ryan has warmly welcomed the decision by the European Commission today to award €100 million in funding to Ireland's electricity interconnector project, which will link Ireland and the UK by 2012. The Commission's decision to select the Irish project for significant fast-tracked funding is part of a suite of energy projects being targeted for investment because of their strategic importance to Europe.

The package was announced today as part of a €5 billion economic stimulus package "Investing today for tomorrow's Europe". Minister Ryan has worked intensively in Brussels over the last six weeks to ensure that the Commission's support for the interconnector project was secured. He has also ensured that Ireland is included, along with the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark as part of the €150 million project to develop the offshore grid in the Northern Seas Zone. Commenting on the announcement, Minister Ryan said, "I am very pleased that our efforts have led to this European investment in Ireland. The East-West interconnector is vital infrastructure for our country and will bring many benefits. Connection to the UK will enhance the security of our energy supply. It will mean we can import electricity when required from the UK market. More importantly, it will mean we can export our electricity to the UK. When the wind is blowing in Ireland, we can sell this power to our neighbours. Interconnection will also increase competition in the electricity sector, which will benefit consumers in the long-run, placing downward pressure on prices. This project will allow us to accelerate our development of renewable energy. We are rich in renewable power; we need to develop this to secure our energy supplies. This project will also help the development of the green economy, bringing investment and jobs to Ireland in the growing renewable power industry. This investment from Europe is a significant boost to the Irish economy. It brings us one step closer to energy independence."
Minister Ryan said that the outcome was also a vital recognition of the all-island benefits which the East West Interconnector will bring for consumers North and South. "The All-island Single Electricity Market has been a flagship European project in terms of creating a single energy market across Europe. Commissioner Piebalgs has taken a direct interest in its progress. The success to date of the Single Electricity Market is now further underpinned by the support for the Interconnector project with the UK." for more info

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

26/01/09: Ireland signs as Founding Member of International Renewable Energy Agency

Renewable Energy will bring thousands of jobs and investment into Ireland
Dublin, 26th January 2009

Energy Minister Eamon Ryan today announced that Ireland has signed up as a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) at the Founding Conference in Bonn. IRENA will be the first international organisation to concentrate exclusively on renewable energy in both developed and developing countries. Its establishment has been promoted by the German government with the strong support of such countries as Denmark and Spain."

IRENA will promote the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide - it is vital that we are involved", said Minister Ryan. Renewable energy can bring much needed international investment into Ireland, adding secure jobs into the bargain. It is the area of economic growth that we need to be involved in.
In 2008, we sent approximately €6 billion overseas for imported fossil fuels to meet our national energy demands. Renewable energy will reduce this bill.Ireland has the natural advantages, Government support and a willing industry ready to meet our target of 40% electricity from renewables over the next 11 years.
As a member of IRENA, we can link directly to the worldwide investment of more than $148 billion in this sector, creating opportunities for Irish companies, both existing and emerging. In energy terms, we are nothing if we stand alone. The foundation of this Agency puts renewable energy on a firm inter-Governmental footing. This is a sector as much in our economic interest as to our environmental benefit. It is the right strategic direction for the world and is most definitely the correct move for Ireland."

IRE NA's main activities will include:
* Providing concrete policy advice for developed and developing countries (e.g. to help them improve their regulatory frameworks)
* Promoting technology transfer and providing advice on financing and enhance capacity building
* Facilitating access to all relevant information including reliable data on the potential of renewable energy, best practices, effective financial mechanisms and state-of-the-art technological expertise.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

14/01/09: World Record: 41.1% efficiency reached for multi-junction solar cells at Fraunhofer ISE

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have achieved a record efficiency of 41.1% for the conversion of sunlight into electricity.

Sunlight is concentrated by a factor of 454 and focused onto a small 5 mm² multi-junction solar cell made out of GaInP/GaInAs/ Ge (gallium indium phosphide, gallium indium arsenide on a germanium substrate). In contrast to conventional solar cells, the semiconductors in these cells do not have the same lattice constant (distance between the atoms in a crystalline structure). This makes it difficult to grow the III-V semiconductor layers with a high crystal quality. The researchers at Fraunhofer ISE have managed to localize the defects in a region of the solar cell that is not electrically active. This metamorphic crystal growth now enables the researchers to use a much larger range of III-V compound semiconductors for growing their multi-junction solar cells. … Source: Fraunhofer ISE

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

13/01/09: DEL Seminar series continues Jan 26th at 4pm

Next DEL seminar is at 4pm in Focas on Jan 26th with Group 3 presenting.
Group 3
1. Tadhg O'Mahony
2. Eoghan Frawley
3. Lacour Mody Ayompe
4. Marius Claudy
5. Albert Famuyibo
6. Fergal O’Rourke

For dates of the rest of the years DEL seminars please click here