Swansea University

Revolutionising applications for renewable energy

Transformational work in finding new applications across the world for solar technology.

Swansea University’s excellence in materials science and engineering is pioneering a wave of new applications for renewable energy technologies. It is transforming the construction industry, building resilience into the steel and metals industry, and helping tackle fuel poverty globally.

For ten years, the university’s SPECIFIC® academic and industrial consortium has been at the forefront of the development of efficient, low-cost photovoltaic technologies that convert solar energy into electricity. Breakthroughs have included producing the world’s first dye-sensitized solar cell deposited directly onto a steel substrate, and reducing the time taken to produce low-cost, solution-processable photovoltaics from 30 minutes to just 2.5 seconds. The consortium constructed the UK’s first energy positive Active Classroom, demonstrating that solar energy can power and heat buildings year-round, and has led collaborative projects with 211 businesses and 128 partners in 17 countries.

The university continues to apply its technology internationally, such as: constructing solar-powered building demonstrators in rural India and Zambia; using photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies to dewater sludge at a South African treatment plant; and working with Mexican textile screen printers to produce solar modules on flexible materials. The university is building on its strengths to power a green revolution, democratising access to renewable energy and supporting the just transition to a net zero world.