New Energy Conversion Laboratory Opens at Heriot-Watt University

Professor Alan Miller, Dr Pachauri, Professor Steve Chapman and Professor Hari Upadhaya

Professor Alan Miller, Dr Pachauri, Professor Steve Chapman and Professor Hari Upadhaya

In a short ceremony on Tuesday on the 26th of February Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and director general of TERI (The Energy Resources Institute), opened the new labs.

In the Energy Conversion Lab researchers are developing low cost, environmentally friendly solar cell technology, which has a low upfront capital investment requirement, and is therefore suitable for countries around the world. The PV sector that looks set for double digit growth in the coming years with this low cost technology now having great commercial potential.

Professor Hari Upadhyaya, who recently joined Heriot-Watt University, leads the team on energy engineering at the University’s School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and has over 20 years’ experience in thin film PV, establishing low cost (non-vacuum) and conventional (vacuum based) thin-film materials.

Following the Lab opening, Dr Pachauri, was then taken on a tour of the University including learning more about Carbon Capture technologies from Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer and was shown the new high speed rail testing rig by Professor Peter Woodward.

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer and Dr Pachauri

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer and Dr Pachauri

Professor Peter Woodward explains to Dr Pachauri the work Heriot-Watt is doing in high speed rail

Professor Peter Woodward explains to Dr Pachauri the work Heriot-Watt is doing in high speed rail

The Principal Professor Steve Chapman and Professor Alan Miller, Deputy Principal Research and Knowledge Transfer joined Dr Pachauri on the tour of the facilities with the Principal commenting “I am very impressed with the cutting-edge research Heriot-Watt is doing in solar cell technology, carbon capture and storage, as well as high speed rail. Working with industry on key projects such as these is vital to Heriot-Watt University as we continue to develop commercially viable solutions to global challenges through expanding our research intensification.”

Industry Day Speaker – Professor Hari Upadhyaya

Professor Hari Upadhyaya of the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences at Heriot Watt University, will speak on ‘Building Integrated Photovoltaics: New Trends & Challenges’ at Industry Day 2013.

Hari Upadhyaya

Hari Upadhyaya

Prof. Upadhyaya is the Deputy Director of Institute of Manufacturing Process and Energy Engineering within the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot Watt University, where he leads Energy Engineering activities. Prof. Upadhyaya was leading the Thin Film and Excitonic PV group at Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), at Loughborough University, UK before joining at Heriot Watt. With his past experience in thin film PV for over 20 years, he had established the low cost (non-vacuum) and conventional (vacuum based) thin-film materials and photovoltaic device processing research and characterisation facilities at new PV laboratory facilities at Heriot Watt. His research involves activities on Transparent Conducting Oxides (TCOs), Dye Solar Cell (DSC), hybrid solar cells, CdTe and CIGS thin film solar cell technologies. His research interests also include the electrochemical storage technologies,  rechargeable batteries and super-capacitors, where he was involved in pursuing research projects on Na- rechargeable batteries and ion/electron  conducting polymer based super-capacitors in India.

Prof. Upadhyaya came to UK from India through Royal Society Fellowship to work at Imperial College, where he established himself quickly as an expert in Dye-sensitised Solar Cells on flexible substrates. In collaboration with Prof. Michael Gratzel, the inventor of the DSC technology (EPFL, Switzerland) and Prof. Ayodhya Tiwari (EMPA, Switzerland) he had established over ~15% efficient record Dye/CIGS Tandem Solar Cells, which is highest for thin film based tandem solar cells. He is involved in managing several Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) such as Excitonic Supergen consortium involving top Universities in UK, and recent EPSRC-DST funded project between India and UK worth £5 Million as coordinator from UK. Prof. Upadhyaya has established strong links with industries in the UK and abroad.

Professor Upadhyaya will speak during Parallel Session 3 – ‘Energy Consumption & Usage in the Homes of the Future’. 

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