'First': News spotlight of the month

Prof Hassan Shirvani, Dr Javaid Butt and Dr Shabnam Sadeghi Esfahlani have won an Innovate UK project worth £682,412.

The project win is with Lumiere Designs Limited, Symbio Energy Limited and Skein Nigeria Ltd and is entitled ‘Lowcost modular solar power system using Total Internal Photonic Absorption (TIPA).’ The project will run for 18 months.

The UK has 90,000MW of electricity generation capacity compared to 4,000MW in Nigeria, 20 times more despite the UK having less than half the population. Nigeria’s national grid generates 4,500MW whereas the peak electricity demand has risen to 14,882MW. The power supply issues experienced in these and other sub-Saharan countries exerts a significant brake on economic growth. Renewable energies, in particular solar and hydro power, provide an extremely viable option to resolving power crises.

At the small-scale end of the market, adoption of solar-home-systems (SHSs) is restricted due to limited access to finance, awareness and access to technical support services. Although photo-voltaic (PV) solar is now more attractive than ever before, it remains expensive for low income countries. To address the issues of high-cost, limited space and lack of skilled technical personnel, the project aims to develop and bring to market a low-cost modular solar power system based on Total Internal Photonic Absorption technology.