A week or so ago I went to speak to Kevin Arthur at Begbroke Science Park in Oxford. Along with his colleague Dr Henry Snaith, who developed the technology, he is set to begin a business selling a new type of solar technology. Thanks to a recent amount by the early stage technology investment company MTI the realisation of this project is nearer than before.
The research that Oxford Photovoltaics is marketing is in simplest terms is a layer of solar cells a few microns thick which can be layered on top of ordinary glass. These cells are dye sensitised and can be coloured with different pigments although as Mr Arthur explained to me different colours of dye have different efficiencies.
The reason that this particular technology is a contender to revolutionise the way that we generate solar energy is that with this technology buildings can be constructed with the photovoltaic glass already present and therefore only a small amount of incremental cost is added. Also due to the fact that the glass can be quite attractive and can be installed into the building in a way that complements the overall architecture will most likely be a big selling product for this company.
Although not on the market yet, now with the investment of £2m from the company MTI, more equipment and staff has moved the enterprise forward and will enable the building of another manufacturing facility. In a follow up interview with David Ward Managing partner at MTI he explains to me the reasons for their interest in Oxford Photovoltaics.
Text and audio editing by Olivia