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SISER Workshop on Thin Film PV

The next SISER workshop/seminar will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the 20th March at the Thin Film Research Centre at the University of the West of Scotland.

The topic for the session will be Thin Film PV. As you know Thin Film PV cells, being flexible, have the potential to be applied in a wide variety of ways from building tiles and bodies of electric cars to textiles and clothing. SISER research is developing ways to integrate Thin Film PV on textiles, develop cheaper/quicker manufacturing processes and develop new, more efficient, light harvesting materials.

Speakers include:

Prof. Frank Placido – UWS and Director of the Thin Film Centre

Prof. Mervyn Rose – University of Dundee

Prof. Hari Upadhyaya – Heriot-Watt University

Prof. John Wilson – Heriot-Watt University and Power Textiles

SISER are also very pleased to welcome Dr. Adel Gougam to the meeting who will be speaking about Thin Film research being carried out at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi.

There will also be a tour of the Thin-Film Centre from 4.15 to 4.45 p.m. for those interested. Please let me know if you are interested in joining the tour.

If you would like to attend please register using the link below. Please note that registration is free but compulsory.

LightBright Electric

Solar Electricity for Art and Architecture

The Light Bright Electric Exhibition - Solar Electricity for Art and Architecture - was held at Edinburgh University’s Inspace Gallery in George Square from the 15th – 16th February 2013.

The precept for the exhibition was that electricity can be generated from light using a variety of materials and methods and that we shouldn’t be restricted by the idea that blue roof mounted silicon solar panels are the only option available. The exhibition explored how art, architecture and science can be fused to create colourful and interesting electricity generating devices.





    A series of colourful photovoltaic panels made with engraved, perforated and laser-cut, fluorescent acrylic by Sigrid Blekastad an Architectural Glass Designer. These panels demonstrate how luminescent solar concentrator technology can be applied to create colourful solar windows.




LSC2Sigrid’s Master of Fine Art degree explored applications of Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) material. In these materials a portion of the light is captured by the fluorescent material and guided through the sheet to the edges so that they glow. Electricity can be generated from these materials by fixing thin strips of solar cells to the glowing edges of the sheets.



Zipped, Laced and Studded

A series of sculptures exploring ways in which silicon solar cells can be incorporated into structures by Dorothy Hardy, a PhD student at Heriot-Watt University.

Dorothy has trained both as a mechanical engineer and a glass artist. She is currently undertaking a  PhD at Heriot-Watt University exploring ways of making photovoltaics look good as part of architecture.


© Yaz Norris Photography


Energy CollectionThe Energy Collection, 2012 by Marjan Van Aubel.

Glassware incorporating Dye Sensitised Solar Cells (DSSC) is placed on a cabinet that collects the electricity generated by the solar cells. Samples of the dye sensitized solar cells were displayed near the projection.

This technology is based on the process of photosynthesis in plants: the colours in these cells collect energy in a similar way to the green chlorophyll that absorbs light energy in plants. A porous titanium dioxide layer is soaked with photosensitive dye: a natural pigment extracted from the juice of blueberries or spinach. The dye that gives the red or blue colour to berries, gives off an electron when light strikes it. One side of the glass is positive; the other negative; and when the cell is exposed to light, the dye transmits its electrons to the titanium dioxide and releases an electric current.


JessicaJessica Lammey’s concept designs for Tate Modern, Liverpool. Incorporating solar cells on a large scale.





GlassPeters Glass Studio, Paderborn, Germany: Incorporation of solar cells into architectural glass commissions.

Work by:

Raphael Seitz, Germany Joost Caen, Belgium
Sabine Rentzsch, Germany Sarah Hall, Canada
Sabine Rentzsch, Germany Carol Bennet, Hawaii
Thomas Kuzio, Germany Ina Rosenthal, Germany
Doris Conrads, Germany Christine Dahrendorf, Germany
Jochem Poensgen





During day 1 of the exhibition a workshop was held where participants (professionals and students of art, architecture and science) were given the exciting task of building Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) artwork and building models that would generate electricity. These constructions were made using transparent luminescent acrylic sheets which emit concentrated light at their edges. This light can then be harvested to make electricity by applying solar cells to the edges of the luminescent sheet. These colourful devices were displayed during the opening and during the rest of the exhibition.












© Yaz Norris Photography

The opening drinks reception was sponsored by NBS Scotland.


Past Events

31st October 2012 SISER workshop on Excitonic Solar Cells at The University of St Andrews.

26 October 2012 Talk: Nanostructured sensors, solar cells and resistive memory devices, by Professor Bodh Raj Mehta at Heriot-Watt University.

17 July 2012 SISER workshop on Solar Thermal and Systems at Edinburgh Napier University. For more information, please contact Dr. Anne-Marie Fuller (solar -at-

23-24 April 2012: Third Annual SU2P Symposium was held at Heriot-Watt University and was of interest to those keen to learn more about the link between optics/photonics and solar cells - for more info please see:

14-20 June 2011: Summer school "Frontiers in Organic, Dye-Sensitised and Hybrid Solar Cells", organised by Neil Robertson (Univ. Edinburgh) and Marek Pietraszkiewicz (Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences) - for more info please see:

6-8 April 2011: 7th Photovoltaic Science Application and Technology Conference and Exhibition (PVSAT-7) was held at Heriot-Watt University and covered all aspects of photovoltaics, from materials, to devices and modules, then on to systems, markets and policy - for more info please see:

28-29 March 2011: Second Annual SU2P Symposium was held at University of St Andrews - for more info please see:

Joint launch of Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research (SISER) and Centre for Advanced Energy Storage and Recovery (CAESAR)

On 2 February 2011, Prof. Bryce Richards led the joint launch of Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research (SISER) and Centre for Advanced Energy Storage and Recovery (CAESAR). The public lecture discussed some of the key challenges and opportunities for getting solar electricity where we need it most - in the heart of our cities and in the remote areas of developing countries. Click on this link to download a copy of the presentation.

Prof. Bryce Richards' Inaugural Lecture

On 27 May 2010, Prof. Bryce Richards delivered his inaugural lecture entitled "Solar Enlightenment: Bringing Photovoltaic Power To Where We Need It Most". The public lecture discussed some of the key challenges and opportunities for getting solar electricity where we need it most - in the heart of our cities and in the remote areas of developing countries. Click on this link to download a copy of the presentation.

Third Generation Photovoltaics Workshop

On 27-28th May 2010, HWU and SISER hosted a "Third Generation Photovoltaics Workshop", with presentations made by speakers drawn together from across Europe. The final programme of the Third Generation Photovoltaics Workshop can be found here. The presentations are available alphabetically by speaker:

Theory and Simulation of Quantum Photovoltaic Devices, U. Aeberhard

Nanophotonics for Photovoltaics, D. Bagnall

Luminescent Solar Concentrators: A Bright Idea for Solar Energy Conversion?, A. Chatten

Optimising phosphors and filters for Luminescent Solar Concentrators, D. de Boer

Mitigating fluorescent dye performance limitations in luminescent solar concentrators, M. Debije

Can Quantum Well Solar Cells break the Shockley-Queisser Limit?, N.J. Ekins-Daukes

Photon management with luminescent materials: Recent results & new ideas, J. C. Goldschmidt

Self Assembled Photonic Crystals for Photovoltaic, G. Kocher

Sodium rare-earth fluorides: upconversion and crystal structures, K. Krämer

Photon conversion with lanthanides: up and down they go!, A. Meijerink

Organic-complexes and nanoparticles to improve solar cell efficiency, P. Stefano

Photovoltaic Molecules for Harvesting & Converting Light, N. Robertson

Photovoltaics R&D at Sharp Laboratoris Europe (Oxford, UK), I. Sellers

An Intermediate Band Solar Cell based on InAs Quantum Dots, C. Stanley

New Photovoltaic Materials, A. Watt

Developments in PV System Technology, M. Zettl

SISER at Indo-Scottish Workshop

In December 2009 Dr. Brenda Rowan (School of Engineering & Physical Sciences Heriot-Watt University) visited the IIT Bombay as part of a small group of representatives to attend an Indo-Scottish workshop organised by the Energy Technology Partnership and the Department of Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay.

The aim of the workshop was to each present current active areas of research in their respective fields with a view to finding areas in which the institutes could collaborate together. The workshop was organised in response to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Indian and Scottish Governments in October 2009 which outlines an agreement to ‘drive innovation in renewable energy and support both governments' goals to increase supplies of wind energy, solar power and biofuels’ (The Scottish Government, 2009).

Dr. Rowan presented an overview of the work of all the SISER member institutes and met with a number of academics working in the field of Solar Energy. IIT Bombay are in the process of establishing a National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education in which they plan to build state of the art fabrication and characterisation facilities and become a world class centre incorporating academic and industrial collaboration with an emphasis on education and training. This vision for the future of photovoltaic research combined with the high standard of expertise and facilities available make it clear that collaboration with IIT Bombay could be exciting and rewarding. The visit was very successful and several areas of potential collaboration were identified. Joint funding applications are currently being developed and interest was expressed in student and staff exchanges between the Scottish and Indian Institutes.

The workshop was followed by the 2009 International Conference in Advances in Energy Research held at the IIT Bombay from the 9th-11th December 2009.