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SUNRISE Workshop and London Symposium

Last week was a busy one for SUNRISE! We had four whole days of workshops, talks, and meetings with our partners from universities and industries across India and the UK. While it was a tiring few days, it was worth it to find out about the exciting progress that’s already been made and figure out the next steps for the project.

Monday 8th: Swansea PV workshop

To begin the week we held a workshop for young researchers at Swansea University on “Mesoporous Screen Printed Perovskite Solar Cells”. It was a delight to welcome attendees to Bay Campus who had travelled from IISER Pune, JNCASR Bangalore, IIT Kanpur, and London South Bank University. The aim of the workshop was to train junior academics in techniques used in the labs at Swansea so they can take these skills back to their own institutions. Workshops like these contribute to SUNRISE’s wider goal of developing capabilities by training the next generation of leading researchers.

“According to me the workshop was well balanced with theoretical and practical knowledge. The introductory talk and the small slides presentation at each fabrication steps of solar cell was really useful to understand the solar cell as a whole and importance and challenges in each step of fabrication. Also the hands on experience was great to get the feel of it. I think the information was precise and very helpful for a person like me who learnt it from the basics.” – Amruta Kulkarni, IISER Pune

“At the workshop we observed how to fabricate screen-printed carbon perovskite solar cells. The deposition process and purpose of each layer of the device was explained and demonstrated to us at each workstation. This was then followed by the ‘hands-on’ activity where we were able to practice what we had just learnt. It was great to be able to see the working practices of the SPECIFIC IKC facility and to manufacture each and every layer required to make a working solar cell including blocking layers by spray pyrolysis, TiO2, ZrO2 and C layers by screen-printing and perovskite infiltration via pipette.” – Dr Adrian Walters, Swansea University

Tuesday 9th: London symposium

On Tuesday morning we gathered in London for our second biannual conference, hosted by Prof. Hari Upadhyaya at LSBU. Representatives had travellled far and wide from 5 UK and 6 Indian universities to attend. Professors and PhD students alike enjoyed a wide range of excellent scientific talks, on topics from record-breaking perovskite solar cells to a new design for exhaust particulate filters. Particularly memorable were our distinguished keynote speakers: Professors Sir Richard Friend, Jenny Nelson, Henry Snaith, Satish Ogale, and Satish Patil. Presentations on the industrial perspective from Mr Arunavo Mukerjee (Tata Cleantech) and Mr Daniel Pillai (BIPVco) were also especially valuable. It is this interdisciplinarity that makes the SUNRISE project so unique. The combination of expertise from fundamental physics through to engineering and building deployment provides endless opportunities for innovative collaborations.

To end the day we all met up at the H10 hotel for dinner, and a further opportunity for networking over food.

Wednesday 10th: panel meetings

Industry and academic leads met on Wednesday for the all-important panel meetings. The work package discussions came after, grouped into PV technology, energy storage and other renewables, and building demonstrators. These meetings and discussions are vital to the success of the project, to ensure that our researchers are working in harmony. Without this collaborative effort, the goal of deploying integrated technology building demonstrators in rural India would be impossible.

A delicious Indian meal at Masala Zone was a welcome end to a long day of meetings.

Thursday 11th: junior academic and PhD student presentations

On the final day junior researchers and PhD students had the opportunity to present, with prizes for best poster and best PhD presentation sponsored by SVS and NSG. Congratulations once again to our winners — Mr Sudhir Ranjan (IIT Kanpur) won best poster and Mr Suhas Mahesh (University of Oxford) won best presentation.

Thank you to Prof. Upadhyaya, his research team, and Sunita Selvarajan at LSBU for making us all feel very welcome in London! We all left the meeting with a sense of excitement for great things to come.

From left to right: Prof. Asa Barber (Dean of Engineering, LSBU), Prof. James Durrant (Imperial College London), Suhas Mahesh (University of Oxford), Sudhir Ranjan (IIT Kanpur), Prof. Hari Upadhyaya (LSBU), Dr Su Varma (NSG), Mr Terrence Shimell (SVS).