Dr Amanda Hughes BSc (hons) PhD

Lecturer Materials, Design and Manufacturing Eng


Solar Skin: Additive manufacturing of fully integrated customised photovoltaic products

The aim of this project is to identify emerging additive manufacturing techniques in printed electronics that could create customisable, flexible, thin film solar cells that can be applied directly to the surface of a product. This involves development of a design tool and manufacturing process capable of printing bespoke solar cells directly onto a wide variety of existing products, including satellites, vehicles, building facades and fabrics. Ultimately, the aim is to apply a ‘Solar Skin’ to an exemplar product capable of providing power at the point of use.
The key objectives of the project are:

1. Objective 1 - Develop a design tool capable of producing optimised solar cell designs for specific products, based on environmental data, material properties and product usage analytics.
2. Objective 2 - Determine the feasibility of fabricating bespoke solar cells on a wide range of substrates using inkjet printing and low temperature annealing processes such as photonic curing.

Bespoke and Highly Efficient Perovskite Tandem Solar Cells

Metal-halide perovskites are a photovoltaic material that have seen a rapid rise in efficiency in recent years with the latest record at 25.2%, approaching the top values achieved by the market leading silicon solar cells. With their high efficiencies and suitability for low cost manufacturing methods, perovskites have shown great promise for sustainable solar and the challenge now is to transition into commercial production. This project aims to develop a design tool and manufacturing techniques to produce highly efficient perovskite solar cells. Objectives include:

i) Optical modelling of perovskite tandems to determine the optimum cell architecture
ii) Optimisation of solution characteristics
iii) Development of manufacturing techniques such as inkjet printing and light sintering

Solar Powered Refrigeration Systems For Sustainable and Environmental Food Storage in Rural Communities

The aim of this project is to develop a solar powered cooling and refrigeration system with integrated water recovery. The system is designed for rural farming communities, were there is often insufficient and unreliable power sources. Recent research carried out by IMechE shows that in developing nations up to 50% of food is wasted post-harvest, largely due to insufficient cold storage/transport facilities. Solar powered refrigeration could help reduce food waste, increase farmers’ incomes and provide a more sustainable agriculture sector.

Research Grants

Additive manufacturing of fully integrated customised photovoltaic products


June 2021 - July 2022