Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research

Novel research is improving the efficiency of photovoltaic devices
Novel research is improving the efficiency of photovoltaic devices
Novel research is improving the efficiency of photovoltaic devices

Research Rising Star - Piotr Kaminski

  • Novel research is improving the efficiency of photovoltaic devices

Research Associate Dr Piotr Kaminski completed his undergraduate studies at the Technical University of Wroclaw, graduating with an MEng in 2008.

He then joined Loughborough’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST) to pursue his PhD – Remote Plasma Sputtering for Silicon Solar Cells (2008–11).

His current research develops his doctoral studies, and is helping to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

Light reflected by the surface of a PV device – such as a domestic rooftop solar panel – results in an energy loss of about 4%. Dr Kaminski’s work explores the development and application of multi-layer anti-reflective (MAR) coatings to reduce this loss of solar energy.

MAR coatings are already widely used in the ophthalmic industry and in the manufacture of cameras to reduce reflection and glare on lenses.

By exploring various coating materials and layer thicknesses, Dr Kaminski has been able to reduce the energy loss due to reflection from 4.22% to 1.22%. This would equate to an increased energy output of 1.36GWp – comparable to the total energy output of the UK PV market in 2005.

The coating materials used by Dr Kaminski’s methodology are tough, scratch resistant and adhere well to glass surfaces, making them durable and hardwearing. What’s more, the sputtering application process he has developed is industry scalable.

Dr Kaminski’s research has also involved collaboration with global company M-Solv Ltd to develop other ways of improving PV device efficiency whilst reducing manufacturing time and costs.

His ground-breaking work earned him the prestigious Solar Industry Award for R&D in 2014.