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All-renewable electricity & rooftop solar fuel, closer than you think

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Room 408

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Imperial College London

South Kensington

SW7 2AZ

United Kingdom

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All-renewable electricity & rooftop solar fuel, closer than you think

Energy Futures Lab are delighted to host Professor Keith Barnham, Emeritus Professor of Physics, and Distinguished Research Fellow at Imperial College London's Department of Physics.

Abstract

Professor Barnham will present evidence that an all-renewable electricity supply based on wind, photovoltaic and bio-electric power is more reliable, cheaper and closer than many think.

Lower carbon, renewable replacements for natural gas are also available and could be swiftly deployed with more political commitment. However, the speedy replacement of fossil fuels in industry and transportation still requires technological developments.

The second part of the talk will discuss a proposal for a roof-top system to illuminate with sunlight the catalysts being developed for artificial photo-synthesis. The “artificial leaf” is a photo-electrochemical cell which uses light to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide to a solar fuel. The Quantum Photovoltaic Group Imperial developed a variant of the luminescent concentrator, the Quantum Dot Concentrator (QDC). A recent breakthrough in quantum dot technology makes possible high intensity photon fluxes that are tuneable to the wavelengths of importance for the metal nano-particle catalysts used in artificial photo-synthesis. This makes the possibility of a domestic roof-top system that generates ethanol, which can power a fuel cell in an electric car, closer than previously anticipated.

Biography

Keith Barnham started his research career in particle physics at the University of Birmingham, CERN and the University of California, Berkeley. Mid-career, at Imperial College London, he switched to researching solar power after spending a year at Philips Research Laboratories in Redhill. His Quantum Photovoltaic group at Imperial developed a novel concentrator solar cell using quantum well technology. In commercial production this cell achieved three times the efficiency of today’s rooftop panels. He is author of The Burning Answer: a User’s Guide to the Solar Revolution.

Venue

The talk will be held in room 408 in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (building 16 on the campus map). The simplest route is to enter the campus from Exhibition Road via the main entrance (by building 36 on the map) and continue through the lobby out to Dalby Court. The Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering is straight in front of you and the room in on the 4th floor.

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Location

Room 408

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Imperial College London

South Kensington

SW7 2AZ

United Kingdom

View Map

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