New facility turns buildings into power stations

(L-R) Kevin Bygate, Chief Executive of Specific, Paul Jones, Industrial Director, Chris Weirman, Process Engineering Manager and Eifion Jewell, Senior Technical Transfer Fellow, inspect the first example of a smart coated steel product to come off the pilot production line.China CC Composite Electrode Bolt Manufacturers

Business Secretary Vince Cable and Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones have today (24 October) started the production line of a new £20 million pilot photovoltaic manufacturing facility that could ‘transform buildings into power stations’.

Based at Baglan Energy Park, near Port Talbot, SPECIFIC (the Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings), one of six Innovations and Knowledge Centres (IKCs) in the UK, will develop steel and glass coated with photovoltaic cells to enable walls and roofs in new and existing buildings to generate, store and release energy.China CC Composite Polysilicon Ingot Furnace Thermal System Manufacturers

Led by Swansea University in partnership with the universities of Bangor and Glyndwr (Wrexham) and Tata Steel in Shotton, the project aims to take advantage of large properties by integrating new technologies into roofs and walls to generate and store clean renewable energy. If successful, it is estimated that the Baglan project could help reduce the UK’s CO2 output by millions of tonnes a year.

The five-year project is backed by £10 million funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board as well as a further £2 million funding from the Welsh Government.

Speaking today, Cable said: “The government’s £10 million backing of the SPECIFIC project shows what can be achieved when world class university research comes together with the private sector.

“This centre will speed up the commercialisation of innovative industrial coatings, creating a whole new manufacturing sector and new business opportunities, not to mention long-term environmental benefits, including turning buildings into sources of power.

“We are committed to investing in high value, high tech sectors where the UK can gain a competitive advantage and promote economic growth.”

Kevin Bygate, Chief Executive of SPECIFIC, said: “What we are achieving at the Baglan Bay Innovation and Knowledge Centre is of global significance. It has the potential to create a range of renewable energy applications which will be available commercially within a few years.

“The funding secured to date and the unique collaboration between government, academia and industry has enabled us to make rapid progress within a relatively short timescale. We are delighted to be launching this pilot manufacturing facility today which will pave the way for rapid commercialisation and the creation of a major UK industry.China Glass Fabric 420g/㎡, S-glass Fiber, Unidirectional Manufacturers

Approximately 300 new jobs will be created in Wales under the new project, with the majority of jobs in the green engineering sector.

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