Project Overview



Project Overview

Thin Film PV-VG is a joint research project funded by Innovate UK and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). The main aim of the project is to design and manufacture a novel thin film PV-VG for building application that has a high thermal insulating property as well as the ability to generate electricity.

Solar PV glass vacuum glass 4


The objectives of Thin Film PV-VG are the following :-

  • To develop an innovative design and theoretical model of a Thin Film PV-VG

  • To manufacture and test a prototype in a laboratory setting and under a range of real conditions to mirror climatic conditions in the UK and China.

  • To prepare manufacturing procedures, guidelines and tooling for the prototypes

Innovative Design

This innovative design will have various benefits including the following :-

  • Significantly reducing energy losses from buildings therefore reducing a country’s carbon footprint - Thin Film PV-VG is up to 60% more efficient than conventional double and triple glazing solutions

  • Prevents excessive heat gain from buildings in hot weather and heat losses in cooler weather – This reduces the amount of energy needed for air conditioning

  • Electricity generation – Could result in financial income

  • Decrease energy consumption in manufacturing and transporting double and triple glazing materials

This project will have an important impact on both of the countries involved as Thin Film PV-VG can be incorporated into both new and existing buildings. China’s urbanisation and rural development must be sustainable, affordable, reliable, and have a low environmental impact. The already developed UK needs to decarbonise its energy production.

Solar PV glass Frame

The demand for zero carbon buildings is on the rise. Aesthetically pleasing PV-VG solutions are becoming increasingly utilised in the urban environment.

This technology could also be applied in greenhouses, minimising the amount of heating and cooling requirements as well as generating valuable power and income for farmers.

Thin Film PV-VG will have the wider benefit of reducing carbon emissions by contributing to the phasing out of coal-fuelled power stations. This will decrease pollution and therefore increase general health of the population.

Project Impact On The Environment