Skip to content

Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Search the website


Sustainable Steels for Direct Deposition of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

The main objective of the STEELPV project is to functionalise ‘rough’ structural steels as direct substrates for Photovoltaic (PV) devices to be used as Building Integrated PVs (BIPVs).

The project is divided in the following sub-objectives:

  • selection of steel substrates taking into account the necessity of competitiveness with other PV substrates such as glass, silicon and polymers;
  • development of innovative surface treatments and intermediate layers (IL) at lab scale level in order to make the steel substrates selected compatible with the thin film PV deposition processes;
  • evaluation of different protective approaches of the steel back side (e.g. organic and inorganic coatings) and of the ‘back side coating/steel/IL/PV’ system encapsulation processes;
  • scale up of the viable steel/IL solutions and produce demonstrator products including 30cm x 30cm flat panels, 18cm x 180cm flexible sheets and 30cm wide coils using different deposition technologies that could be integrated into a steel coating line;
  • development of standards and best practise protocols for steel/IL products; engagement with standardisation committees and develop specifications for ‘solar grade’ steel.

The technologies developed in STEELPV will be suitable for either flexible (used to cover geometrical complex structures already existing) or semi-rigid (used as mechanical part of the structure) final products.