It is important to increase the percentage contribution that solar PV makes towards the mixture of renewable power generation. In particular the rate of growth in use of electrical energy is fast, driven by the internet and the proliferation of electronic hardware in society. The expansion of the electric vehicle market will add to this. Solar PV has the intrinsic advantage of directly generating electrical power and its sales have frown strongly in the past decade. However for solar PV to make a major impact its use must be expanded; this could be achieved in various ways, but the construction of a solar PV rich built infrastructure is a viable possibility. In this presentation, it is argued that thin film silicon devices could form the basis of a solar PV roofs, walls etc, and generating power directly at the point of usage within our urban areas. In fact an increase in efficiency from all current sources of thin film PV would be required to achieve this. For the case of silicon the basic physics of efficiency loss is understood and silicon PV perhaps presents the best chance to win efficiency gain. This must be achieved by understanding, removing of passivating defects in cell material, and this idée forms the basis of the research methodology discussed here.


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  • Received: 05 February 2012
  • Accepted: 13 March 2012
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