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Buildings as Power Stations


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Tata Steel produces over 200 milliion squere meters of building cladding every year in Wales. Cladding 10% of this in low cost medium effeciency photovoltaics would be equivelent of a nuclear power station

Date and Time

21 February 2013 - 19:00-21:00


Swansea, United Kingdom - icon_popup  (See map)


Organised by the Wales South West local network. Contact Nick Marsh ( for more information.

About this event

Tata Steel produces over 200 million square metres of building cladding every year in Wales. If we applied a moderately efficient low cost photovoltaic (10% conversion) to just 10% of this output, each year of production could produce the same peak output as a nuclear PowerStation. This basic calculation has spurred the formation of SPECIFIC (the Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings). 

Set up in 2011 with £20m support from a range of sources including EPSRC, TSB. WG and Industry, SPECIFIC brings together academics and industrialists in a unique shared space with the aim of rapidly scaling up ideas which currently reside on the lab bench to create world leading products for UK industry. The key aims of the centre are to produce coatings that can generate, store and release energy, since renewable energy generation on its own is not a solution to our increasing energy challenges. The centre leverages contacts with leading UK Universities (Imperial College, Bath, Sheffield and Oxford for example) with excellent industrial interactions (lead by Tata but including NSG (Pilkington), BASF and small innovation spin outs such as Lux TSi). The 'open innovation' atmosphere sparks the imagination of the team and already a range of exciting coating systems have been generated, some with potential impact beyond the Building as a PowerStation concept, for example coatings that can purify water using sunlight. 

SPECIFIC is at an exciting growth phase with two pilot manufacturing lines being laid down over the next 12 months so that the innovative coatings under development can be demonstrated at building scale.




Additional information

Refreshments available after the lecture.


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