Press Releases

KTP helps Solar Power Company win Construction Industry Award – University of Reading

Release Date : 21 July 2004

A new photovoltaic (solar power) roof tile, designed through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with The University of Reading, has won London-based company, solarcentury, a prestigious national construction industry award. The product, known as C21, won Best Exterior Product at the Interbuild 2004 New Product awards. Its unique design offers a new approach to integrating photovoltaic technology into conventional construction methods and was developed over a two-year project at solarcentury by KTP Associate Martyn Berry, with the support and expertise of Dr Anne Wheldon at the University's School of Construction Management and Engineering. Both Martyn Berry and Dr Dan Davies, his industrial supervisor at solarcentury, are graduates from renewable energy programmes at Reading. Jeremy Leggett, CEO of solarcentury, said: "This is an amazing achievement for us. We've still got a long way to go but after just five years and at the first year of the awards, we couldn't have thought that we'd be challenging companies that have been key figures in the construction industry for many years. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership has been an important part of strengthening out development programme and introducing new expertise and capabilities." C21 is one of a number of photovoltaic products developed by solarcentury for application in housing, and it is the first that has been designed to specifically meet the rigorous demands of the UK industry. Martyn Berry, who is now employed as a product development engineer at the company, explained: "When we designed C21 we wanted to provide house builders with a solar roof tile that was just as easy to install as conventional tiles and that was a functioning, attractive addition to the building, providing clean, free electricity for the home." solarcentury has now started a second KTP project with the University of Reading to develop a new range of solar powered street furniture products. The University of Reading Knowledge Transfer Centre is currently the most successful in the UK, with 41 programmes helping companies in sectors as diverse as engineering and food processing, energy and marketing to access University expertise and technology. End Notes to Editors Images: Available on request, copyright of solarcentury solarcentury solarcentury designs and installs intelligent solar electric solutions for a cleaner world. We have helped more homes and businesses generate their own solar power than anyone else in the UK. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels convert light directly into electricity, have no moving parts and are silent and emission-free in operation. Contact: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a Government subsidised scheme to encourage the transfer of expertise between research organisations and business. The one-three-year programmes employ a graduate to work on a product development or strategic project, with the ongoing supervision of the academic partner. Contact: Reading Knowledge Transfer Centre on 0118 378 8214 The University of Reading The University of Reading is internationally renowned for excellence in teaching and research and one the top 20 research powerful universities in the UK. The University offers a wide range of services and opportunities for business, including collaborative research, consultancy, access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, access to intellectual property and licensing, managed office space, incubation facilities, recruitment services and student placements and continual professional development. Contact: Business Development Team on 0118 378 6161


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