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University of Ghana moves to produce solar cells by 2017

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SolarThe Chemistry Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, has initiated an intensive research into finding efficient new organic materials to produce affordable solar cells by 2017.

This would be designed to power small electronic household gadgets to help boost the country’s energy needs.

Prof Robert Kingsford-Adaboh, the Head of the Department, said the new technology has the capacity of reducing Ghana’s energy deficit, stem capital flight and rake in foreign exchange to fix balance of payment challenges.

The new technology called ‘‘organic cells technology’’, would have a small, safe device with the potential to absorb solar energy, embedded in the clothing of users to trap the solar power as they walk through the sun during their normal daily activities.

Over 50 renowned scientists drawn from the various universities and research institutions in Ghana and abroad, gathered at the University of Ghana in a two-day workshop to find innovative ways to generate safe and efficient solar electricity to lessen the negative impact of the energy crisis on households.

The workshop was themed ‘‘Organic solar cells and related technologies for renewable energy.’’

Attended by 45 Ghanaian and five European Scientists, the participants were trained on obtaining organic materials that have the potential to make solar cells which are easy to process, affordable, lighter in weight and with wider surface area of applicability.

Prof Kingsford-Adabor, related recent research findings which projected that global demand for carbon free energy would increase from 17.7 terawatts in 2012 to 20 terawatts by 2050, noting that this calls for more action from scientists to alleviate the plight of Ghanaians.

The project is sponsored by University of Strathclyde Glasgow and receiving multiple funding from the Leverhulme Royal Society Africa Award and Prof Peter Skabaras’ group.

Rupert Taylor, Neil Findley and Anto Regis Inigo and the University of Ghana’s Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, are the other funding partners.

Source: GNA

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