Above and beyond – innovation in building photovoltaics

As the 2020 ‘nearly zero’ energy buildings target approaches, Liza Young explores Swansea University’s pioneering research into building-integrated photovoltaics, as well as its unique ways of storing heat for use all year round

The home of graphene

The first big breakthrough in graphene took place in Manchester, and now the city has a £61m facility aimed at developing the material for everyday use. CH2M Hill’s Ian MacAskill describes the challenge of designing services for the extraordinarily complex National Graphene Institute

For those about to dock

The installation of PV panels means more UK homes are moving from AC to DC generation. This makes electrical distribution more efficient, says Ian Billington, since most electricity demand in households – such as LEDs, digital devices and, in future, electric cars – are DC loads

Tesla’s power shift is a smart move

The announcement that Tesla has developed a domestic battery gives smart grid technology a high-profile boost, says ECA’s Bill Wright, who calculates payback rates of about 8-10 years