Prof Tapas Mallick.
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Prof Tapas Mallick
Prof Tapas Mallick joined the Environment and Sustainability Institute in 2013 as Chair in Clean Technologies. He is the only researcher from Exeter due to attend the Research Councils UK India anniversary and round table meeting in November 2013, which plays a key role in enhancing the UK-India relationship in science and research.
What is your current research about?
My research surrounds solar energy in general, specifically solar photovoltaics concentrated solar energy, high efficiency solar cells, modelling heat transfer and optical behaviour for solar energy systems and integrated renewable energy systems using solar power.
What do you hope to achieve at Exeter?
I would like to develop an outstanding centre of excellence within the UK in the area of solar energy research.
How can a member of the public understand the impact of your research?
I promote community level engagement of new solar technology; such as building integrated concentrated photovoltaics helping in the protection of our landscape.
I believe in bridging the energy gap between rural and urban energy divides by encouraging the public to develop solar cells for their own use. For example it is possible to reduce household energy bills by making a solar cell using black/blueberry natural dyes.
What do you think the future holds for applied solar energy?
The UK government has set ambitious plans of producing 22GW (gigawatts) of applied solar energy by 2020; this is five times more than the largest power station in the UK currently produces.
The reliability and stability of solar energy is being achieved through technology development. Buildings that use integrated concentrated photovoltaic systems are likely to play a key future role in the construction industry.
There are several other niche applications such as photovoltaic on textiles and double glazed photovoltaic windows that are going to play a big role in generating future energy supplies.
How is renewable energy perceived by the public? Is this something you see changing?
Society is concerned about aesthetic changes to the environment due to large scale wind or solar farms, but despite this concern the use of renewable energy has increased hugely, and is likely to continuing growing to more than 40 per cent.
Before 2010 total solar installation in the UK was 39MW, in January 2013 it has increased to 2,000MW. Such dramatic growth is largely due to household solar installation and will continue to increase as the importance of energy security and climate change becomes increasingly important.
What makes you tick?
I am encouraged by continuing to support communities and businesses with the knowledge that I have gained through my research career whilst developing new ideas.