G24 Innovations Limited (G24i), a Cardiff -based company that aims to revolutionise solar power by leading the development of extremely lightweight, flexible solar cells, is to sponsor a competition with students from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design to design a product that uses the company's cutting edge technology.
The students, from the school Product Design Course, spent a day at G24i's facility, learning more about the technology that will be central to their forthcoming designs.
G24i's Cardiff site will be the first factory to mass produce dye-sensitised solar cells, a technology that combines innovative material science and nanotechnology to generate renewable power in a process similar to photosynthesis. The facility will have an initial 30MW capacity with plans for an extension to 200MW by 2008.
The technology works in ambient and low-light conditions, bringing the full potential of solar energy to new industries and areas of the world.
G24i is developing products to power mobile telephones, portable electronics, clothing, tents, and building materials. It also sees a significant role for its technology in addressing energy access in the developing world.
"Who better to design a product that has such potential to positively impact the world, than the young people who will be most affected by that technology," said Clemens Betzel, president of G24i. "We are thrilled to be partnering with St. Martins on this exciting project."
The competition, involving 45 students from the school, will culminate in an end of the year course degree show where the students present their designs.
G24i has agreed to fund the entire project, with prizes awarded to the students that come up with the best designs. The winning design could end up being used by G24i in the marketplace.