Having worked in photovoltaic research both in a university lab and business I’ve some experience of R&D. The area of photovoltaics certainly falls into the category of applied research, meaning that the ultimate objective isn’t just to acquire new knowledge, but to bring new products on the market which enhance the world around us. To accomplish this, however, there’s a long journey that has to be undertaken – getting a brand new technology on the market is a multi-stage procedure.
Obviously, every new idea differs, and no new technologies undergo the exact same travel (whatever people say, there’s no clear line between the terms ‘research’ and ‘development’). There are some features nevertheless, that are typical in technology commercialization procedures:
At the start is painstaking fundamental research in a lab. This might not even involve making a prototype but such as may simply consist of measuring an effect in some new material. Many, many ideas are suggested, tried and rejected for each thought which makes it past step one. Through online websites Find all about Heat Pump, Hot Water Tank, Solar Collector, Solar Cell, Boiler.
In the initial conception of a new technology, extensive tests have to be carried out in the laboratory to demonstrate the feasibility of this idea. Once all the tests which can be achieved in a lab have been done, it’s time for the study to outwards and beyond, and to the development stage.
The challenge is to take the small model closer and closer to what could be thought of as a true product using a true manufacturing procedure. From the photovoltaic cells, those made in the lab tend to be tiny (smaller than a postage stamp) and fabricated using methods which are completely unsuitable for large-scale manufacturing.
Laboratory research, however, is relatively very cheap in comparison to the later phases of development. The major barrier for scientists is to get the money to pay for the next step in the evolution travel.
Whilst more money in fundamental research is always welcome, there are a number of defined funding bodies which scientists could apply to for lab research. UK universities have been fairly successful in attracting funding to expand research for renewable energy research lately.