Total Internal Photonic Absorption


Our project aims to build upon the successes of the previous TIPA (Total Internal Photonic Absorption) v1.0 project (Grant received from Energy Catalyst: Project Number-105277), targeted at the Indian and Ugandan markets. Less than half (49%) of citizens live in areas served by an electricity grid with presence of the electric grid particularly limited in rural areas (36%), with only 1 in 4 Ugandans living in houses connected to the grid.


Our proposal is to develop and prototype TIPA v2.0 – an improved method of clean energy access, building on the successes of our TIPA v1.0 prototype developed for the Energy Catalyst Round 6 application, in sub-Saharan African countries such as Uganda, and also India.

Current status:

TIPA v2.0 utilises solar heat radiation found across Uganda and SSA, therefore not reliant on solar power alone, nor polluting fossil fuels. This addresses the need for affordable solar panel systems with complimentary home heating abilities that are simple to install, maintain and repair. This system focuses on evolving solar cells, including

  • Interdigitated back contact
  • Heterojunction
  • Pervskite

We have developed a lab-based prototype (TRLX) of our TIPA module, capable of generating 2kWh when connected to form a module for domestic and small community applications, with increased energy generation per m2 compared to PV solar. We intend to try this in our target location, Uganda.

Wider challenges:

  • Despite having the world’s best solar resource, Africa contains <1% (1.92GW) of global installed solar capacity.
  • Uganda was the first African country to develop and endorse their NDC-PP (June 2018), committing to reducing national greenhouse gas emissions 22% by 2030.
  • With Africa being home to 80% of the world’s refugees (Uganda and Ethiopia) being top; there is increased demand for housing and energy.


The TIPA v2.0 is more robust, reliable, and efficient as compared to other previous versions of TIPAs. TIPA v2.0 has a polygonal shape with no bending stress, and is 40% – 60% more efficient, as well as being dual purpose (electricity generation and heating). As such, this will allow us to expand across the wider market sector, demonstrating iterative improvement with every prototype.


TIPA v2.0 is protected by patent-pending, with no competitors that currently address the challenges of low-density rooftop solar energy production.

Market position:

We are currently well placed in this market position, having developed previous prototype solutions for previous Energy Catalyst applications. The consortium aims to become the largest renewable energy generator provider in Uganda and Sub-Sahara Africa, with supply chains currently established in Uganda via Once Cause.


Other Conventional Panels

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