AMONG the many gods worshipped by the ancient Greeks, Helios was one of the most prominent.
He was depicted driving a flaming chariot that dragged the sun through the sky each day and was revered for the natural bounties his daily activity brought light and warmth to grow crops to feed a nation.
Mythology has made way for modern science and advancements in technology have dispelled the rudimentary claims of philosophers and astronomers.
However, the importance of the sun has never diminished.
Renewable energy is one the greatest global priorities for the leading nations as governments consider how to combat the environmental impact on the planet and the dwindling levels of non-renewable fuel sources.
Set against this backdrop, photovoltaics (or PV) – the conversion of sunlight into electricity – is one area of renewables that is growing at a phenomenal rate.
The ability to capture the sun’s rays and convert them in to a sustainable way to power our lives is developing at a remarkable pace.
The North East is staking a claim to be one of the world’s leaders in this field, a move that will be reinforced in November when a national photovoltaics conference will be held in County Durham.
The event will be hosted by the County Durham Development Company (CDDC) in association with the Electronics Knowledge Transfer Network (EKTN).
The aim of the conference, Solar Flair 09, is to showcase current technology, encourage collaboration among partners and companies and to inspire innovation in the future.
Solar Flair has already attracted world leading multi-national corporations such as Sanyo, cutting edge technology developers such as PETEC – the Printable Electronics Technology Centre – North East PV specialists such as Romag and leading academics from Durham and Northumbria universities.
CDDC manages the North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield which is home to PETEC where scientists have been awarded a £20m grant to develop technological advances including organic photovoltaics.
The pace of development in PV technology is such that it is opening a range of opportunities for companies to get involved and Solar Flair will be a perfect opportunity for anyone wanting to understand how their business can play a part in this growing field.
Solar Flair will be held at Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield on November 18 and 19.
:: Visit www.solarflair09.com for further information and a full line up of the companies involved, and to register.
:: Registration for the event costs £99+VAT.