Sunlight provides the energy source that powers the earth’s ecosystem. Harnessing this energy could provide a renewable, sustainable, and low carbon energy source that could ultimately help in the economic development of nations. In general, the solar energy can be utilized in forms of heat or electricity. Solar cells are mainly used to convert solar radiation into electricity. There are several types of well-developed and commercially available cells such as mono- and polycrystalline silicon solar cells. There are also different types of solution-processed cells, such as dye synthesized solar cells (DSSC), quantum dot solar cells and perovskite cells (PSC). The solar thermal collectors are systems that are mainly used to transform the solar energy into useful heat. Several designs of collectors are being used for domestic applications, including flat plate and evacuated tube collectors. In our group we have growing activities on the research and development of solar energy. We are working on the efficiency enhancement and long-term performance of both DSSC and PSC. Optimization of different electron and hole transport layer materials and their impact on the working mechanism and degradation process of PSCs have been carried out. On the system level, we are interested in improving the efficiencies of solar collectors through the use of novel thermal nanofluids. We are also modelling the performance of several types of solar collectors with different absorbers. Active cooling for PV modules using different heat exchangers (coolers) have been studied. The environmental effects on the long-term operation and output power of PV systems are currently under investigation.