A University of Houston physicist is part of a multi-institution team that has received an $18.5 million grant to develop new technologies to harness solar power more efficiently and economically.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have jointly funded the establishment of a new national Engineering Research Center (ERC), which will oversee the research and development of advanced solar photovoltaic technologies that can provide a large-scale, affordable and domestic sustainable energy source.
The ERC includes researchers from 11 universities, including UH's Alex Freundlich, an expert and pioneer in the field of quantum and nano-architectured photovoltaics. Arizona State University is the lead institution and some 50 companies also will be involved in the project with additional technical and financial support to help the ERC meet its objectives faster.
The ERC for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies, or QESST, is charged with accelerating the United States' commercialization of solar energy technologies through cutting-edge research, partnerships with industry and expanding educational opportunities in energy engineering.
QESST's overarching goals are ambitious: Develop affordable photovoltaic technologies that can provide a majority of new electricity generation in the U.S., as well as provide power for up to 1.5 billion people around the world who have little or no access to it.
Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting sunlight into direct current electricity using semiconductors. Photovoltaic cells and panels are typically made of silicon.
Researchers will use advanced materials and quantum mechanics, one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century, to overcome existing technological barriers to generating more solar energy. Quantum mechanics is used to make devices smaller (thinner), more efficient and multi-f
|Contact: Laura Tolley|
University of Houston