Over 86,000 terawatts of solar energy reach the Earth’s surface each year- enough to satisfy current global energy demand 1000 times over. In 2008, solar electric power amounted to a mere 0.2% of global energy produced but it is at a tipping point with a growth rate of 40% per year. Exponential growth, enormous solar resources and the global economy's unquenchable demand for electricity increasingly position photovoltaic power as vital to 21st century technology.
In this rapidly changing industry, the Solar Power Lab stands-out as having some of the most experienced researchers in the field. This, coupled with state-of-the-art facilities and institutional support, gives SPL the solid foundation necessary to push the boundaries of what has become a $20 billion sector of the economy.
Arizona State University’s Solar Power Lab serves a staging ground for the new technologies and ideas that will move us forward in our quest for a more sustainable society.
The Solar Power Lab is also committed to education. Check out our electronic book for information on photovoltaics, solar industry, and the physics that govern them.
The Solar Power Lab has numerous capabilities such as:
A full pilot line for 6 inch solar cells with an average efficiency of 17.5%
Extensive capabilities for silicon solar cell characterization
Molecular Beam epitaxy system for nano-structured solar cells
The Tecnológico de Monterrey came to the QESST for a two day intensive session on the use and operation of photovoltaic devices.The majority of the students were enrolled in the Architecture schools at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and were exposed to the more engineering side of photovoltaics. The students each fabricated a solar cell module and then used the module in outdoor testing. As photovoltaics is an international technology the Solar Power Labs was pleased to be able to host the Mexican students and looks forward to further collaborations in the future.
QESST’s student led pilot line not only helps undergraduates, young scholars, and community college faculty learn about diffuse junction silicon solar cell fabrication it is also an epicenter of content driven informal interaction between QESST Scholars. The student led pilot line is hosted QESST scholars from all of the QESST partner institutions. This summer three students from the University of Delaware Kevin Jones, Meixi Chen, Jimmy Hack. Our participating In Solar Cell 101. Although all three graduate students conduct research in other materials they have an opportunity to explore the dominant solar technology and it provides an opportunity for students from across QESST to get to know each other, learn from each other, and feel a greater connection to the QESST Engineering Research Center.
Solar Power Laboratory director Professor Christiana Honsberg wins the 2015 William R. Cherry Award. It will be presented at the 2015 Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in New Orleans on June 15 2015
Dr. Christiana Honsberg, Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Solar Power Laboratory at the Arizona State University, will be receiving the Cherry Award in recognition for her multiple contributions to the advancement of photovoltaics. Her notable contributions include the pioneering of advanced PV concepts ranging from the development of a generalized thermodynamic theory for determining efficiency limits of solar cells to making seminal advances in the understanding of intermediate band, interband and quantum well approaches.
Each summer we run a research program for participants to learn about solar cell manufacturing and to conduct research on improving solar cell performance. After going through basic training on how to make a silicon solar cell, the larger group splits into teams to research a special topic on solar cells.
This year the program has significantly expanded from previous years. We now have 24 participants taking the program under the guidance of five graduate student mentors. We have also extended to the time that people work on the projects to eight weeks.
Solar power is booming and we use the summer program to educate on the technology behind the solar cell. To reflect the broad use and impact of solar power in the community, the program is a very inclusive environment and participants come from a range of back grounds and varied educational levels. Young Scholars from high schools get their first taste of what it is like to do research in a university cleanroom. The majority of the program consists of undergraduate students from both community colleges and universities. These students get to explore new concepts in solar cells design an fabrications. We also have STEM teachers who take what they learn over the summer back to their classrooms. At the graduate level, students who have been studying the device physics of photovoltaics have the opportunity to make a solar cell on a pilot production line and explore the issues and challenges involved in taking a new technology from a lab and into commercial production.
Arizona State University engineering professor Christiana Honsberg recently was presented the Outstanding Faculty Award for 2014 by the Phoenix Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).
IEEE, an association dedicated to advancing innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity, is the world’s largest technical professional society.
The award recognizes Honsberg’s contributions as a university faculty member working to develop a more sustainable future by making advances in the performance of solar energy systems.
Its time one again for the annual SPL/QESST thanksgiving feast. This year we will be frying up four turkeys and serving them to the hungry hordes. If you are associated with QESST or SPL you should have an email invitation.
The lunch will be held in the courtyard at the Solar Power Lab @ MTW on Wednesday, November 19th at Noon.
Bring food if you like but we have four turkeys so no one will go hungry.