Welcome

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 18.5% for diffused cells
  • New 6 inch solar cell line doe 22%+ heterojunction cells.
  • Extensive capabilities for silicon solar cell characterization
  • Molecular Beam epitaxy system for nano-structured solar cells

QESST - Terawatt Challenge.

 

Mexico I-Week

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.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Twelve students just finished the latest course on the manufacture of solar cells at ASU. At the completion of the course the students were able to complete the manufacture of high efficiency solar cells on the pilot line at the solar power labs. Half the students came from across the US as part of the QESST engineering research center, and the other half were from the SUN IGERT program at ASU.

 

Christiana Honsberg wins William R. Cherry Award

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.

Summer Research Program Starts

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.

Sixth Annual Thankgiving Feast

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, 2014 at Noon.

Bring food if you like but we have four turkeys so no one will go hungry.

 

 

 

Seminar: Michael Woodhouse

An overview of the current global solar market, and technology innovations that may enable more economically compelling solutions

Dr. Michael Woodhouse
Strategic Energy Analysis Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Thursday, November 13, 2014 @ 3:30 p.m.
Wrigley Hall, room 481

Seminar: Present and Future of Photovoltaics

IEEE Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology Society
Phoenix Chapter

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 5:30 PM
Seminar: Present and Future of Photovoltaics

Dr. Stuart Bowden
Director of Solar Power Laboratory
School of Electrical, Computing and Energy Engineering
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona
ABSTRACT
The photovoltaic industry has grown at over 30% per annum for the last two decades with present sales of $100 billion per year. As a quantum energy converter, photovoltaics has the potential to revolutionize electricity production in much the same way that solid state physics has changed industries from computing and lighting. The presentation will discuss the present state of the photovoltaic industry and why crystalline silicon continues to be the dominant technology in solar cell production. This presentation will cover all aspects of production in crystalline silicon from the present and into the future. We will delve into device physics of silicon solar cells and how the limitations in present devices can be overcome for both higher efficiency and higher throughput. The various aspects of production will also be covered: from crystallization to wafering, through cell production and finishing with module design and testing.

ASU engineering graduate refused to be statistic, powered up her career

Carrie Culp could have been a statistic: single mother of three, high school diploma, hard-working but hamstrung by a lack of education, hanging onto the lower rungs of the financial ladder.

She could have been a statistic, but it isn’t in her nature.

“I always liked a puzzle,” she said. “I liked to put things together, to figure out how to make things work.”