Solar Power Lab is engaged in research activities on different aspects of Photovoltaics.
At the science fair for the local middle school QESST put on a display on solar and fun to be had with liquid nitrogen. The temperature reading on the liquid nitrogen wa -309 °F. Arizona normally doesn't normally get that cold!. The display was to complement the excellent work done by the Aprende middle school student for their science fair project. Thanks very much to SPL students Max, Alex and Mark for making the night such a success.
We made the cover story of the latest edition of the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). Katherine Nelson's PhD work on "Students’ Misconceptions about Semiconductors and Use of Knowledge in Simulations" was featured as the cover story on the April 2017 edition of the Journal of Engineering Education. Solar Cells are based on the principles of semiconductor device physics. Dr Nelson and her co-authors used the instructional materials at the pveducation.org website to explore how student's misconceptions are either reinforced or overcome by the animations. Her findings will enable instructors to create better simulations to aid student learning.
The full paper is at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jee.20163/full
The latest report from the International Energy Agence (IEA) shows that photovoltaics supplies 1.8% of the world's electricity consumed. Photovoltaics (PV) grows exponentially while electricity demand grows slowly so it was only two years ago that photovoltaics supplied less than 1% of the world's electrcity. At current growth rates photovoltaics will suppply all the world's electcity in 2030. A more likely scenario is that the declining costs of photovoltaics will enable access for the 1.1 billion people without electrcity, and new technologies such as electric cars.
Federal officials tour ASU's photovoltaics lab, the nation's largest
ASU took delivery of a new advanced solar cell efficiency tester from Sinton Instruments this week. The new tester is a FCT-450 and is an upgrade of our previous tester also from Sinton Instruments. A significant advantage of the new system is the ability to measure smaller area cells, a broader range of temperature measurements and the extraction of substrate doping from the completed solar cell.
All About Solar cells is a series of lectures on the use and fabrication of solar cells.
The solar cell industry continues to grow in leaps and bounds and will have a major impact on energy production in the future. The Solar Power Laboratory at Arizona State University has been running the student led pilot line for the past six years as part of the QESST research Engineering Research Center and more recently included the NCI-SW. The line has had taught over 200 people how to make a solar cell in hands on setting where the learners get to make a solar cell from start to finish. Many of the learners are already experienced in the industry while for others it is their first time in a laboratory.
Regher Solar LLC, a QESST spinout company, recently announced reaching a cell efficiency of 21.3% as confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. Regher is cofounded by Dr. Stanislau ‘Stas’ Herasimenka, a postdoc and QESST alumni.
While at QESST, Stas developed all aspects of silicon-heterojunction technology from wafer cleaning to commercial PV panel prototyping. With five patents and two disclosures to his name, Stas intends to develop a patent portfolio that will help create a defensible market position for Regher.
QESST scholar Antony Aguilar was invited to present an extended oral talk at the 2016 IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference (PVSC) in Portland, Oregon. Antony presented the paper, Development of Cu Plating for Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells, representing the High Efficiency Silicon Solar Cell (HESSC) team directed by QESST faculty, Stuart Bowden. Co-authors included other QESST scholars and industry partners from Technic (Krystal Munoz, Lynne Michaelson, and Tom Tyson). The presentation described an alternative metallization to the standard low temperature Ag paste for Silicon Heterojunction Cells (SHJ) cells.
Solar cells typically operate at temperatures below 100 °C. A new class of 'refractory' solar cells was presented at the 43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference in June 2016. These new cells are stable at tempertures over 600 °C.
In addition to applications in CSP-CPV hybrid plants, these cells open up new application areas for solar cells. Those applications include power beaming for wireless recharging of electric UAV’s, high temperature cells for space probes to Venus and Mercury, and deployment in nuclear-photovoltaic hybrids.
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.