Solar Power Lab is engaged in research activities on different aspects of Photovoltaics.
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.
ASU chosen to lead one of 16 NSF funded national nanotechnology sites
Arizona State University has been chosen to lead a new National Science Foundation (NSF) site that will provide a Southwest regional infrastructure to advance nanoscale science, engineering and technology research. The new program includes the Solar Power Lab.
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.
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.