Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Arizona State University Creates Solar Power Laboratory

14.07.2008
Arizona State University is strengthening its commitment to boost Arizona’s economic development prospects in the renewable energy industry by establishing the Solar Power Laboratory to advance solar energy research, education and technology.

Prominent scientists and engineers are being hired to lead the endeavor to improve the efficiency of solar electric power systems while making them more economically feasible.

“The Solar Power Laboratory will further build up the university’s already formidable solar energy research and develop collaborations with the energy industry to accelerate expansion of the state’s economy,” said ASU President Michael Crow.

The effort is a major part of ASU’s response to the Arizona Board of Regents’ Solar Energy Initiative, aimed at encouraging research and development to meet future needs for renewable energy sources, Crow said.

In addition to spurring economic opportunity, advances in solar power systems will help Arizona protect its environment by enabling more widespread use of this clean-energy source, Crow said.

The laboratory will be a collaboration partnering the university’s Global Institute of Sustainability and Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering.

Christiana Honsberg, Stuart Bowden and George Maracas have been hired for the venture. Honsberg will be chief scientist, Bowden will be industrial liaison, and Maracas will be chief operating officer.

Honsberg and Bowden are coming to ASU from the University of Delaware, where they worked in the most extensive university solar research program in the United States.

Maracas has made his mark with more than 25 years of accomplishments in engineering research, research management and technology commercialization.

“Our goal is for ASU to have the pre-eminent academic solar energy research, development and training program in the United States, and one of the top such programs in the world” said Jonathan Fink, director of the Global Institute of Sustainability. “The establishment of the Solar Power Laboratory and the hiring of Honsberg, Bowden and Maracas combined with our ongoing research efforts help us meet this objective.”

The lab’s goal in large part will be to support a significant facet of the economic development objectives of Arizona and the Southwest, Fink said, noting that expansion of the solar energy industry has been identified as an economic priority by Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, the state Department of Commerce and Science Foundation Arizona.

“ASU and the state of Arizona have a number of exciting economic development and research opportunities associated with renewable energy,” he said. “These three new faculty members will play key roles in making sure that these efforts are successful.”

Honsberg is considered a pioneer in photovoltaics – the solar cells that convert sunlight into energy. She helped establish the Center for Photovoltaic Engineering at the University of Delaware, which developed the first undergraduate degree in photovoltaic engineering.

Delaware’s photovoltaics center also won the largest solar energy research grant in the country – $50 million from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Bowden has been working at the University of Delaware’s Institute of Energy Conversion. He is credited with helping make major strides in improving the efficiency of silicon and crystalline silicon solar cells and the cell manufacturing process.

Honsberg and Bowden previously were at the University of New South Wales, Australia, working in one of the strongest academic solar energy programs in the world.

Maracas is returning to ASU after leaving 14 years ago to work with Motorola Inc., where he founded the company’s Molecular Technology Lab and Motorola Life Sciences, and held director positions in Motorola’s advanced technologies and nanotechnology research operations. He had 30 patents issued during his time with the company.

Maracas also has been president of two companies providing technical and management consulting services to industry and government in nanotechnology, medical diagnostic devices and biotechnology.

Honsberg will be a professor and Bowden an associate research professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Maracas will be a professor in electrical engineering and ASU’s School of Sustainability. He had previously been an electrical engineering faculty member at ASU for about 10 years before leaving for private industry in 1994.

Through their work in the new laboratory, “We hope to unify the various solar energy-related research efforts throughout the university and to develop industry collaborations,” explained Stephen Goodnick, ASU’s associate vice president of Research and Economic Affairs.

Solar power groups such as the university’s Advanced Photovoltaics Center and Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory will be affiliated with the new lab under the Global Institute of Sustainability.

The lab “will bring together other ASU researchers, from materials engineering, physics, chemistry, electrical engineering and architecture” to collaborate on projects, Goodnick said.

“For four decades, ASU has been a leader in research related to virtually all aspects of solar energy”, Fink said, including creation of new materials and devices for generating electricity from sunlight, improved methods of photovoltaics testing, design of advanced power systems, and laying the groundwork for sound energy policies

“To build on these accomplishments and, more importantly, increase the chances for Arizona to attract more international solar companies, we decided ASU needed to bring in new faculty members who have outstanding reputations in the global solar industry,” Fink said.

Maracas brings extensive experience in working with private industry, and the accomplishments of Honsberg and Bowden “are well-known to the solar industry on both sides of the Pacific,” he said.

“In a technical community replete with creative engineers and scientists, Christiana Honsberg stands out as a talent of unique vision,” said Craig Cornelius, a former director of the U.S Department of Energy solar energy program and leader of its Solar America Initiative.

For years, the energy department “has turned to Honsberg to lead its most ambitious investigations of high-efficiency photovoltaics,” Cornelius said. “She will be a great addition to ASU’s growing franchise in solar research.”

Zhengrong Shi, who worked with Honsberg and Bowden at the University of New South Wales, is the founder and CEO of Suntech, the largest solar energy company in China and one of three largest in the world.

Shi ranks Honsberg and Bowden “clearly among world leaders in their respective fields in photovoltaics. Their strong links to [the University of New South Wales] and Suntech will provide great opportunities for research and development collaboration with ASU.”

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
www.asu.edu
SOURCES:
Jonathan Fink, jonathan.fink@asu.edu
Director
Global Institute of Sustainability
(480) 965-4797
Stephen Goodnick, stephen.goodnick@asu.edu
Associate Vice President
Research and Economic Affairs
(480) 965-1225

Joe Kullman | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.asu.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>