ASU Receives $855k DOE Grant for Solar Panel Innovation

Arizona State University has recently received a grant of $855,000 as part of the SunShot Initiative, which will be used to improve the efficiency of solar cells. In order to achieve this, the heat transfer fluids which make up the CSP system technologies will be improved, and this will both lower the costs of these systems, as well as improve their overall efficiency. This news was recently announced by the U.S Department of Energy, and the work that will turn this initiative into a reality will be completed at the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne.

What the Project Entails

While the specifics of the project are rather complex, the main aim is to achieve the development of heat transfer fluids that will have the capabilities of heating up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit, without lowering its levels of performance. Arizona will be sharing this aim with UCLA, who already has researchers from Yale and Berkely working to find liquids with the appropriate capabilities. Both UCLA and Arizona will receive a total of $5 million over a period of 5 years, although Arizona will be working with researchers from its own university, as well as Georgia Tech, in its attempts to locate salt-based fluids that might be able to meet with their requirements.

American Diversifying it’s “Energy Portfolio”

According to Secretary Chu, “Advances concentrating solar power systems represent a promising pathway for utilities to provide reliable, affordable solar electricity to American families and businesses. The investments made today as part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy will help accelerate commercialization of new, lower cost renewable energy technologies and diversify our nation’s energy portfolio.”

What is the SunShot Initiative?

The SunShot Initiative is a project that aims at jump starting solar energy research and other related projects through investments into these industries. The main goals do not only include locating renewable energy sources; they also aim to come up with a diverse range of materials that will allow the average consumer the chance to make use of them, instead of the alternate options, which are both costly and vulnerable to depletion. By making these options more affordable, they immediately become more appealing alternatives, and so this will automatically make the products more commercially viable once they are ready for release to the public. While the initiative is relatively new, it is gaining ground quickly and it is now just a matter of waiting to see how much higher education institutions can achieve when they put their heads together for the betterment of a nation.