ASU researchers receive accolades for solar energy research

Sierra Club Cool SchoolsIn 2017, ASU researchers received $4.3 million in Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Awards for their work with photovoltaics, making ASU the largest recipient of SunShot funding in the Photovoltaics Research category for the year. The DOE's SunShot Intiative aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional methods, a goal that three senior sustainability scientists at the ASU Wrigley Institute are helping to achieve. Stuart Bowden is designing the M-Cell, a photovoltaic cell architecture to enable higher voltage and lower current. Meanwhile, Meng Tao is working to reduce processing expenses, improve reliability and maintain high efficiency for photovoltaic devices. Mariana Bertoni received two awards, while also collaborating on two other SunShot projects. For her second project, Bertoni and her team are exploring ways to improve solar modules' efficiency and warranties, as well as to lower their degradation rates. According to Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president and chief research and innovation officer of ASU's Knowledge Enterprise Development, “Receiving six DOE SunShot Initiative grants — many more than any academic institution on the awardee list — is a testimony to our faculty’s excellence in building innovative solutions that help power the future in a reliable and cost-effective way.”