Sustainability scientists win solar cell research awards

Zachary Holman holding mirro to reflect himselfArizona State University recently earned six prestigious Department of Energy awards, totaling nearly $5.7 million, ranking it first among university recipients of Solar Energy Technologies Office awards to advance photovoltaic research and development in 2018. Three of these winners were senior sustainability scientists in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability: Mariana Bertoni, Clark Miller and Zachary Holman. Mariana Bertoni, an assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, received $250,000 to continue her “spalling research,” a disruptive technology that cuts silicon wafers without kerf losses — the amount of material lost in the cutting process — and results in high-quality silicon wafers at twice the yield and half the cost of traditional wafering methods. Innovative approaches and models to enable Puerto Rico’s low- and moderate-income communities to better understand how they can use solar energy to improve resilience and energy affordability are the focus of Clark Miller’s $1.3 million award. Miller, a professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and his team will analyze and model different approaches for expanding solar energy access, including household, business, community and utility-based solar solutions. Increasing affordability, reliability and manufacturability of photovoltaic cells, modules and systems are the focus of two awards of $1.5 and $1 million to Zachary Holman, an assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering. Read more about all of these research projects on ASU Now. Photo: ASU Assistant Professor Zachary Holman reflects on the efficiency of new solar technologies vs. the costs. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now