U.S. DOE announces USD 30 million for novel and hybrid solar technologies

Cogenra hybrid solar collector
Cogenra will receive USD 2 million to develop its hybrid solar designs (Cogenra)

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has announced USD 30 million in Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) funding to 12 projects to develop solar technologies which can produce electricity when the sun is not shining.

DOE will award the funds through ARPA-E's Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) program. The 12 award recipients will develop technologies that span solar photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP) and concentrating photovoltaics (CPV), including applications which store the waste heat from PV generation.

“The Energy Department is working across the industry to help our country’s top engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs bring new solar innovations to market faster,” stated Secretary Moniz.

“The ARPA-E projects announced today are exactly the type of innovative technologies we need to keep breaking through barriers – advancing lower cost, highly efficient solar power.”


Sharp receives award for high-concentration PV system

Many of the awards focus on concentrated PV applications at high temperatures. The largest award at USD 4.18 million is to Sharp Labs of America (Camas, Washington, U.S.) to develop a hybrid solar converter that integrates a partially transmitting mirror to reflect visible wavelengths of light on high-efficiency PV cells. The system will also pass ultraviolet and infrared light to heat a thermal fluid.

DOE notes that the high concentration of visible wavelengths of light will allow expensive PV cells to be used in an inexpensive converter. The agency states that the design would enable utilities to provide dispatchable, on-demand electricity at low cost.

Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona, U.S.) will receive the next-largest award at USD 3.9 million to develop a PV cell that can operate efficiently at temperatures above 450 degrees Celsius, using materials from light-emitting diode manufacturing.


GE to design carbon dioxide gas turbine

Some of the research will have potential applications for either PV or CSP technology. General Electric Global Research (Niskayuna, New York, U.S.) will receive USD 2.28 million to design and test components of a gas turbine driven by high-temperature, high-pressure carbon dioxide, which expands to low pressure and cold temperatures to generate electricity from stored electrical and heat energy.

 

 

2014-02-06 | Courtesy: U.S. DOE; Image: Cogenra | solarserver.com © Heindl Server GmbH

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