University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering



DOE Funds Balandin Group Research on Solar Concentrator Cells


DOE Funds Balandin Group Research on Solar Concentrator Cells
 

NDL GroupProfessor Alexander Balandin was invited to join a multi-university team funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) with the goal to develop the high-efficiency nanostructured photovoltaic cells for solar concentrator systems. The 1.11 million-dollar DOE project supports research at the Rochester Institute of Technology, University of California - Riverside and NASA Glenn Research Center to develop photovoltaic cells with the very high efficiency, selective spectral sensitivity and favorable thermal properties for applications in the concentrator photovoltaic systems. The solar concentrators focus solar light on a small area of highly efficient solar cells. The requirements for solar cells working with concentrators are very different from the conventional ones. Balandin Group expertise in thermal management of semiconductor devices, nanostructure characterization and optimization of solar cells became crucial for this DOE project. In the framework of this project, the next generation solar cells made of semiconductors such as InAs and GaAs will be fabricated at RIT and NASA Glenn centers and tested in Balandin's Nano-Device Laboratory (http://ndl.ee.ucr.edu/). The NDL researchers will also help with the modeling-based optimization of nanostructured solar cells and concentrators. The concentrator systems are expected to allow US companies to replace large areas of expensive crystalline solar cells with cheaper metal and plastic concentrator systems and efficient small-area solar cells. Photo: Hard-working people of NDL Research Group.

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