Arizona State University (ASU) is partnering with two companies that received grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to further develop solar energy. The grants are part of the Solar America Initiative (SAI) that was announced last year by President Bush.
ASU is involved in a project led by BP Solar, Frederick, Md., and a second project led by Amonix Inc., Torrance, Calif. Jonathan Fink, vice president of research and economic affairs, says ASU is one of four universities involved in multiple SAI projects.
‘The SAI grants are the largest current federal investment in commercially-based solar technology,’ Fink adds. ‘The fact that ASU was selected by two different teams reflects on how highly our research is regarded.’
Part of ASU's team will look at current BP Solar products and see how they can be used to create maximum value. The goal is to have solar energy systems designed into new residential and commercial structures, rather than used only as retrofits to existing structures. ASU's team involved in the Amonix project will work on a low-cost, high-concentration photovoltaic (PV) system that can be used in utility markets. The project will help transition the company's concentrating PV systems from low-volume to high-volume production, ASU says.