As Dr. Atkinson’s term as an ARPA-E Program Director comes to a close, we sat down with him to reflect on his ARPA-E experience, the NEXTCAR program and the future of powertrain technologies, and what’s next for him.
Increasing the conversion efficiency of incident solar energy to electricity is a key goal in the solar R&D community. In this issue of Joule, a conceptual hybrid photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) receiver design is reported by the research groups of Evelyn Wang and Gang Chen. High exergetic efficiency is achieved by absorbing below-bandgap and excessively high-energy photons as thermal energy, while allowing photons at the PV’s bandgap to pass through to the underlying cell.
Many of ARPA-E’s technology programs seek to break down silos and build new technological communities around a specific energy challenge. The Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) program is bringing together the photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) communities to develop hybrid and cost-competitive solar energy systems. ARPA-E’s FOCUS program has enabled experts from both disciplines to develop a hybrid option that could capture maximum energy out of the full solar spectrum, generating both electricity and usable heat within the same system.
ABSTRACT: Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy systems are being deployed at an accelerating rate to supply low-carbon electricity worldwide.
Austin, TX – At the University of Texas-Austin today, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will announce $30 million in funding to 13 ARPA-E projects to develop transformational hybrid solar energy technologies that deliver cost-effective power when the sun is not shining. These projects will help advance solar energy beyond current photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies to drive lower-cost, reliable solar energy deployment.
With approximately 173,000 terawatts of solar energy continuously striking the earth, solar energy is the most abundant energy resource available. To put this in perspective, solar energy totals more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use. Most solar power is in the form of rooftop panels mounted on homes and businesses.
Solar Beyond Grid Parity: Spectrum-Efficient Solar Energy for Dispatchable Electricity or Fuels Workshop
This workshop sought to identify transformational research and development opportunities for inexpensive full-spectrum solar energy collection with integrated energy storage.