Sandia National Laboratories Solar Program Newsletter Oct/Nov 2014

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Latest Sandia Solar Programs News & Research


Welcome to the October / November 2014 Sandia Solar Programs Newsletter. If you have questions or comments, email

Research Updates

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IEEE Recognizes Sandia Engineer for Contributions to MEPV, CdTe

Sandia Engineer Jose Luis Cruz-Campa was recognized recently by IEEE’s Region 6 with an Outstanding Engineer award. Cruz-Campa was selected for his contributions to research and development of the lab’s microsystems-enabled photovoltaics (MEPV) and nano-patterned cadmium telluride solar materials. Sandia’s MEPV uses microdesign and microfabrication techniques to produce miniaturized solar cells-- as small as 14 microns thick and 250 microns wide—that are placed or ‘printed’ onto a low-cost substrate with embedded contacts and microlenses for focusing sunlight. The technology has potential applications in buildings, houses, clothing, portable electronics, vehicles, and other contoured structures.

IEEE Region 6 covers the western portion of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. The organization’s Outstanding Engineer award acknowledges “IEEE members of Region 6 who through their technical abilities have made outstanding contributions to their profession.” Awards rely on colleague nominations and recognize achievements in technical concepts and devices, patents, development of applications, and other work.

For more about Sandia’s research in MEPV and other advanced solar technologies, visit the Sandia PV website.

Sandia Receives Award for Research in Dye-Sensitized Solar Materials

Researchers from Sandia's Livermore campus, along with collaborators at the University of Colorado, recently won a three-year, $1.2 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. The funding will support the team’s continued research in combining metal-organic framework materials with dye-sensitized solar materials, which are designed to absorb light in the solar spectrum. The objective of the work is to improve the efficiencies of photovoltaic materials.

The award is part of SunShot’s Next Generation Photovoltaic Technologies III program, which supports research in transformative PV technologies.

MEPV Video Photo

Sandia MEPV Research Featured at TEDxABQ

Sandia researcher Vipin Gupta presented at the Albuquerque, New Mexico TEDxABQ event, on September 6, 2014. Gupta shared his work on Sandia-developed microsystems-enabled photovoltaics (MEPV). In his talk, Gupta reminded attendees of the tremendous potential for solar energy - 173,000 terawatts of power generated by the sun, vs. 18 TW used by humankind.

MEPV uses microdesign and microfabrication techniques to produce miniaturized solar cells that are released into a solution similar to printing ink. This solution is then placed or ‘printed’ onto a low-cost substrate with embedded contacts and microlenses for focusing sunlight onto the cells.Learn more on Sandia’s MEPV page.

TEDxABQ is a one of the locally-formed groups formed under the national TED model, dedicated to sharing ideas and sparking conversation.

Sandian Presents on PV Failure Analysis at EU PVSC

Sandia researcher Josh Stein highlighted novel PV array monitoring strategies at a PV Performance Analysis and Module Reliability workshop held at the European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, in September. The workshop was organized by the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme Task 13 to discuss the work of the task experts over the last four years and first results from the second phase of the Task 13 work program. Stein discussed An article summarizing Stein’s talk is forthcoming in PV-Tech magazine.

Sandians Conduct Tutorial on Stochastic Operation of RE

Sandia researchers led a two-hour tutorial on stochastic unit commitment applied to power systems with high penetration of renewable energy at the UVIG Fall Technical Meeting in San Antonio, Texas in October. The activity was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative as part of Sandia's effort to develop a software toolkit for stochastic operations. The toolkit aims at reducing the computational effort needed by utilities, independent system operators/regional transmission operators, researchers, and other stakeholders to perform power system production cost simulations using stochastic unit commitments. The kit is scheduled for release in late November.

Sandia Solar Innovations in the News

Solar innovations sparked at Sandia have been featured in the news recently. In “Powered by New Mexico,” the Albuquerque Journal highlights Emcore’s triple-junction solar cells. The technology is being used to power NASA’s Maven explorer, which launched last November and traveled 442 million miles to explore Mars. The solar technology was originally developed at Sandia. The Journal also featured a recent visit to Sandia by the New Mexico Angels, a group of local investors. Sandia’s microscale solar cells were one of the technologies featured during the visit.

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In This Month's Issue

Upcoming Events

6th International Conference on Integration of Distributed and Renewable Energy Resources, November 17-20, Kyoto, Japan

The 6th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, November 23-27, Kyoto, Japan

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