Project Details

Description

NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies: QESST ERC for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies: QESST Quantum Energy and Sustainability Solar Technologies:QESST Years 6-10 Photovoltaics leverages one of the 20th centurys greatest scientific advancesquantum mechanicsto realize electricity generation that uses fundamentally different physical principles than other generation sources, allowing locally generated, high efficiency, scalable, and environmentally benign energy systems. Solar energy has the unique capacity to meet and exceed the entire world energy demand. Over the last three decades, photovoltaics (PV) has developed from a niche market into a significant source, within Germany and other localized grids up to 50% of the instantaneous power use from PV. Despite these achievements, as one of the newest forms of electricity generation, PV has enormous potential for further growth and improvements. By developing new approaches that lead to unprecedented performance and cost for commercial solar cells, QESST aims to revolutionize existing photovoltaic devices and systems and promote continued growth and impact from photovoltaics. QESST seeks to accelerate implementation of PV technologies through the collaborative development of advances in PV device design that allow rapid implementation and growth. This requires advances in photovoltaic concepts, technology and education as well as application and integration of sustainability concepts and active engagement from industrial collaborators. The goal of QESST is to develop technologies and approaches that provide a path of continuous, cumulative improvements, providing both short term relevance as well as a path to exceeding presently accepted commercial efficiency and cost targets. The central novelty is that a multidisciplinary effort enables new cross cutting approaches, exploiting insight and experience from one technology platform to another to ensure lessons learned from more mature PV device engineering are transferred to novel approaches. QESST technologies span the range of existing commercial technologies silicon, thin films and tandem devices and apply advances spanning manufacturing, new device approaches to fundamental novelties to realize improved performance, lower cost devices. Intellectual Merit: QESST drives the development of an interdisciplinary collaborative research agenda spanning fundamental sciences, device design and systems engineering. QESST is leading the development of scalable, commercially relevant PV systems which overcome fundamental barriers in existing photovoltaic devices, allowing simultaneous increases in efficiency and reductions in cost. These devices are being demonstrated in research testbeds designed to move technology towards commercialization, in collaboration with industrial partners seeking to accelerate the translation of research into commercial endeavors. In Years 6-10, QESST will continue to advance the science of photovoltaics and the transition of this knowledge to industry. We will also broaden our perspective to focus on multifunctional devices that not only generate electricity but perform other important functions such as cleaning the atmosphere. Broader Impacts: QESST is educating students from early scholars to post-graduate leaders, the broader community interested in how we will solve our future energy challenge, and the globally diverse PV industry. QESST seeks to use the motivational advantage of a central challenge - meeting the future demand for energy in a clean and sustainable approach - to build a diverse pipeline of educated students that drive the future PV industry. QESST is focusing on improving the efficacy of energy engineering curriculum through researching effective pedagogy, and building a strong collaboration between academia and industry so students understand how they can contribute to the global photovoltaics industry. NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies: QESST NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies: QESST NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Energy and SustainableSolar Technologies: QESST NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies: QESST NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies QESST Supplement: The PVSC Mentoring Project: QESST Scholars Mentor PVSC High School Teams QESST ERC Supplement: REM: Urban Energy Engineering: Research Experiences and Mentorship for High School Scholars Leading Community Solar Energy Innovation QESST ERC Supplement: Navajo Nation
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/15/117/31/22

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $35,857,473.00

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