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New centre to focus on solar PV research in Arizona

A new engineering research centre (ERC) for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) is being set up at Arizona State University in cooperation with several partners.

By Kari Williamson

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DoE) will fund the centre, which will develop advanced solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies to provide foundations for new industry through innovation.

NSF's ERC programme and DoE's Solar Energy Technologies programme will invest a total of US$18.5 million over the next five years.

QESST aims to develop technologies and manufacturing processes to increase the amount of solar PV energy in the US.

The centre plans to combine materials research in silicone, thin-film, and tandem solar cells with system-level issues of manufacturability and integration. The centre will also educated the next generation of solar PV engineers.

The solar PV research centre is being developed at Arizona State University in partnership with the California Institute of Technology, MIT, the University of Delaware and the University of New Mexico. In addition, the project involves nearly 40 solar PV industry partners.

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