PSE Success Story:
Argonne’s Solar Energy Research Initiative
Spurred by global development and population growth, the world’s energy needs are expected
to double by 2050. The best solution to meet this coming demand is an energy mix that includes
generous amounts of renewable energy sources. Of the many options, the sun represents the
most abundant renewable energy source.
|Argonne nanoscientist Seth Darling measures
the performance of a nanostructured organic
photovoltaic cell using a solar simulator that
replices sunlight under standardized conditions.
|Argonne chemist Jeff Elam examines solar
cell materials prepared using atomic layer
deposition at various stages of fabrication.
The costs of converting sunlight to usable
electricity, heat or fuel must be radically
reduced to realize solar energy’s potential.
That can only be accomplished through the
development of technologies that are
low-cost, highly scalable and based on
plentiful source materials.
Dozens of researchers at Argonne are
exploring new solar technologies as part of
its Alternative Energy & Efficiency Initiative. The
initiative aims to achieve revolutionary advances
in solar energy by merging basic and applied
research that is supported by collaborations with
industry and other research organizations.
Argonne’s research covers many aspects of solar
energy, but focuses on five specific areas:
- Next-generation photovoltaic technologies such
as organic, hybrid and dye-sensitized solar cells
- Transparent conductors deposited on
- Concentrating sunlight
- Systems analysis
- Solar fuels
Argonne’s integrated approach to solar energy
research represents a new way of addressing the challenges associated with shifting global
energy generation away from fossil fuels to provide a clean, secure and virtually limitless supply
of energy for the future.
“By integrating basic research, applied science and systems analysis, we are working to
uncover the most efficient and effective pathways to realizing large-scale use of solar
energy,” said Seth Darling, nanoscientist, Argonne National Laboratory.
- Argonne's Solar Energy Research Initiative (667 kB pdf)