About Solar Energy Systems
|An electron microscope image of electrochemically grown TiO2 nanotubes. 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, the tubes are filled with organic polymer in a new technique developed at Argonne for "growing" solar cells with the potential to be cheaper than current solar cells.
Solar energy systems design involves diverse challenges ranging from materials synthesis
and characterization to device integration, energy storage, and interfacing with the grid. Argonne is uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in an integrated systems approach to solar energy technology
development. With strong research collaborations exemplified by the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy
Research Center and the two recently-awarded Argonne Energy Frontier Research Centers--Institute for Atom-Efficient Chemical Transformations (IACT) and Center for Electrical Energy Storage (CEES)--Argonne’s multidisciplinary strengths in materials and molecular design and systems engineering provide the basis for success in addressing the complexities of this challenge.
To develop revolutionary approaches to photovoltaic and photocatalysis technologies. Link
fundamental materials behavior to novel device architectures that are integrated and scaled for use as a grid level (solar electric) or fuel-level (solar fuel) energy source. Goals include:
- Combine computational and experimental resources to rationally design, characterize, and control the
nanoscale morphology of organic, inorganic, and hybrid photovoltaic and photocatalytic systems in order to
understand and optimize the internal processes that govern solar energy conversion.
- Design and couple novel solar device components, including photovoltaic and photocatalysis materials and
schemes, to produce dramatic improvements in solar conversion efficiencies and to reduce the costs for next-generation technologies.
- Develop efficient system integration analysis tools that inform solar conversion research to further improve
the efficiency, sustainability, and cost of market-deployed technologies. Couple these technologies with grid level
energy storage and transmission options to deliver low-cost solar-derived electric power to the nation.