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Aussies team up with Americans for solar projects

28th Feb 2013

The American and Australian governments, along with a number of supporting companies and organisations, have recently teamed up with researchers from sunny Arizona State University (ASU). Their goal is to saturate the world with solar power, and so three new solar energy projects have been funded.

"ASU is delighted to join Australian and U.S. researchers on the development of solar energy technologies and projects to spur innovation and identify solutions to global energy challenges," said Sethuraman Panchanathan, senior vice president of ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.

"This collaborative initiative will accelerate renewable energy research and help reduce solar electricity costs by increasing the speed of development of related technologies."

One of the projects will see the U.S Australia Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics (USAIAP) working to advance the technology of solar energy, specifically pholtovoltaic panels, to increase their energy efficiency and performance as well as making solar panels more affordable.

Universities, research organisations and a number of manufacturers from both the United States and Australia are involved in this project.

Another of the initiatives is the Micro Urban Solar Integrated Concentrators (MUSIC) project. Its aim is to develop lightweight, thin and self-contained solar concentrating modules. They would deliver high levels of thermal energy and electricity from rooftops.

The last of the projects involves the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative, and its focus is to bring Australia to the forefront of concentrating solar power technologies.

Solar thermal is where the heat from the sun is collected and used to heat water or another liquid, usually through the use of parabolic shaped reflectors/mirrors.

Each project is worth many millions and the wide range of organisations and individuals involved will bring a huge amount of experience to these developments.

Posted by MIke Peacock

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