Friday, November 23, 2007

"MIT Solar Community Social III" set for Dec 13, 6-8PM, Muddy Charles Pub....

The MIT Energy Club will be organizing its 3rd "MIT Solar Community Social" of the year on Thurs Dec 13, 6-8PM at the Muddy Charles Pub at MIT.

The last two socials(I and II) brought out an amazing diversity of MIT/Boston area solar technologists, entrepreneurs, and policy makers. The upcoming promises to be even better.

Solar activity in the MIT/Boston/New England sphere has been growing like crazy, with MIT recently receiving ~$2M in PV research grants from the DOE, MIT competing in the Solar Decathlon for the first time, and a number of interesting solar startups being created in the region over the last 1-2 years.

Come meet other people working in solar to chat and share ideas. Food will be provided courtesy of the MIT Energy Club.

MIT Professor Tonio Buonassisi and recent MIT PhD alum and MIT Energy Club founder David Danielson will co-host this event.

Contact David Danielson, dtdaniel, with any inquiries.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2007

MIT wins $1.8M in PV research grants from DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program....

More evidence recently of the nascent stages of the emergence of a PV research community to be reckoned with at MIT.

MIT recently won 2 large research grants from the Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies program totalling $1.8M. GREAT STUFF!! (If you're smart, you should be able to figure out who got them from the press release linked above.)

This was part of $21.7M distributed to 25 research projects in next generation PV by the DOE's Solar America Initiative. It is great to see Craig Cornelius, the new head of the DOE EERE Solar Energy Technologies program, implementing a much more dynamic funding strategy than we have seen in U.S. federal solar funding in the past! Craig had the chance to see all that MIT has to offer when he attended the MIT Energy Club's "MIT EnergyNight" last month.

Let's once again be sure to calibrate ourselves about what this means in terms of research output. For a project with a reasonable experimental/capital expenditure component, I would estimate that a PhD student costs ~$200K-$300K/year (~$100K just to have the student there - stipend/tuition/overhead + $100-$200K more for research costs).

So a rough estimate tells us that these grants will support 6-9 PhD student research-years or 3-4.5 PhD student research-years per project.

A great start to hopefully a lot more PV research funding coming into MIT!

Congratulations, Marcie Black and Bandgap Engineering!

Congratulations to Marcie Black and Bandgap Engineering, who received an "Outstanding Presentation Award" at the NREL Industry Growth Forum!

Read the full story here: