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Solar: Penn State takes the cake when it comes to solar funding

Pennsylvania State University researchers have been granted part of a $24 million federal fund to develop more efficient solar panels.

The solar panels are being developed as part of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which is the president’s plan to battle climate change and cut emissions.  Penn State will be receiving $2.9 million for the project, before which is one of 11 throughout the U.S. that is developing different ways to “use thousands of small lenses to concentrate light on to photovoltaic (PV) cells to allow them to convert sunlight to electricity at a higher rate,” reports State Impact Pennsylvania.

The purpose of the project is to develop more efficient solar panels than the already existing large and expensive solar tracking systems that consist of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology.  Another goal of the project is to push for a wider use of solar energy as part of Obama’s push for renewable fuels.

The solar project was presented during a White House Conference call with reporters.  The U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz shared the news regarding the project, which is the latest climate change related announcement made by the Obama Administration.

Researchers at Penn State, other universities and private laboratories across the U.S. that are a part of the MOSIAC group, will develop “system that uses optical concentrators, micro-PV cells and a new tracking system to deliver significantly more energy than conventional PV panels.”  By developing such a system, the panels will be able to track sunlight without shifting or having to be tilted at a certain angle.

To read State Impact Pennsylvania’s entire article regarding the CPV project at Penn State, click here.

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