A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), funded by two significant National Science Foundation (NSF) grants and an award from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, is developing materials to generate and store more energy from the sun, which could make solar energy more efficient, less expensive, and more widely available.
The first project is focused on discovering new materials for solar cells that could boost their efficiency and make them less expensive to manufacture. The second seeks to lower the cost of producing hydrogen using solar energy or electricity from other clean energy sources. (Generating hydrogen could be an effective way to store solar energy). The projects are led by Pratap Rao, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
“We are excited about these projects because of the impact they can have on clean energy in the future,” Rao said, “and because they are very interesting problems to tackle.”