After 55 years of development, photovoltaic electric generation is at a historic moment as it transitions from a niche technology to a significant source of clean, carbon-free energy.
Swanson discusses the promise of photovoltaic solar energy, policy issues needed to meet this promise, and how the industry is addressing these challenges.
Richard Swanson received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1974. In 1976, he joined the faculty at Stanford University where he and his group conceived and developed the point-contact solar cell.
Laboratory versions of these cells achieved a record 28 percent conversion efficiency in concentrator cells and 23 percent large-area one-sun cells. In 1991, Dr. Swanson resigned from his faculty position to devote full time to SunPower Corporation, a company he founded to develop and commercialize cost-effective photovoltaic power systems. Dr. Swanson currently serves as its President and Chief Technical Officer. Along with his students and co-workers, he has published more than 200 articles in journals and conference proceedings, as well as several book chapters.
In 2002, Dr. Swanson was awarded the William R. Cherry award by the IEEE for outstanding contributions to the photovoltaic field, and in 2006 the Becquerel Prize in Photovoltaics from the European Communities.
So glad to hear the progress in PV energy and cost. I enjoyed your lecture Dr. Richard Swanson.
I visualize solar energy year round controlled independently by each of us where we live and work, and no grid or electrical wiring, and not WiFi either. Futuristic it sounds, but it will be part of the future, and it will not only be sustainable, but also safe for all living things. I presently long for a safe place to live without being irradiated by various power outputs, and so do a lot of others who are electromagnetic hypersensitive(EHS).
Good lecture, however I am surprised Dr. Swanson is not familiar with Dr. Donald Sadoway of MIT.
Dr. Sadoway has developed a liquid metal battery (about 8 ft tall 4 ft. in diameter), which if deployed in a plant 15 acres in size (think of it as a shopping mall sized plant) could store enough electricity to supply New York's needs for 24 hours (13,000 MW) see link to MIT Technology Review Magazine;
I believe if his company is to thrive, it will need to fund energy storage concepts such as Dr. Donald Sadoway's and sell solar power plants as an integrated power generation and storage package, such a concept would eliminate the advantages of fossil fuel and nuclear driven plants.
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Interesting lecture by the good Dr. Swanson.
It might actually have been better if he'd had his slides. I didn't learn a whole lot new as I have been following this subject for a long time. However, it is heartening to hear that technology of PV is improving and that production increases are bringing costs down. I believe we have our best chance under the new Obama administration of actually seeing more political will, movement, acceptance, and implementation going forward.
To his last question - kilowatt hour.
But I have been guilty of ignoring the time function when referring to energy in colloquial language. Its a good reminder that those of us who know better should be more accurate when speaking for the benefit of others.
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