US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz this week announced $30 million of support for 12 more unique, hybrid solar projects through the ARPA-E program. Actually, it’s through a program within that program — the Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) program, “which is aimed at developing new hybrid solar energy converters and hybrid energy storage systems that can deliver low-cost, high-efficiency solar energy on demand.”
Here are some more details:
Under the FOCUS program, projects will develop advanced solar converters that turn sunlight into electricity for immediate use, while also producing heat that can be stored at low cost for later use as well as innovative storage systems that accept both heat and electricity from variable solar sources. For example, Camas, Wash.-based Sharp Labs of America will receive about $4 million to develop a hybrid solar converter that could enable utilities to provide on-demand and low-cost solar electricity. MicroLink Devices, based in Niles, Ill., will receive about $3.6 million to develop high-efficiency solar cells that can operate at temperatures above 750°F and can extract the most energy possible from sunlight when integrated with hybrid solar converters.
Cool stuff. Following a little chart I just made indicating the amount each recipient organization, you can find more details on each of the award winners provided by ARPA-E: