University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute
University of California Advanced Solar Technologies
Institute (UC Solar)
UC Solar faculty, students and postdoctoral researchers are dedicated to designing and developing innovative solar energy generation technologies that are more efficient, more affordable, and the first choice for California and the world. UC Solar is made up of participants from the University of California's Merced, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Davis, and San Diego campuses, and it is supported by research grants, philanthropic gifts, and corporate sponsors.
News and Updates
Solar is our most abundant and reliable form of renewable energy, and, when used effectively, has the potential to meet most, if not all, of our energy needs.
Each day we increase our fundamental ability to convert sunlight into electricity and thermal energy, while lowering the cost of doing so. Has it taken significant effort and investment to get to this point? Yes. Is the day upon us when solar energy systems are as ubiquitous as cell phones and automobiles? Not yet, but that day can be seen on the horizon. [Read More]
Everyone is invited to attend this year’s UC Solar Research Symposium, put on by the University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar), to learn more about the latest research and developments in this rapidly evolving field.
UC Merced leads the eight-campus UC Solar institute and is organizing the symposium, which will be held May 2 at UC Davis.
Organizers have lined up experts to promote public knowledge regarding present and future UC Solar research initiatives, and to examine the current state of the solar energy industry in California and beyond, including Larry "Kaz" Kazmerski, executive director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [read more]
Fifteen engineering students from Dankook University in Yongin, Gyeonggi, South Korea, have come to UC Merced to get hands-on experience in the research conducted at the UC Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar), which is headquartered at UC Merced’s Castle Research Center. UC Solar is made up of faculty and researchers from the University of California’s Merced, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Davis and San Diego campuses.
This is the first time UC Solar at Merced has hosted a group of students for such a program, but Ron Durbin, UC Solar executive director, said everyone hopes it won’t be the last. [read more]
From improving the performance and efficiency of solar cells to using solar technology to speed up fruit drying, a wide array of topics were covered by distinguished scientists at the UC Solar Research Symposium at UC Merced on Dec. 9.
Hosted by the University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar), the symposium featured an illustrious list of speakers that included researchers from all five of the UC campuses that comprise UC Solar — Merced, Berkeley, Davis, San Diego and Santa Barbara — as well as other top solar scientists. [read more]
Students and faculty at UC Merced have developed solar technology they say is unlike any other in the world.
About thirty UC Merced students and a professor have worked on the project over the past two years. They say the technology they've developed makes solar energy more efficient and less expensive.
This solar panel system tucked away at UC Merced's facility at Castle Air Force Base near Atwater is truly one of a kind.
Prof. Roland Winston said, "You can go anywhere else on this planet, the whole planet, you'll not find another one of these." [read more]
Someday, solar power will provide all the energy homes and buildings need for electricity, heat and cooling. Scientists at UC Solar, a multicampus research institute based at UC Merced, are helping to make that day come true. “The best prospect for abundant alternative energy is solar power,” said Roland Winston, director of UC Solar and a professor of engineering and natural sciences at UC Merced. In terms of resource abundance, “Solar is the king.” [read more]
Using solar thermal energy to power an air conditioning unit can be difficult and expensive. But a team of researchers at the University of California, Merced, have added a game-changing advance to the process that could make it much simpler, less costly and more effective.
UC Merced Professor Roland Winston and his team of student researchers have designed and developed a system that gathers and concentrates sunlight onto specially made collector tubes. The heat generated can then be transformed using existing technology for cooling, heating and a number of other potential uses. [read more]
Roland Winston, UC Merced professor of engineering and natural sciences and director of the University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute, has been named to the board of advisors of the California Solar Energy Collaborative (CSEC). The board — which also includes members from UC Davis, UC San Diego and UC Santa Cruz, the California Energy Commission and several utilities — will meet twice a year to prioritize and define research and development projects for the CSEC. [read more]
New devices that concentrate the sun's rays, increase the efficiency of solar cells, and help to lower the cost of solar energy, are featured in the inaugural issue of Energy Express, a new special bi-monthly supplement to Optics Express, the open-access journal of the Optical Society (OSA). Edited by Bernard Kippelen of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Energy Express launches today and will focus on research that encompasses the science and engineering of light and its impact on sustainable energy development, the environment, and green technologies. Research featured in Energy Express will highlight the role optics plays in energy efficiency and sustainability, from making solar energy economical to providing energy from fusion, to studying new combustion processes that can ease carbon dioxide sequestration, to monitoring the nitrogen cycle, and to realizing significant energy savings using solid-state lighting, such as inorganic and organic light emitting diodes (LEDs and OLEDs).[read more]
The University of California, Merced, received yet another bit of praise for its commitment to campus-wide sustainability this month, when its Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) was named the Outstanding Planning Document of 2009 by the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP).
AEP, a statewide organization focusing on environmental science, regulation and policy, presented the award to UC Merced at its annual conference in Palm Springs on March 16. [read more]
Solar and wind power are both significant sources of renewable energy, but they are less predictable than the power available from the grid. They produce energy only when the sun shines and the wind blows.
For example, a solar energy system in California's Central Valley will produce a lot of power on a hot, cloudless summer day, and you can count on that throughout most of the season. But during the winter, while that system will still produce substantial amounts of energy, the weather conditions are more varied and it's harder to predict how much electricity will be produced on a day-to-day basis.
As communities strive to produce more of their power renewably, they will need to understand these odds and have a plan for bringing available resources online in order to operate efficiently and cost-effectively. [read more]
As the world's hunger for energy grows and fossil fuel supplies become less certain, the need to develop alternative renewable energy sources is paramount. The most abundant source of renewable energy is the sun.
However, current technology used to convert sunlight into electricity is still relatively costly for wide-scale use. The solution? Find ways to make solar energy more efficient and cheaper to utilize.
Researchers at the University of California, Merced, and its sister campuses in Berkeley and Santa Barbara, will attempt to do just that thanks to a five-year $2.25 million grant that will fund a new UC-wide solar energy research program. [read more]