Research focusing on the development of concentrating systems for solar photovoltaic devices began at the University of California, Merced in 2005. Through both funding and collaboration with public and private organizations, our research has led to the development of products that are currently entering the marketplace. These concentrating devices greatly enhance the efficiency of photovoltaic cells and permit the use of lower-cost materials in the fabrication of solar cell devices.
In order to develop truly competitive to photovoltaic systems, the cost of generating power must approximate or fall below the cost of generating the same amount of power utilizing existing conventional large-scale electric power generation technologies. Research at UC Merced addressing solar concentrators will contribute significantly to reducing the costs associated with photovoltaic power generation, hopefully leading to a wider application of the technology.
In addition to developing advanced technologies for the photovoltaic industry, UC Merced is also contributing its expertise in the training of solar technology researchers for the future. Our graduate research program is healthy and vigorous, and participation in the research program by undergraduates strongly encouraged.