U.S. Department of Energy

    Tapping Top University Draft Picks to Engineer Solar Championships

    February 8, 2012

    By Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Director, SunShot Initiative and Solar Energy Technologies Program

    As football fans buzzed February 1 about national signing day for college football prospects, excitement also builds for picks from a different higher education talent pool.

    On January 20, DOE announced two university research opportunities to advance the SunShot Initiative, a program that aims to dramatically decrease the total costs of U.S. solar energy.

    Like football, research is a team sport, no matter how high-powered any individual player may be. In that spirit, DOE is offering up to $10 million to partners in university-based projects to develop and demonstrate heat transfer fluids. The Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative: High Operating Temperature Fluids solicitation seeks applicants to develop innovative fluids that are more stable than current technologies at temperatures greater than 800°C. The goal is to improve the efficiency of concentrating solar power technologies and cut solar power costs.

    The second opportunity is a second round for the SunShot Initiative postdoctoral research awards. The awards, administered by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, provide an annual stipend as well as other benefits. Read the complete story on DOE's Energy Blog.