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University Consortium To Receive Multi-Millions from Federal Government To Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

The University Consortium for Very High Efficiency Solar Cells, led by the University of Delaware, announced that it plans to receive nearly $53 million in funding in order to improve the efficiency of terrestrial solar cells over the next four years. The University Consortium includes 15 universities, laboratories, and potential corporation involvement from DuPont and Corning, Inc. The major source of this new funding will come from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), and calls upon the Consortium to develop and create 1,000 Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) prototypes that are both affordable and operate at a minimum efficiency of fifty percent. Presently, high-end solar cells operate at a maximum efficiency of just under 25 percent, and solar cells off the assembly line operate at between 15 and 20 percent efficiency. The VHESCs would have direct applications for soldiers’ electronics and equipment by providing portable power in the field. The high efficiency solar cells would also have numerous commercial applications.

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