Faculty research solar alternatives

Faculty research solar alternatives
Faculty members from South Dakota State University, The University of South Dakota, and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology have come together to conduct research on new solar technologies under the South Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program. This $10.4 million research project seeks to provide cheap and efficient alternatives to fossil fuels.

Under the name of PANS (Photo Active Nanoscale Systems), researchers will be seeking new types of solar materials capable of producing viable sources of electricity. In the United States, the average price for electricity is 6-7 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to solar energy, which generates electricity at 20-30 cents per kilowatt hour.

"This is probably the largest group of scientists and engineers focusing on a single research project, with national and regional impacts, that the state has ever assembled," said James A. Rice, director of the South Dakota EPSCoR office.

The PANS research group will be looking into two different areas of solar energy: dye-sensitized solar cells and luminescent solar concentrators. Both of these technologies already exist. However, PANS researchers will be developing new structures that will take already existing solar technology and make it competitive with traditional energy sources.

South Dakota EPSCoR is a grant-organization that promotes research and development throughout the state of South Dakota. South Dakota EPSCoR programs help improve the state's higher education research infrastructure that is necessary to support high-quality education and frontier research.

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