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Electrical Engineer Turned Solar Concentrator Inventor Wins Research Expo 2010

San Diego, CA, April 20, 2010 -- With his new solar concentrator design, electrical engineering Ph.D. student Jason Karp won the 2010 Rudee Research Expo Outstanding Poster Award. His winning poster “Planar Micro-Optic Solar Concentration” (#98) was one of 250 posters presented by Jacobs School graduate students on April 15th at the 29th Annual Research Expo at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Jason Karp
Electrical engineering Ph.D. student Jason Karp won the 2010 Rudee Research Expo Outstanding Poster Award. His winning poster: “Planar Micro-Optic Solar Concentration” (#98). Photo credit: UC San Diego / Erik Jepsen
Watch a two-minute video about Karp's solar concentrator.

Karp’s new design will cut the number of required photovoltaic cells – as compared to existing solar concentrators – and could lead to less expensive and more environmentally friendly solar installations.

More than 450 guests – including graduate students and faculty, industry partners, National Academy of Engineering (NAE) members, and alumni – attended Research Expo 2010, which was themed “Renewables and America’s Energy Future.” Following the poster session, ten Jacobs School faculty who are engaged in renewable energy research gave talks. Larry Papay, CEO of PQR and co-author of the National Research Council report America’s Energy Future, gave the keynote address “Renewables and America’s Energy Future.”

The list of best poster winners and honorable mentions for each of the Jacobs School’s six departments is below.

The Jacobs School thanks Qualcomm and ViaSat – the Premier Sponsors for Research Expo 2010; BD and Northrop Grumman – the Partner Sponsors for Research Expo 2010; and all the member companies of the Jacobs School Corporate Affiliates Programs.

Watch a two minute video of Jason Karp describing his research here.

New Solar Concentrator Design

Jason Karp designed and built prototypes for the new solar concentrator in the Photonic Systems Integration Laboratory led by electrical engineering professor Joseph Ford. Jacobs School postdoctoral researcher Eric Tremblay (ECE PhD, ’08) and electrical engineering PhD student Katherine Baker collaborated on the project.

Solar concentrator explained
Electrical engineering Ph.D. student Jason Karp won the 2010 Rudee Research Expo Outstanding Poster Award. His winning poster: “Planar Micro-Optic Solar Concentration” (#98). Photo credit: UC San Diego / Erik Jepsen
Watch a two-minute video about Karp's solar concentrator.

While engineers have already developed high-efficiency solar concentrators that incorporate optics to focus the sun hundreds of times and can deliver twice the power of rigid solar panels, the new design offers potential new benefits. Existing solar concentrator systems typically use arrays of individual lenses that focus directly onto independent photovoltaic cells which all need to be aligned and electrically connected. In contrast, the new solar concentrator collects sunlight with thousands of small lenses imprinted on a common sheet. All these lenses couple into a flat “waveguide” which funnels light to a single photovoltaic cell.

Karp built a working prototype with just two primary optical components, thus reducing materials, alignment and assembly. This solar concentrator is compatible with high-volume, low-cost manufacturing.

Karp and colleagues recently published parts of this work in journal Optics Express (PDF) or visit http://psilab.ucsd.edu/publications.html.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) provided some of the funding for this research. For more information, please visit http://psilab.ucsd.edu/ or contact Jason Karp.

Research Expo 2010 Poster Winners by Department

Bioengineering
Poster title: “Real-Time Monitoring of Sustained Drug Release with Photonic Porous Silicon Particles”
Student: Elizabeth Chung Pui Wu
Faculty advisor: Michael Sailor

Computer Science and Engineering
Poster title: “Energy Management in Virtualized Environments”
Additional student author: Gaurav Dhiman
Faculty advisor: Tajana Simunic-Rosing

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Poster title: “Planar Micro-Optic Solar Concentration”
Student:Jason Harris Karp
Faculty advisor: Joseph Ford

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Poster title: “Multifunctional Nanowire Systems for Drug Delivery”
Student: Karla Sue Brammer
Faculty advisor: Sungho Jin

NanoEngineering
Poster title: “An Early Point-of-Care Shock Diagnostic: Clinically Relevant Detection of Protease Activity in Whole Blood”
Student:Roy Brian Lefkowitz
Faculty advisors: Michael Heller and Geert Schmid-Schönbein

Structural Engineering
Poster title: “Nonlinear Ultrasonic Guided Waves for Health Monitoring of Prestressing Tendons in Post-Tensioned Concrete Structures”
Student: Claudio Nucera
Faculty Advisor: Francesco Lanza di Scalea

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Bioengineering
Poster title
: “Design and Characterization of an Injectable Pericardial Matrix Gel: A Potentially Autologous Scaffold for Cardiac Tissue Engineering”
Student: Sonya B Seif-Naraghi
Faculty: Karen Christman

Computer Science and Engineering
Poster title: “Localizing Objects In Images By Combining Contextual Cues”
Student: Carolina Galleguillos
Faculty: Serge Belongie and Gert Lanckriet

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Poster title: “Silicon Nanowire Phototransistors for Ultra High Responsivity Visible and Infrared Detection”
Students: Arthur Yasheng Zhang and Hongkwon Kim
Faculty: Yu-Hwa Lo

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Poster title: “New Studies and Observations Highlighting Alternative Techniques to Mitigate Runaway Electron Effects in Tokamak Rapid Shutdowns”
Student: Alexander Nevil Tronchin-James
Faculty: George Tynan

NanoEngineering
Poster title
: “A Plausible Mechanism for H4-K16 Acetylation Triggered Unfolding of Chromatin”
Student: Darren Yang
Faculty: Gaurav Arya

Structural Engineering
Poster title: “Computational Fluid-Structure Interaction for Wind Energy Applications”
Student: Ming-Chen Hsu
Faculty: Yuri Bazilevs

Science and Engineering Library Award for Best Use of the Literature

NanoEngineering
Poster title: “An Early Point-of-Care Shock Diagnostic: Clinically Relevant Detection of Protease Activity in Whole Blood”
Student:Roy Brian Lefkowitz
Faculty advisors: Michael Heller and Geert Schmid-Schönbein

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Poster title
: “Solar Fuel From CO2: A Stand-Alone Off-Grid Device”
Student: Aaron John Sathrum
Faculty advisor: Clifford P. Kubiak

 

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