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The 2022 Karl Böer solar and renewable energy awards were presented Tuesday, May 3 at the University of Delaware. From left to right in this photograph: Prof. William Shafarman, director of the Institute of Energy Conversion, founded by Böer in 1972; Böer’s widow, Renate, and son, Ralf Böer; Anke Weidenkaff, winner of the Renewable Energy Mid-Career Award; Vasilis Fthenakis, winner of the Solar Energy Medal of Merit, and his wife Christina; Eleni Assanis and UD President Dennis Assanis.

The 2022 Karl Böer solar and renewable vitality awards had been offered Tuesday, May 3 on the University of Delaware. From left to proper on this {photograph}: Prof. William Shafarman, director of the Institute of Energy Conversion, based by Böer in 1972; Böer’s widow, Renate, and son, Ralf Böer; Anke Weidenkaff, winner of the Renewable Energy Mid-Career Award; Vasilis Fthenakis, winner of the Solar Energy Medal of Merit, and his spouse Christina; UD First Lady Eleni Assanis and UD President Dennis Assanis.

Photos by Evan Krape

Vasilis Fthenakis and Anke Weidenkaff honored for analysis on solar vitality

Advances in solar vitality analysis are making the solar’s huge assets extra out there and inexpensive than ever earlier than.

But throughout a particular go to to the University of Delaware on Tuesday, May 3, two leaders in sustainable vitality analysis underscored the pressing want for making the environmental influence of all such advances a prime precedence.

Vasilis Fthenakis of Columbia University and Anke Weidenkaff of the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, had been at UD for the 2022 Karl W. Böer awards, recognizing management in sustainable vitality, particularly solar vitality.

Fthenakis, an skilled in large-scale deployment of solar energy and the founding director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis at Columbia, obtained the fifteenth Karl Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit. The medal comes with a $100,000 prize.

Weidenkaff, govt director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies (IWKS) and a professor on the Technical University of Darmstadt, obtained the primary Karl Böer Renewable Energy Mid-Career Award. The award comes with a $25,000 prize.

Böer, who died in 2018, was a pioneer in solar vitality, an skilled in thin-film photovoltaics and founding father of UD’s Institute of Energy Conversion, which marks its 50th anniversary this 12 months and is the longest constantly working solar analysis facility on the planet.

“His leadership continues to shape research, scholarship and innovation in the field of solar energy worldwide,” UD President Dennis Assanis mentioned throughout the awards ceremony at UD’s Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) campus. “And thanks to the IEC, UD’s reputation for solar energy research continues to attract top students in engineering and the sciences, educating the next generation of researchers and innovators who are working toward a carbon-free future.”

Vasilis Fthenakis, director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis at Columbia University, is an expert in large-scale deployment of solar power. He won the 15th Karl Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit, which comes with a $100,000 prize.

Vasilis Fthenakis, director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis at Columbia University, is an skilled in large-scale deployment of solar energy. He gained the fifteenth Karl Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit, which comes with a $100,000 prize.

In a presentation after receiving the Böer medal, Fthenakis quoted from an interview Böer gave on the way forward for solar vitality.

“We want our children to live better,” Böer mentioned. “We have grandchildren and I want them to be able to look up to us later and say ‘We are proud of what you did.’”

Fthenakis mentioned such objectives encourage many.

“I feel this emotion,” he mentioned. “We have grandchildren, too. I share this vision with a lot of you.”

Those grandchildren and all who observe them will want a wholesome planet. This one is beneath extraordinary stress from environmental exploitation, altering local weather and ongoing threats to land and water assets.

“A safe operating space for humans is already damaged,” mentioned Weidenkaff, an skilled in supplies science. “We have to act fast…. Healthy human beings can only exist on a healthy planet. Damaging the planet damages human health.”

This actuality have to be mirrored in analysis and growth, Weidenkaff mentioned, even on the expense of efficiency.

So-called “forever chemicals” — the artifical, fluorinated chemical compounds often known as PFAS which have precipitated well being considerations after exhibiting up in blood samples of many Americans — are an instance of why such cautious deliberation is crucial, she mentioned.

“We need materials, but that has consequences sometimes,” she mentioned.

With many calling for the “electrification of everything” to get rid of dependency on fossil fuels, these issues are important.

“The ‘electrification of everything’ needs a lot of batteries,” she mentioned. “That needs a lot of water and resources to mine. And this changes nature.”

Anke Weidenkaff, executive director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies (IWKS) and a professor at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, is an expert in materials science. She received the first Karl Böer Renewable Energy Mid-Career Award, which comes with a $25,000 prize.

Anke Weidenkaff, govt director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies (IWKS) and a professor on the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, is an skilled in supplies science. She obtained the primary Karl Böer Renewable Energy Mid-Career Award, which comes with a $25,000 prize.

Replacing diesel and gasoline autos with electrical autos requires many new assets. Problems of recycling are evident around the globe, as electronics and plastics and different wastes pile up.

“But we have to think about what we are doing,” Weidenkaff mentioned. “We are changing the face of nature. We need resources for the chemical industry, but we have to make sure we keep the world and planet healthy.”

New applied sciences typically observe materials discoveries, she mentioned.

“As chemists, we take substances and mix them,” she mentioned. “This is a linearity we learned. But we should not only aim for higher and better performance. We must also aim for sustainability.”

Instead of a linear strategy that appears solely ahead, a round strategy considers waste supplies, recycling, regeneration and sustainable substitute.

“We have to rethink this completely,” Weidenkaff mentioned, “and start to make materials out of waste. My whole life I have been working on substitute materials. But sustainability has to be considered in the first minute of material design.”

Asked whether or not PFAS are a part of solar modules, Weidenkaff mentioned: “Who knows? Even producers don’t know anymore. And our mobile phones, magnets, batteries — do we know what is in our products? We don’t know what producers are using and they don’t want to give that information to the competition.”

But monitoring these components is a crucial a part of growing a round financial system and holding essential supplies in helpful cycles and out of landfills, she mentioned.

Thinking forward this fashion is a problem.

“We have to make sure from the beginning that the substitution will not damage the future,” she mentioned. “Even as a chemist it is hard to understand what will be a problem in 50 years.”

Fthenakis mentioned the environmental impacts of solar era are low in comparison with different applied sciences.

“There is a great distinction when you compare this with coal and gas,” he mentioned. “We don’t expect a lot more from them.”

William Shafarman, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Delaware, is director of the Institute of Energy Conversion. IEC, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, is the longest continuously operating solar energy research facility in the world.

William Shafarman, professor of supplies science and engineering on the University of Delaware, is director of the Institute of Energy Conversion. IEC, which marks its fiftieth anniversary this 12 months, is the longest constantly working solar vitality analysis facility on the planet.

But there are essential inquiries to ask concerning the lifecycle of all supplies — and the tip stage is simply a part of that.

“What if you have photovoltaics on the roof and the house catches on fire?” he mentioned.

What if a large solar farm is put in on land that after was used for crops? How does that have an effect on farming? How does that have an effect on land-use choices and public coverage?

Fthenakis’ work focuses on vitality techniques evaluation, particularly the environmental impacts of supplies, processes and merchandise all through their life cycles. Solving the vitality drawback makes it attainable to handle many different issues, he mentioned.

Solar-based desalination tasks that take away salts and different contaminants from water, for instance, are increasing and anticipated to play a a lot larger function as local weather change additional drains already depleted water assets around the globe.

“Solar takes the price down,” Fthenakis mentioned. “Even the Saudis are projecting desalination based on solar now.”

Providing renewable vitality in sustainable methods was a spotlight of Böer’s work and stays the mission of IEC, which he based in 1972. IEC approaches its mission from many angles — from basic analysis to industrial software and public coverage.

The awards endowed in Böer’s title are supposed to acknowledge leaders in that complete effort and encourage others to attempt for such advances.

“Karl would have been very proud of the award recipients today,” mentioned Renate Böer, his widow. “I’m glad we’re still able to participate. It’s nice to see again the community of solar scientists and solar friends who are here.”

After the displays, IEC celebrated its fiftieth 12 months with displays by William Shafarman IEC director and professor of supplies science and engineering, Lenny Tinker of the Department of Energy and Steven Hegedus, senior scientist at IEC and professor {of electrical} and laptop engineering.

“It was quite an honor to be able to welcome two such distinguished scientists to UD and to learn about sustainability from their experiences and insights,” Shafarman mentioned. “And to combine that with our own celebration of IEC’s 50th anniversary made for a really special afternoon.”

During a presentation after the awards ceremony, Steven Hegedus, senior scientist at the Institute of Energy Conversion and professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, sketched out several new solar research projects on the drawing board as IEC looks toward the future.

During a presentation after the awards ceremony, Steven Hegedus, senior scientist on the Institute of Energy Conversion and professor {of electrical} and laptop engineering on the University of Delaware, sketched out a number of new solar analysis tasks on the drafting board as IEC appears to be like towards the longer term.

The Award Committee consists of the presidents of the International Solar Energy Society, the American Solar Energy Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, or their designated representatives, a consultant of the Böer household and the chief director of the Karl W. Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit Award Trust.

Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit winners

1993: President Jimmy Carter, for spurring growth and focusing world consideration on the comparatively unknown know-how for secure and environmentally sound vitality manufacturing from the solar.

1995: David E. Carlson, for the invention and business growth of skinny movie amorphous silicon cells for changing daylight to electrical vitality.

1997: Adolf Goetzberger, for his management within the worldwide solar vitality group, his analysis accomplishments and for founding the eminent Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

1999: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, for pioneering the science of amorphous semiconductors ensuing within the growth of low-cost, thin-film silicon solar cells.

2001: Allen M. Barnett, for his pioneering high-performance, thin-crystalline silicon solar cells and excellent persevering with service to the solar electrical energy group.

2003: Martin A. Green, for his modern analysis efforts within the growth of high-performance crystalline silicon solar cell know-how.

2005: Yoshihiro Hamakawa, for his important pioneering contributions to the event of high-efficiency, thin-film solar cells and the development of solar photovoltaic science and know-how as a clear vitality supply.

2007: Lawrence Kazmerski, for his management within the area of solar electrical energy from its infancy.

2009: Hermann Scheer, for his long-lasting and worldwide dedication to the dissemination of solar vitality.

2011: Richard M. Swanson, for his innovation within the area of photovoltaics and for his tenure as president of SunPower Corp.

2013: Zhores I. Alferov and Viacheslav M. Andreev, for his or her contributions to the investigation and growth of semiconductor system know-how and physics, which have led to larger efficiency and effectivity of solar cells and arrays.

2015: Antonio Luque, for inventing the intermediate model solar cell, which raises the effectivity restrict from 41% to 63%.

2016: D. Yogi Goswami, for his work to enhance effectivity within the storage of solar vitality and his quest to make use of solar vitality as a catalyst to handle environmental issues.

2018: Alex Zunger, for brand new theories to enhance the efficiency of solar units and unconventional approaches to discovering new supplies to energy solar know-how.

2020: No award

2022: Vasilis Fthenakis, for pioneering analysis on the interface of vitality and that surroundings that supplied the underpinning of vitality lifecycle impacts and catalyzed photovoltaic know-how development and deployment worldwide.

Böer Renewable Energy Mid-Career Award

2022: Anke Weidenkaff, for visionary management in renewable vitality and sustainability applied sciences, with seminal contributions to supplies for solar fuels, thermoelectric converters, catalysts and self-regenerative functionalities.

 



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