ARPA-E announced today that it has made $30 million available to fund a new program entitled “Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS),” which is aimed at advancing solar energy beyond current photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies to ensure solar power remains a consistent, cost-effective renewable energy option.
FOCUS seeks to develop two distinct technology options to deliver low-cost, high-efficiency solar energy on demand, specifically: (1) new hybrid solar energy converters and (2) new hybrid energy storage systems. The first approach will develop advanced solar converters that turn sunlight into electricity for immediate use, while also producing heat that can be stored at low cost for later use. These hybrid converters will use the entire solar spectrum more efficiently than PV or CSP technologies. The second approach will develop innovative storage systems that accept heat and electricity from variable solar sources to deliver electricity when needed.
The deadline to submit a Concept Paper for FOCUS is 5 p.m. ET on August 22, 2013. Additional information on FOCUS, including the full Funding Opportunity Announcement, can be found on ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE
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