QESST Hosts Delegation from Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey to Explore Photovoltaic Solutions

Achievement date: 
2016
Outcome/accomplishment: 

The NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) hosted a delegation of undergraduate students and teachers from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico) for a two-day workshop on how to design and manufacture photovoltaic (PV) modules. The event was held at the Solar Power Lab at Arizona State University.

Impact/benefits: 

QESST’s PV Workshop with the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey responds directly to the global Terawatt Challenge of supplying energy to the world through sources that are clean, sustainable, and affordable. Arriving students had interest but very little knowledge about solar energy; however, upon completion of the two-day intensive workshop, undergraduate students from Mexico had built and tested their own silicon cell modules.

Explanation/Background: 

The global Terawatt Challenge requires a research and education perspective that is equally international and collaborative in nature. To this end, QESST actively fosters key international relationships that can directly respond to global needs while also facilitating the peer-to-peer engagements that further QESST’s educational mission to produce globally aware engineers and scientists.

The PV Workshop hosting the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey is one example of a successful collaboration on global STEM issues. While visiting students learned about the challenges and opportunities for PV to meet global energy demand, the delegation also exposed a large number of QESST scholars to the perspectives of students from a different discipline and background. In total, 21 architectural undergraduate students and two faculty members from Mexico participated in the QESST PV Workshop. In addition to mastering the processes needed to build and test a module, each student also had an opportunity to explore every aspect of a PV system at the level of individual cell performance to solar installation design.