Clean Energy Generation
Solar photovoltaics (PV)
Solar PV turns light into electricity, and is the most common renewable energy technology which people can use to directly power their homes. Research aims to increase efficiency and reliability of next generation PV using lower cost manufacturing processes.
Wind technologies harness the energy of the wind to spin a generator and make usable electric power. In order to increase production, current research is being done to increase the height of the turbine, the length of the blades, and the resilience to high wind speeds.
Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy to date. It uses falling water to drive a turbine and produce electricity. Current research aims to increase turbine efficiency, optimize entire river systems, and mitigate impacts on fish and wildlife.
Geothermal power uses the heat from the earth's subsurface to heat water and drive a steam generator to make electricity. Current research aims to improve drilling methods and discover untapped geothermal resources.
solar thermal (concentratEd solar)
Solar thermal power concentrates sunlight in order to heat water. The heated water can be used directly (on homes) or to drive a steam turbine and generate electricity. Current research aims to lower costs by improving the heat transfer fluid and thermal storage techniques.
Wave and tidal energy are examples of a large class of "hydrokinetic" clean energy technologies. These technologies capture kinetic energy from moving water and convert it into electricity. Current research aims to design and test new hydrokinetic technologies and improve necessary modeling techniques.