Arizona State University Solar Research Center Teams with KMI

September 19, 2016- Arizona State University Solar Research Center has teamed up with Kinematics Manufacturing to study the increased performance and efficiency of solar trackers by use of slewing drives. To this end, Kinematics has donated various models of slewing drives to the ASU Solar Research Center that have been mounted and are undergoing daily testing, recording, and analysis to quantify the benefits of slewing drives over lesser technologies. The research lab will keep accurate data and logs over time to draw strong conclusions about the use of slewing drives in solar power and how they can be used to further move the solar power industry towards grid parity. ASU recognizes they are key to powering the solar generation into a great new generation.

Arizona State has created a Solar Power Laboratory with experienced technicians, state of the art facilities, and support from industry to study the quickly growing $20 billion solar marketplace. In addition to technological breakthroughs the lab is committed to continuing education. Some solar power lab abilities include:

1. A full pilot line for 6” solar cells with efficiency of 17.5%
2. Extensive capabilities for silicon solar cell characterization
3. Molecular beam epitaxy system for nano-structured solar cells

Additionally, the laboratory studies the science and technology of solar cell fabrication. This course focuses on the manufacturing of solar cells with an emphasis on important manufacturing concepts such as device design, yields, throughput, process optimization, reliability, in-line quality control, and fault diagnosis.

Arizona State University now has a course closely tied to Kinematics balance of system costs in solar fields. The use of tracking in solar fields has grown dramatically in 2014, to the point that now almost every single new utility scale job is quoted with, not without tracking. Much of the growth has come by the proven lower dollar per watt cost and increased reliability found in slewing drives. The goal of ASU’s course is to calculate, design, and understand the components of PV systems; to design and optimize a PV system for a range of PV applications; to calculate and analyze the initial and levelized cost of PV electricity; to understand and analyze the reliability of the PV systems; and to understand the effect of non-technical barriers and incentives to PV systems.