As quantities of fossil fuels dwindle and as their adverse impact is more and more revealed, increased attention has been paid to alternative energies and in particular solar energy. Israel in general and BGU in particular have long recognized the importance of developing solar energy technologies. With advances in technology occurring at an ever more rapid pace, research at BGU spans the gamut from nano-materials to heliostats, panels and entire installations.
Solar Energy PV
Researchers believe that the tiniest nano-particles offer the largest solutions for solar energy today.
At BGU's Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology in Beer-Sheva and The Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center on the Sede Boqer campus, scientists are exploring nano-materials and nanotechnology-based processes for photovoltaics and solar energy.
They believe that this research has the potential to develop alternative energy solutions that are both cost efficient and environmentally benign.
Solar Energy CPV
Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV) use a relatively inexpensive, large, mirrored surface to collect and concentrate light into a small, highly-efficient PV module. A breakthrough by Prof. David Faiman led to the licensing agreement and creation of the start-up company Zenith Solar, which has recently launched its first commercial solar farm based on this technology with hopes to expand commercial operations throughout Israel and the world. A by-product of the process is hot water, which is produced in quantity and serves as an added economic benefit of the system.