background image
The Good News
2016 June/July
Pg 4 - The Sunshine Express
In this test, the nanophotonic crystals are inte-
grated into a system with vertically aligned carbon
nanotubes, and operate at a high temperature of
1,000 degrees Celsius. Once heated, the nano-
photonic crystals continue to emit a narrow band
of wavelengths of light that precisely matches
the band that an adjacent photovoltaic cell can
capture and convert to an electric current. ¡°The
carbon nanotubes are virtually a perfect absorber
over the entire color spectrum,¡± Bierman says,
allowing it to capture the full solar spectrum. ¡°All
of the energy of the photons gets converted to
heat.¡± Then, that heat gets re-emitted as light
but, thanks to the nanophotonic structure, is con-
verted to just the colors that match the PV cell¡¯s
peak efficiency.
In operation, this approach would use a conven-
tional solar-concentrating system, with lenses or
mirrors that focus the sunlight, to maintain the
high temperature. An additional component, an
advanced optical filter, lets through all the desired
wavelengths of light to the PV cell, while reflect-
ing back any unwanted wavelengths, since even
this advanced material is not perfect in limiting
its emissions. The reflected wavelengths then get
re-absorbed, helping to maintain the heat of the
photonic crystal.
Bierman says that such a system could offer a
number of advantages over conventional photo-
voltaics, whether based on silicon or other ma-
terials. For one thing, the fact that the photonic
device is producing emissions based on heat
rather than light means it would be unaffected by
brief changes in the environment, such as clouds
passing in front of the sun. In fact, if coupled with
a thermal storage system, it could in principle
provide a way to make use of solar power on an
around-the-clock basis. ¡°For me, the biggest ad-
vantage is the promise of continuous on-demand
power,¡± he says.
In addition, because of the way the system har-
nesses energy that would otherwise be wasted as
heat, it can reduce excessive heat generation that
can damage some solar-concentrating systems.
To prove the method worked, the team ran tests
using a photovoltaic cell with the STPV compo-
nents, first under direct sunlight and then with the
sun completely blocked so that only the second-
ary light emissions from the photonic crystal were
illuminating the cell. The results showed that the
actual performance matched the predicted im-
¡°A lot of the work thus far in this field has been
proof-of-concept demonstrations,¡± Bierman says.
¡°This is the first time we¡¯ve actually put some-
thing between the sun and the PV cell to prove
the efficiency¡± of the thermal system. Even with
this relatively simple early-stage demonstration,
Bierman says, ¡°we showed that just with our own
unoptimized geometry, we in fact could break
the Shockley-Queisser limit.¡± In principle, such a
system could reach efficiencies greater than that
of an ideal solar cell.
The next steps include finding ways to make
larger versions of the small, laboratory-scale
experimental unit, and developing ways of manu-
facturing such systems economically.
This represents a ¡°significant experimental ad-
vance,¡± says Peter Bermel, an assistant professor
scholarship to a graduating senior from each lo-
cal high school, two $500 Tri-State scholarships,
and one $1,000 Basin Electric Scholarship.
SMPA also gave out the final Wes Perrin Memo-
rial Scholarship which is a $2,500 four-year
renewable scholarship and, for the first time this
year, SMPA granted a $2000 Vocational Scholar-
ship, dedicated to students planning to pursue
career training after high school. The scholar-
ships are awarded based on overall academic
performance, community involvement, student
need, and the students¡¯ own writings.
The scholarship recipients were selected from a
blind evaluation by a volunteer committee. This
year¡¯s committee included Paul Paladino and
Tina Carver of the Montrose Regional Library
District, Toni Bowling of the Delta Montrose
Technical College, Donna Justin of Colorado
Mesa University Montrose Campus, Jon Gordon
of the Center for Mental Health and Sara Plum-
hoff, of the Montrose Community Foundation.
SMPA expresses our sincere thanks for these
San Miguel Power Association, Inc. is a mem-
ber-owned, locally-controlled rural electric coop-
erative with offices in Nucla and Ridgway, Colo.
It is the mission of San Miguel Power Associa-
tion to demonstrate corporate responsibility and
community service while providing our members
safe, reliable, cost effective and environmentally
responsible electrical service. SMPA serves ap-
proximately 9,600 members and 14,000 meters
and supports local communities with $300,000
annually in property taxes and $400,000 in
energy efficiency and renewable energy rebates.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider
and employer.
New Solar Cell (continued from pg3)
can exceed PV output with a direct comparison of
the same cells, for a sufficiently high input power
density, lending this approach to applications using
concentrated sunlight.¡±
The research team also included MIT alumnus An-
drej Lenert PhD ¡¯14, now a research fellow at the
University of Michigan, MIT postdocs Walker Chan
and Bikram Bhatia, and research scientist Ivan
Celanovic. The work was supported by the Solid-
State Solar Thermal Energy Conversion (S3TEC)
Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Hard Work Pays Off For Students
MIT researchers have demonstrated, for the first
time, an STPV device that has a higher solar-to-
electrical conversion efficiency compared to that
of the underlying PV cell. Photo: courtesy of the
Montrose is start & finish for 2016 Bicycle
Tour of Colorado; City-wide celebration
welcomes summer visitors
MONTROSE: On June 19-25, more than 600
cyclists from all over the world will participate in
the 22nd Annual Bicycle Tour of Colorado(BTC),
one of Colorado¡¯s ultimate cycling adventures.
Riders will be cycling 359 miles through the
beautiful Colorado Rockies.
The seven day adventure starts and ends in
Montrose. Cyclists will be arriving Saturday,
June 18 at Columbine Middle School to register.
The city will welcome participants next door at
Rotary Park, 600 S 12th St, and the public is
invited to attend the event from 2-8p. Music
will be provided and vendors are welcome to
¡°Bike tours are great for tourism and we¡¯re
thrilled Montrose is the start and finish for the
2016 BTC,¡± said Stacey Ryan, programs coordi-
nator for the City of Montrose¡¯s Office of Busi-
ness and Tourism(OBT) and event sponsor, ¡°The
tour brings hundreds of visitors to town, and
we get to throw a party for locals and visitors
to come together for the day and showcase
Businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to
become vendors for a nominal fee: food & retail
$10; nonprofits free. Food vendors are needed
for both the Saturday celebration between 2-8p,
as well as for breakfast early Sunday 4:30-10a.
Shuttles will move participants around to eat,
shop and enjoy Montrose. The Colorado Plateau
Mountain Bike Trail Association(COPMOBA) will
provide a beer garden and Sharing Ministries
Foodbank will provide wine and drinks. A tour
bus will transport pre-registered BTC partici-
pants out to the Black Canyon National Park.
A Bike-In Movie Night presented by the Mon-
trose Area Bicycle Alliance(MABA) will start at
8:30p. People are encouraged to bike or walk
to the park to enjoy the movie. Popcorn will be
available on a donation basis.
After an early breakfast, riders will head off
Sunday morning and tour through Ouray, Du-
rango, Cortez, Telluride, Naturita and end back
in Montrose. Riders will climb Red Mountain
Pass, Molas Divide, Coal Bank Pass, Lizard Head
Pass, and Dallas Divide.
Over the last 21 years, the Bicycle Tour of Colo-
rado has catered to over 26,000 cyclists and has
raised over $400,000 for a number of charities
in Colorado, including Rocky Mountain PBS, the
Make-A-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, and
Adaptive Adventures.
For more information about the BTC call:
303.985.1180 or visit:
A Trip Of A Lifetime
of electrical and
computer engi-
neering at Pur-
due University,
who was not
associated with
this work. ¡°To
the best of my
knowledge, this
is a new record
for solar TPV,
using a solar
simulator, selec-
tive absorber,
selective filter,
and photovol-
taic receiver,
that reasonably
represents actu-
al performance
that might be
achievable out-
doors.¡± He adds,
¡°It also shows
that solar TPV
San Miguel Power announces
2016 scholarship recipients
May 11, 2016: Congratulations to this year¡¯s
San Miguel Power Association (SMPA), Tri-State,
and Basin Electric scholarship recipients. SMPA
is proud to award the following scholarships to
deserving graduating seniors within the co-op¡¯s
service territory:
Norwood High School:
Braden Barkemeyer- SMPA $2000 Scholarship
Christa Kennedy- SMPA $2000 Vocational Scholar-
Nucla High School:
Erin Staats- SMPA $2000 Scholarship
Roxanne Ervin- Tri-State $500 Scholarship
Ouray High School:
Hunter Clapsadl- SMPA $2000 Scholarship
Nathaniel Fedel- Tri-State $500 Scholarship
Ridgway High School:
Hasten Beamer- SMPA $2000 Scholarship
Silverton High School:
Talitha Gallegos- SMPA $2000 Scholarship
Telluride High School:
Abigail Segerstrom- SMPA $2000 Scholarship
Ebba Green- Basin Electric $1000 Scholarship
Jack Plantz- SMPA Wes Perrin Memorial $2,500
4-Year Renewable Scholarship
¡°Every year we have an amazing group of students
apply for our scholarships, and this year was no
exception,¡± said SMPA Interim General Manager,
Jim Link. ¡°San Miguel Power sends out our thanks
and appreciation to the parents and teachers in
our service territory for their hard work shaping
our future generations.¡±
SMPA awarded approximately $18,500 in scholar-
ships this year to help local students pursue higher
education. SMPA awarded one $2,000 SMPA