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Solar & Alternative Energy

Solar reliability: A video interview with Sarah Kurtz

A key to solar energy becoming a key part of the energy infrastructure is reliability of components and systems.

1 September 2009, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3200909.01

Sarah R. Kurtz manages the Reliability Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO). She is best known for her work with multijunction solar cells and the concentrator industry. With colleague Jerry Olson, she shared the 2007 Dan David Future Prize with NASA climate scientist James Hansen for their multijunction work. Philanthropist Dan David established the $1 million annual prizes to recognize innovative and interdisciplinary research, and to promote scientific, technological and humanistic achievements.

Kurtz was a plenary speaker at the 2009 SPIE Optics + Photonics symposium. Her presentation, with Jennifer Granata, was entitled Photovoltaic Reliability R&D Toward a Solar-Powered World. In this interview, she discusses reliability-based challenges in photovoltaics, and the factors necessary to realize a solar-powered world, which she predicts can occur within 10 years.

Audio of Kurtz plenary talk