Haney returns to University of Delaware

Sept. 13, 2010
Newark, DE--Solar / photovolatics scientist Michael W. Haney is leaving his DARPA assignment and returning to his position as professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware (UD).

Newark, DE--After four years on temporary assigment with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), solar / photovolatics scientist Michael W. Haney will be returning to his position as professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware (UD) where he will again conduct research into solar power.

Haney served as a program manager in DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office (MTO), where his program development work focused on emerging integrated photonics technologies.

At DARPA, Haney built and managed a large portfolio of programs specifically focused on the research and development of the emerging technology of photonic integrated circuits (PICs). In addition to advancing PIC technology for energy-efficient networks and computer interconnects, Haney initiated efforts to extend the technology to high-efficiency solar cells and other photonics-based sensors.

“We look forward to having Prof. Haney back on the UD faculty,” says Michael Chajes, dean of the College of Engineering. “UD has a growing international reputation in solar power research, and Dr. Haney's significant contributions to this work, as well as his experience in research leadership, will be invaluable to the University as we move forward in photonics and related computational imaging fields.”

Haney's solar energy contributions began in 2005 when he was part of the team that won a $13-million grant from DARPA for the Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) program. Haney and Michael McFadden, who earned his doctorate in electrical engineering under Haney's advisorship in 2005, were key co-authors of the original proposal to DARPA. One of the ideas presented in the proposal was an invention that involves a new way of using prisms within a concentrator to efficiently split the solar spectrum in the concentrator modules.

Haney and another of his doctoral students, Tian Gu, subsequently made additional contributions to the spectrum-splitting micro-optical concentrator concept, leading to at least two other inventive ideas. Specifically, Haney conceived of a new concept for “scavenging” light within the new tiled high-efficiency solar concentrator architecture that would otherwise be lost, thereby increasing the overall effectiveness of the solar cell module. Haney and Gu also proposed a new approach to reduce overall system complexity and cost by exploiting the transparency of photovoltaic cell elements to portions of the solar spectrum so that concentrator optics may be integrated with photovoltaic cells that are positioned on a common planar substrate.

Find out more at the University of Delaware

Posted by Steve Anderson

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