Facilities Funding: UTEP, University of Texas System, Texas Instruments Foundation (TI)Research Funding sources are NSF, National Institute for Nano Engineering (NINE), Amethyst Research Inc, (ARI)
NanoMaterials Integration Lab FacultyInternational Collaboration with Dr. Jose Mireles from Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ)
This research uses established microsystems technologies to make miniature solar cells. Lower left images show the tiny solar cells made of silicon and gallium arsenide. The graph shows that surface passivation was key to obtaining high efficiency. The schematic drawings in the upper left show how the cells are interconnected. Interestingly, high voltages in the 100’s of volts are possible by connecting hundreds of cells in series. This work was a collaboration between NanoMIL and Sandia.
This work is funded by the National Institute for Nano Engineering (NINE) and is a collaboration between UTEP and Sandia. The idea is to combine nanopatterning with alloy compositional grading to improve the efficiency of the cells. It is applied to the ZnCdTe material system which is usually deposited as a polycrystalline film. The goal is to dramatically improve the spatial and morphological uniformity of the crystal grains. The project has computational and experimental aspects. Molecular dynamics is used to simulate the patterned crystal growth. The experimental capability was developed to deposit the patterned ZnCdTe grains.
This new collaboration is a continuation and expansion of previous work. We anticipate making a public announcement in a few weeks on new major funding for this work. The main idea for this work is to create a capability to directly correlate fabrication with microstructure and performance at an atomic scale. The second phase of the project will apply the capability to achieve record breaking voltages in ZnCdTe-based solar cells. The project has computation and experimental aspects. The main collaborators are UTEP, Sandia National Labs, and the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies. We are also collaborating with:USCB through a new NSF PREM (Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials) CenterAmethyst Research Incorporated through an NSF SBIR grant,And Purdue University through an NSF IGERT grantThe project will address the fundamental barriers to achieving high voltages in ZnCdTe-based solar cells. These barriers are the lattice mismatch between CdTe/CdS which create high defect densities in the material, and the non-uniform spatial and morphological of the crystal grains. The project will address these barriers by adding Zn to the CdTe to reduce the lattice mismatch and by using the nanopatterning to achieve high spatial and morphological uniformity.
DR. MIGUEL VELEZ- REYESPROFESSOR AND CHAIR
OUTLINE Overview of the Department Research and Education Projects in Power and Energy Systems New Initiatives in the Pipeline Final Remarks
VISIONThe Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering will provide programs of the highest quality to produce world class engineers who can address challenges of the millennium.
ECE DEGREE PROGRAMS B.S. Electrical Engineering (128 credits) Concentrations: oComputer Engineering oFields and Devices oSystems and Communications oGeneral Electrical Engineering M.S. Computer Engineering (31 - 34 credits) M.S. Electrical Engineering (31 - 34 credits) Ph.D. Electrical and Computer Engineering (42 credits beyond master )*
AREAS UNDER DEVELOPMENT Biomedical Engineering Power and Energy Systems
ECE PROGRAM STATS (2011-2012) Pre-major undergraduate students in the Pre-Engineering Program (720 students for theCollege) 409 Undergraduate students in the B.S.E.E. Program 346 Male, 63 Females (15%), 81.67% Hispanics 100 BS degrees awarded 71 MS students in 2 degree programs: 67 EE and 14 CpE 35 MS degrees awarded 42 Ph.D. Students 35 Male & 7 Female 6 Ph.D. degrees awarded
MISSION/SCOPE OF WORK Formed within the Engineering College at the University of Texas at El Paso. Research focus in the following areas: Power Electronics Electric Power Electro-thermal Modeling of Electric Energy Storage Devices Modeling and Control of Hybrid Electric Energy Storage Systems Modeling and Control of Piezoelectric Traveling Wave Rotary Ultrasonic Motors Strengthen power electronics and power systems expertise at UTEP.
EXPERTISE/CAPABILITY Modeling, Design and Analysis of Piezoelectric Devices Modeling using Finite Volume Methods Circuits equivalents Modeling, Design and Analysis of Hybrid Electric Energy Storage Systems Multyphisics modeling of batteries and ultracapacitors Modeling and control of hybrid electric energy storage systems COMSOL, MATLAB, SIMetrix simulations
EXPERIMENTAL CAPABILITIES Characterization of piezoelectric traveling wave rotary ultrasonic motors and other piezoelectric devices Characterization of energy storage devices such as Li-Ion batteries and ultracapacitors Characterization of hybrid electric energy storage systems
USDA: GREEN ENGINEERS Multi-university $3.2M collaboration led by Dr .Heidi Taboada (PI) and Dr. Jose Espiritu to to produce more scientists and engineers who can develop new alternative energy sources and ways to increase energy efficiency. Offering in the spring semester a course for senior and graduate students on “Energy Sustainability” as an introduction to the different types of energy sources; carbon emissions and other environmental impacts; electric power grid and the future smart grid. The course has a final project where the students propose a device or a system to better exploit energy sources.
ETAP DONATION: $125K Donation of ETAP from Operations Technology Inc. Obtained an educational license for the ETAP Academic edition suit – 25 Bus, 20 campus users. Support for the modules: Short-Circuit ANSI & IEC, Load flow, Motor acceleration, Harmonics, Transient Stability, unbalanced load flow and Wind turbine generator. Used to teach students about power systems and training in collaboration with RCES
ADDITIONAL MODELING TOOLS Use of several tools to model and simulate scenarios related to smart grid technologies. (power, communications and signals) Available academic licenses of OPNET® Modeler , NI LabView® , MATLAB, ETAP and MathCAD Computer modeling lab with 20 stations Student training on different tools involving the creation and testing of heuristic rules to improve energy production and consumption. Student generated lessons for regular courses and outreach activities
NEW INITIATIVES Develop an synergistic research group: Power and Energy Systems. Strategic Hire Develop a Power and Energy Systems concentration at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Establishment of the Power and Energy Systems Laboratory. Energy conversion Power Electronics and its applications in control of power systems Renewable energy system Estimated cost of $500k
FINAL REMARKS ECE is building its capabilities in Power and Energy Systems Strategic importance at the College and at the Department Welcome the opportunity to develop partnerships in the power and energy sector at the regional, state and national level
DR. MIGUEL VELEZ-REYES PROFESSOR AND CHAIRE L E C T R I C A L A N D C O M P U T E R E N G I N E E R I N G D E P T. U N I V E R S I T Y O F T E X A S AT E L PA S O 500W UNIVERSITY DRIVE E L PAS O , T X 7 9 9 6 8 PH. 915-747-5470 FAX 915-747-7871 E - M A I L : M V E L E Z R E Y E S @ U T E P. E D U