Aerosols and Solar Energy (NEXUS Seed Grant)

(dramatic music) – Well normally,
I work on aerosols while they’re still little particles
while they’re still suspended in the air. And for the Nexus, we expanded
our work in the direction what happens to aerosols when
they land on solar cells, specifically
photovoltaic solar cells, and they reduce
the amount of light which can be used for
energy productions. The Nexus project, my
group, has acquired a lot of new skills in terms
of dealing with particles that were deposited
on the surface. We use it currently also
in another EPSCoR project focused on aerosol
deposition on snow surfaces, and how they affect the
snow energy balance, how absorbing aerosols
can heats the snow and make it melt earlier. And then on the NSF
EPSCoR, Nexus, we worked on depositing aerosols
on solar cells and how they reduce the
energy output of solar cells. In some ways very
different topics, but scientifically
quite related. So I think each project
greatly benefited from the other one. I think we often hide
in our own little niche and work with the
people we already know, and EPSCoR kinda forces us
to come out of this niche and do more interdisciplinary
and collaborative research. Work with new people
from other campuses and learn new things and for me, it has really been eye-opener. While I’ve been expert
in my specific field, this has really enabled me to
branch out with my technique into other fields and
do good work there. (dramatic music)