ESA Awards Jeremy Stark (PhD ’13) for Solar Panel Research


The glass screen prototype

As the price of oil continues to rise, the concept of using solar energy to power everything from homes to cars is becoming more and more appealing.

While solar power has great potential, there are problems that need to be addressed. Jeremy Stark (PhD ’13) is in the process of researching one of these problems – specifically dust removal since dirt on solar panels can dramatically decrease their efficiency.

“My research involves using low frequency, high voltage signals to electrostatically remove dust from solar panels,” said Stark. “Dust removal is a big problem with large solar installations, and this method allows for it to be done remotely and almost instantly.”

In June, Stark presented his research paper titled, “Electrostatic Charging Particles of Electrodynamic Screens by Low Frequency Electric and Dielectrophoretic Excitations,” at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where they hosted the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Electrostatics Society of America (ESA).

Screen shots of a video of dust clearing from a test board

In the presence of other members of his lab, including Professors Malay Mazumder (ECE) and Mark Horenstein (ECE), Stark won first place in the Student Presentations category for his paper.

“Jeremy is a catalyst. He knows who is doing what, makes sure things get done, and he is practical,” said Mazumder. “His strong background in optics and electrical engineering along with his interesting and polite personality helped him achieve this prestigious award.”

Stark said that he decided to attend Boston University because of “the research and learning opportunities in the field of photonics.”

“He is a capable and creative student who is destined to become a leader in this area of technology,” said Horenstein.

-Samantha Gordon (COM ’12)