Solar Lab Gives Upstate NY School Thin-Film Edge

Binghamton University’s new solar laboratory is being touted by officials as the springboard that will propel future thin-film solar cell advances.

The school recently celebrated the opening of the Center for Autonomous Solar Power’s (CASP) Solar Laboratory and the co-location of the Integrated Electronics Engineering Center’s (IEEC) Reliability and Failure Analysis Laboratory. Both laboratories are housed in the Biotechnology Building on the school’s campus.

image via Binghamton University

The solar lab will focus on using cheaper, non-toxic  materials to develop new solar cell and energy storage technologies. The IEEC conducts research in electronics packaging and provides the results to affiliated companies. The newly relocated Reliability and Failure Analysis Laboratory provides expertise in electronics packaging.

“Binghamton has a strong research tradition that is crucial to the growth of the University and our region,” Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said in a statement. “These new laboratories provide us with world-class facilities and usher in an era of collaboration and partnerships that will expand the future of our region, and act as a catalyst to reinvent and enhance the technology focus of the Southern Tier.”

This isn’t the first bit of green news to come out of the upstate New York university. The school is part of a partnership to solve energy-efficiency issues related to data centers. And one of the school’s computer scientists was recently awarded a five-year, $448,641 grant from the NSF (National Science Foundation) for his ideas on how to make technology more efficient.

“There is so much good news coming out of Binghamton University, we can hardly keep up with it,” New York State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo was quoted as saying at the lab opening celebration. “You see the construction going on. The community in general is starting to catch on that this is a place that is not only generating new ideas, but new jobs.”

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.