Materials Science
  Our Projects
PV Quality
Materials Science
Solar Cell Book
Technical Training
About Us
Links & Info

News from Sol Ideas

2024: New publications available regarding soiling in solar energy systems

These include: “Soiling in Solar Energy Systems: The Role of the Thresholding Method in Image Analysis,” published in Solar RRL; “Electro-Optical Model of Soiling Effects on Photovoltaic Panels and Performance Implications,” published in Energy Engineering; and a paper on, “Quantifying the impact of inverter clipping on photovoltaic performance and soiling losses,” published in the journal Renewable Energy. Dr. Smestad was a principal co-author. Read more via the publications page

20 - 23 September 2022, Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Smestad and co-authors presented (via a pre-recorded video), “Progress in Solar Energy to Address the Energy Crisis” at the International Conference and Exhibition on Renewables, “Technologies and Options for Securing Energy & Food Flows in View of the Ukrainian Crisis.” This grassroots, but earnest, event was hosted by the Internationales Forschungszentrum für Erneuerbare Energien, IFEED, e.V. in Germany, Selçuk Üniversitesi, Turkey and the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, Denmark. The war in Ukraine has disrupted both energy and food production & distribution worldwide. The most vulnerable live in less developed countries, many of which are on the African continent. Yet there are solar energy resources available in those places that will allow energy and food sovereignty in situ. Here, we present a summary of just some of the tools and solar technologies that can be implemented in the near and medium term. Although solar energy cannot immediately be brought to a sufficient scale to fully mitigate the current energy and food crisis, the presentation highlights tangible and practical solutions that can rapidly build a robust path towards energy availability and equity for all. Download his slides (PDF) here. Download the abstract to the talk (PDF) here.

14 April, 2022: Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics

Greg Smestad was one of several contributors to the 13th Edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV). The international collaboration and report was organized by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). The report summarizes annual forecasts and key parameters along the photovoltaic value chain. It’s available in both German and English. Read more

31 January, 2022: U.S. Department of Energy 2022 SETO Peer Review

The 2022 Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Peer Review included an overall review of the office’s justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) initiatives. This is the first time such a review was part of the office’s biennial peer review. Along with 5 other experts, Dr. Smestad participated as a reviewer in the JEDI portion of the 2022 Peer Review. Read more This is connected to Dr. Smestad's 2020-2021 work in support of U.S. Clean Energy Policy.

18 October, 2021: A new publication on Tracking Soiling Losses

This explores the, “Assessment, Uncertainty, and Challenges in Mapping,” and was published in the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. Dr. Smestad was a principal co-author. Read more

1 July, 2020: Greg Smestad co-authors paper

Greg Smestad is a co-author (with researchers from Duke University) of a paper in the journal Solar Energy on the development of a low-cost solar PV soiling sensor and its testing in Western India. Read more

20 April, 2020: Greg P. Smestad is a co-author of a PV soiling study

"Selection of optimal wavelengths for optical soiling modelling and detection in photovoltaic modules" was published in the Elsevier journal Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells to further explore the use of spectral models to increase the accuracy in optical soiling detection. Read more

March 31st, 2020: Dr. Greg Smestad quoted at Solartribune.com

In the final quote following "Empowering Individual Action to Fight Climate Change," Dr. Smestad talks about the importance of people going directly to the source to educate themselves; this approach is not just for the experts. Read more

COVID-19 research available to public on PubMed

The publisher Elsevier is making all of its research and data content on its COVID-19 Information Center available to PubMed Central in the U.S. and other publicly funded repositories globally, such as the WHO COVID database, for as long as needed.

This has both a clinical part for doctors, and a research part for those professionals and scientists searching for cures. Read more

Free webinars of the PVQAT TG12 Soiling Group

2017- 2020: The PVQAT (Photovoltaic Quality Assurance Task Force, pron. "pee vee cat") community organizes webinars that are designed to facilitate international collaboration on this topic. For details: more

February 28, 2020 to 24 January, 2021:

Dr. Smestad of Sol Ideas Technology Development volunteers to support Joe Biden‘s proposals on clean energy policy and environmental justice. more

January 09, 2020: Author of a PV soiling article published in the journal Nature-Scientific Reports

Greg Smestad is first author of a PV soiling article published in the journal Nature-Scientific Reports. Go to our publications page to read or download paper. more

April 2019: Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells journal

Greg Smestad's editorial "Greg P. Smestad and Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells" is now available online, on ScienceDirect, via a share link which provides free access to the article until May 16, 2019. You may download the article in addition to reading it. No sign up, registration, or fees are required.

14 March 2018 - Solar Asset Manager's conference

Greg Smestad attended the Solar Asset Manager's conference in San Francisco on 14 March 2018. Attendees and practitioners covered topics including the operational phases of solar plants, including the technical and financial aspects that encompass: PV soiling, O&M, performance optimization and tools such as drones. In light of the conference, the organizers at Solarplaza released a complimentary whitepaper on the topic of soiling. Download Paper

Dr. Smestad spoke at the IEEE Santa Clara PhotoVoltaic Joint Society Chapter

March 2018, Greg P. Smestad, Ph.D. gave a talk on the Optical Characteristics of PV Glass Coupons and PV Modules Related to Soiling Losses & PARC on 14 March 2018 at the IEEE Santa Clara Valley PhotoVoltaic Joint Society Chapter (formerly known as the Silicon Valley Photovoltaics Society, SVPVS), a forum for entrepreneurs, business people, investors, engineers, and scientists. His talk can be downloaded from the IEEE Santa Clara Valley PhotoVoltaic Society's website. Visit their LinkedIn group to learn about future talks and events.

Dr. Smestad spoke at the PV Materials Durability Workshop

December 2017: Greg Smestad was an invited speaker at the 4th Atlas/NIST Workshop on PV Materials Durability December 5-6, 2017. The goal of this workshop was to develop recommendations to bridge the gap between research activity and consensus standards development. Dr. Smestad's presentation, "Optical Characterization of PV Glass Coupons and PV Modules Related to Soiling Losses", is available here: View Presentation

21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Greg Smestad and Sol Ideas collected data during the eclipse for NASA's Globe Observer program. About fifteen visitors safely viewed the crescent sun's shadows and the obscured sun itself.  View Google Photo Album. Air temperature, light level (irradiance) and the output from small solar panel were measured vs. time at a location that is part of the Anza Trail.

Sol Ideas' Greg Smestad joins PVQAT as one of the main organizers

April 2017, Sol Ideas' Greg Smestad joins PVQAT (pron. "pee vee cat") as one of the main organizers for monthly webinars presenting current data and results in the study of the affects of soiling on PV panel performance. Over 41 nations participate in these webinars. more

Sol Ideas joins Leonardo Micheli to examine a global investigation of the effects of soiling on PV panels

Spring 2017, Sol Ideas joins Leonardo Micheli, presently at NREL & University of Exeter, to examine a global investigation of the effects of soiling on PV panels. The preliminary results are to be presented in the summer of 2017 at PVSC in Washington, DC. view our study

Interview with the California Frontier Project on the de Anza Expedition and the Californios

May 2017, the California Frontier Project interviewed Sol Ideas' principal, Greg Bernal-Mendoza Smestad about Los Californios (the descendants of the de Anza Expedition) and the West Coast's first Thanksgiving in 1776, currently celebrated as San José's birthday.

Read blog post for Podcast Episode 002 "You Have to Carry This On": What it Means to be a Californio with host Damian Bacich and guest Greg Bernal-Mendoza Smestad.

Listen to just the interview:

Sol Ideas took part in the Solar Asset Manager’s conference in San Francisco

28-29 March 2017, Sol Ideas took part in the Solar Asset Manager’s conference - North America, in San Francisco with over 500 attendees. Attendees and presenters covered topics from the operational phases of solar plants and their portfolios including the technical and financial aspects that encompass performance optimization, refinancing, and secondary markets.

Greg Smestad co-authors two new Concentrator Photovoltaics articles in peer-reviewed journals

May 2016, with researchers from Spain and the UK, two major contributions were added to the literature, "Investigating the impact of weather variables on the energy yield and cost of energy of grid-connected solar concentrator systems", and "Performance, limits and economic perspectives for passive cooling of High Concentrator Photovoltaics" more

Smestad co-authors 1st Chapter on Multi-junction Concentrator Solar Cells in Springer's book High Concentrator Photovoltaics

August 2015, Springer released High Concentrator Photovoltaics Fundamentals, Engineering and Power Plants, a "comprehensive overview of the fundamentals and engineering of high concentrator photovoltaic (HCPV) technology." Dr. Smestad contributed as co-author and a specialist in the field for Chapter 1, Multi-junction Concentrator Solar Cells: Analysis and Fundamentals.

Sol Ideas, NREL and SCU team up on the Cost Analysis of HCPV

In April 2015, Kelsey Horowitz of NREL presented A Bottom-Up Cost Analysis of a High Concentration PV Module at CPV-11, in Aix-les-Bains, France. Ms. Horowitz's Co-authors are Dr. Smestad, Michael Woodhouse and Dr. Hohyun Lee.

Solar energy-related engineering and entrepreneurship in emerging market countries

Greg P. Smestad, Ph.D. was invited to speak to the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the IEEE PhotoVoltaic Society on January 15, 2015. His one-hour talk surveyed solar energy-related engineering and entrepreneurship in emerging market countries and highlighted Grameen Shakti's successful social business model for Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Bangladesh more

I&ECR publishes article on Solar Fuels made from H2O and CO2, co-authored by Dr. Smestad

May 2012, Greg P. Smestad and Aldo Steinfeld publish their article, Review: Photochemical and Thermochemical Production of Solar Fuels from HO and CO Using Metal Oxide Catalysts in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. You can also request a PDF by sending an email message to inquiries@solideas.com.

Understanding Solyndra from its Glass Tubes

Solyndra's bankruptcy is a "teachable moment" for the Solar Energy industry, and Dr. Greg P. Smestad uses it and glass tubes as an opportunity for you to learn more about science & technology and the larger context for the story.

Solyndra auction prompts Greentech Media and CBS to invite perspective from Dr. Smestad

Dr. Smestad guest posts to Greentech Media with a look into all the goods available at Solyndra's Second Auction, December 14, 2011. Travel with him as he walks through the factory, views unopened boxes and speaks with interested buyers. This story led to his interview on a CBS 5 (KPIX San Francisco) broadcast. If you'd like details on his findings, visit our Picasa web album and study his comments.

SVForum hosts CleanTech breakfast on China and the Solyndra Aftermath

On December 6, 2011 in San Francisco, Dr. Smestad attended a discussion on the current competition from China and the Solyndra Aftermath at SVForum. SVForum brings together investors, entreprenuers, executives, journalists and clean technology professionals.

Dr. Smestad purchases equipment at the Solyndra auction and a Solyndra PV panel for study

On November 2, 2011, Greg Smestad, Ph.D. attended the first Solyndra Auction and purchased a Thor Labs photodiode amplifier for Sol Ideas. Intrigued with Solyndra's science, technology and Intellectual Property (IP), he purchased a Solyndra Panel to validate a previously developed theoretical model of its optics and angular response. Download the 2.3 MB PDF file of the DOE/NASA CR-150874 report. (Requires Adobe Acrobat reader - See Note.) Visit the Picasa web album for detailed images.

Sigma Xi 125th Anniversary Interview of Stanford V. Ovshinsky

Dr. Smestad was asked by Sigma Xi to interview a fellow member with notable achievements. In this interview, Stanford R. Ovshinsky speaks about the solar industry, advises young scientists, and talks about goals for the future regarding science and solar energy. Read the full transcript on the Sigma Xi website. A printed excerpt of the interview can be found in the January 2012 issue of Sigma Xi's American Scientist.

Sol Ideas Sponsors and Participates in OSA's Science Educators' Day (EDAY)

On the 19th of October 2011, Sol Ideas presented a Satellite Dish-based Solar Cooker for the Optical Society of America's (OSA) Education Day (EDAY) at the Sainte Claire Hotel in San José, California. more

Dr. Smestad comments on Peer Review/Merit Review Process on KQED's Forum September 2, 2011

Greg Smestad, Ph.D. calls in to clarify the Peer Review / Merit Review process used by the U.S. Department of Energy in response to discussions on the due diligence for photovoltaic module manufacturer Solyndra. Listen to the show, download the MP3, and view his posted comment. More information about the DOE Loan Guarantee Program can be found at the U.S. DOE Loan Programs Office.

Solar Leadership and DOE SunShot Initiative

Two separate radio programs, March 27 and April 3, 2011, on KKUP's A Meeting of the Ways covering the SunShot initiative, the 2011 SolarTech Solar Leadership Summit and Dr. Smestad's interview with Matt Cheney of Clean Path Ventures. Listen to MP3s below to learn more about solar bankability, solar energy and plug-in hybrids and access to clean energy.

Download a 54K pdf file of the transcript of an interview with Matt Cheney of CleanPath Ventures. The transcript corresponds to following three MP3 files. (Requires Adobe Acrobat reader - See Note.)

Play MP3 file of Matt Cheney interview, part 1

Play MP3 file of Matt Cheney (CleanPath Ventures) explaining Bankability (Part 1 of 3)
Recorded by Greg P. Smestad
(playing time 3 minutes 9 seconds

Play MP3 file of Matt Cheney interview, part 2

Play MP3 file of Matt Cheney (CleanPath Ventures) on solar energy and plug-in hybrids (Part 2 of 3)
Recorded by Greg P. Smestad
(playing time 3 minutes 9 seconds)

Play MP3 file of Matt Cheney interview, part 3

Play MP3 file of Matt Cheney (CleanPath Ventures) on access to clean energy (Part 3 of 3)
Recorded by Greg P. Smestad
(playing time 3 minutes 44 seconds)

The three MP3 files of the Matt Cheney interview are best played in sequence. To download these audio files to your computer or personal media player, right click (or control-click) on the highlighted text (Matt Cheney...) and select Save Target As... or Save Link As... and then choose the location where the MP3 file will be stored on your computer.

PV Economics for Vacuum Coaters

Greg P. Smestad, Ph.D. gave an interview to Silicon Valley's Metro Newspaper. He gave a presentation on PV Economics for Vacuum Coaters at the 52nd SVC meeting. Download a PDF of the manuscript.

Solar and Renewable Energy Events

See a list of events related to solar energy and renewable energy.

Note: To read PDF files you need the Free Adobe Reader: get Adobe Reader.

Send email to Sol Ideas