DOE invests in the future of solar technology
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) invested $21.7 million into 25 projects designed to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional electricity by 2015.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) invested $21.7 million into 25 projects designed to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional electricity by 2015. Nineteen of the projects involve universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University; the other six projects include companies such as Wakonda Technologies, Fairport, N.Y.; Solexant, Sunnyvale, Calif.; and Mayaterials Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.
The DOE is investing $800,000 each in Solexant and Mayaterials for continued research into next-generation photovoltaic projects. Solexant will develop inexpensive and inorganic photovoltaic cells, which will harvest more energy than conventional methods, and Mayaterials will obtain solar-grade silicon from agricultural byproducts. Wakonda Technologies will receive $900,000 for the application of low-cost conventional thin-film manufacturing techniques to the production of large area, high-efficiency multi-junction photovoltaics.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.