See Bright Future for Energy Devices, by Allison Mills.
Pearce was also interviewed on plug and play solar for the Radio Alexandria’s program The Next Chapter audio show.
Pearce is quoted in What’s the Difference Between Solar Panels? in Machine Design.
What’s the Difference Between Solar Panels?
Solar panels or photovoltaics (PVs) are not new in terms of the technology. However, manufacturing processes, cost reduction, and new research has some engineers thinking that photovoltaics will rival traditional power sources, such as coal. How important is Big Solar going to be? And what are the differences between the different types of photovoltaics?
“Solar workers have outnumbered coal workers in the U.S. for some time, but now their ranks have swollen to surpass even the oil and gas industry,” notes Joshua Pearce, Associate Professor of Material Science and Engineering at Michigan Technology . “It is not uncommon to have solar power be the less expensive option—lower-level cost of electricity—for both homeowners and businesses. This is driving a positive feedback loop, where additional growth is expected. The cumulative global market for solar PV is expected to triple by 2020 to almost 700 gigawatts (GW), with annual demand eclipsing 100 GW in 2019.”
Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored a paper, “Feeding Everyone if the Sun is Obscured and Industry is Disabled,” published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.
In the News
Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in Trump’s Deregulatory Ambitions Could Realize $70B More for US Solar in Solar Reviews.
Countries like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Switzerland already encourage plug-and-play solar. Even the Czech Republic permits it! —Joshua Pearce
Joshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) writing on ROI for open source hardware was listed as one of the Best of Opensource.com: Business articles for 2016.
The use of free and open source hardware (FOSH) has revolutionized the nonprofit world’s ability to bring assistance directly and more affordably to people needing aid. Overall, individuals and nonprofits are using custom-printed objects to innovate to solve less profitable problems, addressing more on the “long tail” of their issues list, if you will. Joshua Pearce looks at how to calculate the ROI for free and open source hardware, a mission-critical process that you need to do to turn your small project into a big one that makes a big difference.
6 steps to calculate ROI for an open hardware project
Free and open source software advocates have courageously blazed a trail that is now being followed by those interested in open source for physical objects. It’s called free and open source hardware (FOSH), and we’re seeing an exponential rise in the number of free designs for hardware released under opensource licenses, Creative Commons licenses,or placed in the public domain.
A paper co-authored by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), Caryn Heldt (ChE) and ME undergraduate Nick Anzalone is being honored as one of the 2017 SLAS Technology Ten.
Read the editorial by Edward Kai-Hua Chow (SLAS Technology editor-in-chief).
Open-Source Wax RepRap 3-D Printer for Rapid Prototyping Paper-Based Microfluidics
By J. M. Pearce, N. C. Anzalone, and C. L. Heldt
The open-source release of self-replicating rapid prototypers (RepRaps) has created a rich opportunity for low-cost distributed digital fabrication of complex 3D objects such as scientific equipment…
Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and graduate student John Laureto published a paper in Sustainability,
“Nuclear Insurance Subsidies Cost from Post-Fukushima Accounting.”
Joshua Pearce co-authored an article with alumni Aishwarya Mundada (ECE) and Emily Prehoda (SS), “U.S. Market for Solar Photovoltaic Plug-and-Play Systems,” in Renewable Energy.
In the News
Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in Coal Workers Find Work in Solar Power published in Solar Reviews.
TechCentury, an engineering and technology news web site published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, featured the new plug and play solar research of Joshua Pearce (MSE, ECE). Read the story.
Research by alumni Aishwarya Mundada (ECE) and Emily Prehoda (SS) and faculty member Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was covered in Plug-and-play solar could be the next clean energy wave in the US-TreeHugger, US market for »plug and play« solar panels is about 57 GW, says a MTU study-Photon Science Daily and other online news sources.
MichiganAgConnection, MinnesotaAgConnection, IowaAgConnection and other publications around the country reported on Pearce’s plug and play solar research.
MITechNews.com published a story on Joshua Pearce’s (MSE, ECE) plug and play solar research.
An article on solar energy by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) appeared in the Regulation section of the Harvard Business Review Wednesday.
Pearce was also quoted on investment in solar energy research by NASA paying off in an article, “Is NASA a Waste of Money?” in Machine Design.
Plug In for Renewable Energy
A new study shows a huge U.S. market for plug and play solar energy, with billions of dollars in retail sales and energy savings. So what’s holding up widespread use?
Support for solar energy is vast. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 79 percent of Americans want the U.S. to put more emphasis on developing solar power. Most of the same people, unfortunately, can’t afford to install solar energy systems in their homes. Even after federal tax credits, installing solar panels to cover all of a family’s electricity needs can cost tens of thousands of dollars. For others, a home solar system isn’t a consideration because they rent, or move frequently.
But Michigan Tech’s’ Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) says he knows the solution: plug and play solar.
“Plug and play systems are affordable, easy to install and portable,” says Pearce. “The average American consumer can buy and install them with no training.”
In a study funded by the Conway Fellowship and published in Renewable Energy, Pearce and researchers Aishwarya Mundada and Emily Prehoda estimate that plug and play solar could provide 57 gigawatts of renewable energy — enough to power the cities of New York and Detroit — with potentially $14.3 to $71.7 billion in sales for retailers and $13 billion a year in cost savings for energy users.
Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored an article with PhD Candidate Yuenyong Nilsiam (ECE) titled “Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to Inactive U.S. Patents in the Public Domain” that was published in Inventions.
The results showed how the Free Inactive Patent Search enables users to search using plain language text to find public domain concepts and then provides a hyperlinked list of ideas that takes users to the USPTO database for the patent for more information.
In the News
Work by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and PhD student Yuenyong Nilsiam (ECE) on the free inactive patent search was covered by Science Daily, Phys.org, ECN and other online news sources.
MSE alumnus Ben Wittbrodt co-authored an article with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “3-D Printing Solar Photovoltaic Racking in Developing World.” It was published in the journal Energy for Sustainable Development.
Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored “Experimental Characterization of Heat Transfer in an Additively Manufactured Polymer Heat Exchanger” in Applied Thermal Engineering.
Undergraduate Craig Ekstrum (MSE) co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and a team from Madurai Kamaraj University: “Structural and optical characterization and efficacy of hydrothermal synthesized Cu and Ag doped zinc oxide nanoplate bactericides” in the journal “Materials Chemistry and Physics.”
Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) coauthored an article Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Alternate Food to Address Agricultural Catastrophes Globally, published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science.
With global cooperation (for example, sharing information and trading food), it was estimated that these alternate food solutions could feed everyone even without preparation.
For Coal Workers, The Solar Future Is Bright
Workers in the coal industry can get jobs in solar, and there are many ways to pay for their retraining. Those are the key findings of a study, “Retraining Investment for U.S. Transition from Coal to Solar Photovoltaic Employment,” recently published in the journal Energy Economics.
The study noted that while coal plants across the nation are shutting down, solar installations are increasing; eventually, many of the workers from coal will be able to transition to solar.
The study also looked at different ways to pay for the retraining of these workers.
“What we set out to do was figure out if it was feasible and how expensive would it be,” said Joshua M. Pearce, Ph.D., associate professor at Michigan Technical University and co-author of the study. “It is remarkably feasible, and on the expense side, it turned out to be trivial.”
Recent alum Chenlong Zhang (MSE/ECE) coauthored a paper with Durdu Guney (ECE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), “Plasmonic enhancement of amorphous silicon solar photovoltaic cells with hexagonal silver arrays made with nano sphere lithography,” that was featured in Materials Express.
In the News
Joshua Pearce is also quoted by the World Watch Institute in an article: CAN COAL MINERS BECOME SOLAR TECHNICIANS?
Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in a story “For Former Coal Workers, Renewable Energy Means Renewed Job Market” published by the U.S Embassy and Consulates in South Africa.