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July 9, 2012

Marsillac Demonstrates Capability and Potential of ODU Photovoltaic Laboratory

Old Dominion University

Sylvain Marsillac, associate professor of electrical engineering at Old Dominion University, has received more than $2 million in grant funding for his solar energy research since coming to the school two years ago.

The funding has helped Marsillac create the ODU Photovoltaic Laboratory in three rooms of Kaufman Hall, home of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology.

On Thursday, July 5, Marsillac hosted ODU President John R. Broderick, Provost Carol Simpson and Batten College Dean Oktay Baysal on a tour of his state-of-the-art laboratory.

Broderick, Simpson and Baysal visited the three rooms that make up the Photovoltaic Laboratory - a clean room, where solar cells are fabricated; a characterization room, where optical properties of the cells are tested; and a test room for solar panel design concepts, including solar systems that move to follow the sun, or to be protected from high winds.

Marsillac's team - which includes three electrical engineering faculty members at the Applied Research Center in Newport News, Professor and Eminent Scholar Hani Elsayed-Ali, Professor Helmut Baumgart and Assistant Professor Gon Namkoong - will mount a 5,000-watt solar testing system on the roof of Kaufman Hall, aided by a grant from Dominion Power.

Research labs like this one have helped make solar cells twice as efficient in the past decade. Marsillac aims to position ODU as the leading institution for photovoltaic energy research on the East Coast, forming partnerships with industry and the U.S. Navy.

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