Mueller and Orosz win special EPA grant for sustainable programs
CEE doctoral students Amy Mueller and Matt Orosz recently won an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant for economically sustainable programs that protect the environment. Mueller and Orosz — members of the research group of Professor Harold Hemond — have been developing solar power technology to replace polluting diesel generators in remote villages of Lesotho, Africa for several years. Their solar power generator design uses a parabolic trough to concentrate the sun’s energy; it can provide three to five kilowatts of power plus hot water. The EPA award includes a $75,000 grant to help them install a next-generation prototype solar collector at a clinic this fall or early next spring. Mueller and Orosz designed the solar plant to be built using locally available parts and labor. The ultimate goal, Mueller noted, is to teach local residents how to construct the solar power plants, thus providing a business opportunity for residents, as well as strengthening the local electricity infrastructure. Read more.