Solar Energy and Renewable Fuels (SERF) Laboratory

The University of Texas at Austin

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View of Austin Downtown from Lab window

View of Austin from Rooftop Facility

Solar Radiation Monitoring Station on Rooftop Facility

The Solar Energy and Renewable Fuels Laboratory has 1400 square feet indoor space and 1000 square feet outdoor space at the Mechanical Engineering Building on main UT campus.

The indoor laboratory is Biosafety Level 1 certified and renovated in May 2010. The indoor laboratory is equipped with (i) two spectrophotometers with integrating sphere accessories for analyzing light material interactions over the spectral range from 280 nm to 13,000 nm, (ii) a solar simulator with AM1.5 filter, (iii) a gas chromatographer with Thermal Conductivity Detector (TCD) and Flame Ionization Detector (FID) for analyzing inorganic and organic species, (iv) a goniometer for measuring surface properties of materials and cells, (v) a fully automated inverted fluorescent microscope, (vi) an anaerobic glove box for conducting experiments in inert atmosphere, (vii) a pulse-amplitude-modulated fluorometer for measuring photosynthetic productivity, (viii) RGB image acquisition and analysis tools for remotely quantifying algal biomass, (ix)† a source meter for evaluating the current-voltage characteristics of solar energy conversion devices, (x) a potentiostat/galvanostat for conducting electrochemical experiments, and (xi) standard equipment such as autoclave, centrifuge, etc. for conducting biotechnological experiments.

The outdoor facility is equipped with an environmental monitoring station recording high fidelity solar radiation (direct normal, global horizontal, diffuse horizontal as well as ultraviolet (UV), infrared (IR) and visible (VIS) band radiation), temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction data. Moreover, the outdoor space has compressed air, CO2 and water supply, data access, and electrical power enabling implementation and evaluation of photobioreactors, solar energy conversion technologies and material systemsí response under outdoor conditions.

Main Laboratory Area 1

Main Laboratory Area 2

Main Laboratory Area 3

Main Laboratory Area 4

Laser Room 1

Autoclave and Fume Hood

Gas Chromatographer in Laser Room

Glove Box in Laser Room

Culture Room

Outdoor Facility East-West View

Outdoor Facility North-South View