2012 P3 Award Solar Winners

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded more than $1 million in grants to 15 university and college teams for their innovative environmental solutions. Among the winners are several projects related to solar power.
  
The EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) award competition saw teams from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, University of California and Vanderbilt University receiving cash to help further develop their solar innovations.
 
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s entry is a foldable solar powered water purification system design for use after a disaster that affects the drinking water supply. The system will be able to be stored in a backpack, produce 2-4 gallons of purified water per minute and  provide clean water for 750-1500 people per day.
  
A team from University of California-Riverside is designing a solar collector to heat ambient air for use for clothes drying and space heating to reduce home energy consumption. 
  
Vanderbilt University students have their sights set on developing a biohybrid solar panel that substitutes a protein from spinach for rare earth metals. The team aims to construct a six foot by six foot solar panel consisting of six inch by six inch modules.
  
The competition has two phases. For the first phase of the competition, teams were awarded a $15,000 grant to develop their idea. In this second phase, each winning team will receive a grant of up to $90,000 to refine and develop each design, with view to commercialisation or implementation in real world scenarios.
 
“The P3 program gives these students the opportunity to bring those ideas to realization and many have the potential to make significant impacts on our nation’s sustainable future and development of environmental technologies,” said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development.
 
The full list of 2012 P3 Award winners, honorable mentions and other awards can be viewed here.