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Allen M. Barnett
Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware 19716
Phones: Work 302 831-2485

University of Delaware, Newark, DE (2003 – Present)
Executive Director, Solar Power Program; Research Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy
Program Manager for the $53 million Very High Efficiency Solar Cell project which is developing a 50% efficient solar cell for portable applications.  Engineering research is focused on developing very high performance, next generation photovoltaic solar cells and on the interdisciplinary basic research needs to further advance solar power.  Policy work is focused on further developing the value propositions for the solar electric power industry. Key project includes providing leadership for the United State’s Solar Power Industry Roadmap – a national, domestic solar power plan.

AstroPower, Inc., Newark, DE (1989 – 2004)
Founded AstroPower in 1983 to develop and market world’s most cost effective solar cell.  AstroPower became the World’s largest independent manufacturer of solar electric power products, and a leading provider of solar electric home power systems for the mainstream residential market. AstroPower developed, manufactured, marketed and sold a range of solar electric power generation products, including solar cells, modules and panels, as well as its SunChoice™ pre-packaged systems for the global marketplace.  Most of AstroPower’s assets were sold to GE Energy in 2004.
Member, Board of Directors 1989 – Present
Founder, President and CEO 1989 – 2003 Technology was conceived to deliver high-performance, robust silicon solar cells while keeping manufacturing costs at an industry low

  • Redesigned organizational focus from contract research to manufacturing in 1995. Achieved profitable compound annual growth rate of 40% from 1997 through 2001. More than 70% of  revenue and profit generated from international sales. Led Company to IPO in 1998. 
  • Grew revenue from $17 to $70 million from 1997 to 2001. Pre-tax income grew from $0.7 to $8.9 million over the same time period.
  • Led the effort to bring solar electric power into the mainstream consumer market in the U.S.  Initiated the development of the first packaged residential rooftop solar electric power system.  Developed innovative distribution system through partnerships with national homebuilders, independent dealers, and the world’s largest home improvement retailer, The Home Depot.
  • Led the invention of two revolutionary processes for growing new silicon wafers and recycling previously processed wafers.

Silicon-Film™ – High-speed, continuous-sheet manufacturing process enables the production of low-cost crystalline silicon wafers at a fraction of the cost and time of other conventional silicon wafer growing methods. 
Semiconductor Wafer Recycling – Low-cost proprietary solar cell technology utilizing recycled wafers from the semiconductor industry.

  • Raised more than $100 million through private equity, corporate investors, venture capital, three public offerings and bank debt.
  • Proposed and influenced adoption of multiple energy policies by Federal Government through direct congressional testimony and service on the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Board of Directors. 

AstroPower Division, Astrosystems, Inc. (1983 – 1989)
General Manager Became AstroPower, Inc. in 1989.

University of Delaware, Newark, DE (1976 – 1993)
Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering  Applied advanced material science and technology to the development of new electronic devices. Supervised 28 graduate theses (11 Ph.D.).

Institute of Energy Conversion  1976 – 1979
Director, Directed and managed research, engineering, and product develop­ment for University’s energy conservation and solar energy institute.

Xciton Corporation, Schenectady, NY  1971 – 1976
Founder and President
Organized and founded company to exploit information display market utilizing cutting-edge semiconductor materials techno­logy.  Xciton was sold to National semiconductor.

General Electric Company, Schenectady, NY  1966 – 1971
Corporate Research and Development and Electronics Laboratory
Led the Light Emitting Diode Array Program. Developed multiple award-winning devices under this program and developed planar processing technology for compound semiconductors.

Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA  1966
Ph. D., Electrical Engineering

University of Illinois, Urbana - Champaign, IL  1963
M.S., B.S., Electrical Engineering


  • U.S. Department of Energy’s National Center for Photovoltaics.
  • Solar Energy Industries Association, Board Member, President (1995 to 1997).
  • IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference Committee.
  • Photovoltaics Technical Committee of the Electron Devices Society of the IEEE.
  • Australian Research Council Grant Committee Reviewer.
  • IEEE William R. Cherry Award, for outstanding contributions to the advancement of photovoltaic science and technology.
  • IEEE Fellow Award, “for contributions and technical leadership in the development andcommercialization of photovoltaic solar cells.”
  • The Karl W. Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit for “pioneering high-performance, thin-crystalline silicon solar cells, founding and leading a world-class enterprise for the commercialization of solar electric products, and outstanding continuing service to the solar electric power community.”
  • 1999 Public Utilities Fortnightly Magazine – “10 Innovators to Watch in 1999.”
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue of the IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, Oct. 1999, Feb. 1980
  • Author, Chapter on Photovoltaic Solar Cells, The Electrical Engineering Handbook
  • Special Faculty Award, College of Engineering, University of Delaware, 1987. 
  • Authored 200+ technical papers.
  • Issued 23 U.S. Patents.
  • Seven R&D 100 Awards for new industrial products,
  • Founder, The Michael and Charles Barnett Center for Mitochondrial Research at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
  • Received first United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation Humanitarian Award with wife, Marsha for commitment and continuous contributions to finding a cure for Mitochondrial disease in March 2001
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, with wife, Marsha, endowed a chair in Mitochondrial Disease, Member of Circle of Care
  • Jefferson Award for Public Service.
  •  Board of Trustees, Delaware Museum of Natural History 1999 -2004       
Very High Efficiency Solar Cells (VHESC) for portable applications that operate at greater than 55 percent efficiency in the laboratory and 50 percent in production are being created. We are integrating the optical design with the solar cell design, and have entered previously unoccupied design space that leads to a new paradigm. This project requires us to invent, develop and transfer to production these new solar cells. Our approach is driven by proven quantitative models for the solar cell design, the optical design and the integration of these designs. We start with a very high performance crystalline silicon solar cell platform.Other research interests include
  • Very high performance, low cost crystalline silicon solar cells.
  • New materials systems and device architectures for high performance solar to electric conversion
  • Solar hydrogen systems
  • Solar power product development
  • Solar power product transition to production
Very active in the establishment of an enlightened solar power policy at the Federal level, state level and intentionally.
© Solar Power Program 2008