Robert E Foster

Robert E Foster
New Mexico State University | NMSU · College of Engineering

B.S. Mechanical Engineering , MBA
Chairman, American Solar Energy Society

About

62
Publications
52,779
Reads
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606
Citations
Citations since 2016
9 Research Items
346 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202201020304050
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
Introduction
Intnl renewable energy development expert in 43 countries for USAID, DOE, NASA, NREL, Sandia, World Bank, ADB, UNDP, FAO, IFAD, GIZ, DFID, USTDA, industry, NGOs. Currently supporting projects in Bangladesh, Mexico, Nigeria. 30 years with NMSU CoEng. Winrock CE Senior Program Mgr 2012-18; Chief Engineer USAID Afghanistan CE Program 2008-12; Tech mgr DOE/USAID Mexico RE Program 1992-2005. PV, wind, mini-grids, geothermal. 8 patents. Market research. Chairman American Solar Energy Society 2020-22.
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - November 2021
New Mexico State University
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • 2016-2022 NMSU Engineering Assistant Professor renewable energy. Interviews at ........ https://www.lccommunityradio.org/archives/delving-in-robert-foster-on-solar-energy-past-present-and-future...................................................... https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2022/02/solar-stills-help-people-obtain-clean-water-using-the-power-of-the-sun/
May 2014 - November 2020
Winrock International - Clean Energy Group
Position
  • Consultant
Description
  • Develop solar & geothermal projects in Colombia, Guinea, Georgia, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Zimbabwe. Direct drive solar milk chillers for off-grid dairy farmers, solar water pumping, geothermal direct use, mini-grids.
January 1989 - April 2014
New Mexico State University
Position
  • International Renewable Energy Programs Manager
Description
  • R&D and project implementation on solar, wind, geothermal, and micro-hydro systems for international renewable energy development in over 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, & USA
Education
January 1995 - January 1999
New Mexico State University
Field of study
  • Business Administration
August 1980 - December 1984
University of Texas at Austin
Field of study
  • Mechanical Engineering

Publications

Publications (62)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the results of laboratory and field testing conducted on photovoltaic (PV) direct-drive solar refrigerators using ice thermal storage.
Conference Paper
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Over the past two decades, Latin America has adopted photovoltaic (PV) technologies for social and economic development. Many of the world's first solar systems for residential power, refrigeration, distance education, hybrid systems, etc. were developed for Latin America. This paper looks at how PV technology has been developed and used, including...
Article
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For the past decade, solar distillation has been introduced and applied as an option for household drinking water for several colonias communities along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Purifying water through distillation is a simple yet effective means of providing drinking water in a reliable and cost-effective manner. Solar stills effectiv...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Direct drive solar milk chillers have been successfully developed and demonstrated with two and a half years field of operational experience in the Nakuru milk shed of Kenya. These innovative solar farm milk chillers (FMCs) are the first such units ever to be deployed and have been successfully operating with no issues or failures. The FMCs enable...
Conference Paper
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Irrigation allows smallholder farmers to increase their yields and to grow two or even three crops of high-value vegetables and fruits a year, receiving higher commodity prices during the off-season. In Kenya in 2010, 2.5 million smallholders generated 80% of national horticulture production. Inexpensive diesel water pumps (US $200) are available,...
Conference Paper
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Solar water pumping (SWP) is is a mature and reliable solution for irrigation, livestock, and community water supply for human consumption and hygiene. Low cost of photovoltaic (PV) modules, combined with advances in pump, motor and control and communication technologies, are transforming the way we pump water globally. Traditionally, solar pumps h...
Conference Paper
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Solar food drying is a thousands years old technique used for food preservation. Bacteria, yeast, and mold are prevented from spoiling the food due to a low moisture content. Dried food takes up less room and is light and easier to transport. Afghanistan is a leading exporter of dried foods, but often still using inefficient traditional outdoor dir...
Conference Paper
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Solar water pumps (SWPs) are a mature, reliable, and economically attractive climate smart sustainable agricultural technology solution for responsible crop irrigation. The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) is implementing a large SWP project through Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) named "Photovoltaic Pumping for Agricultural Irrigation...
Conference Paper
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The market for solar pumps is rapidly increasing due to rapidly declining costs and technology improvements that are replacing traditional manual (hand) pumps, mechanical windmills, and diesel engines around the globe. They are also reducing the demands on local and national power grids. Solar pumping has become a significant and growing niche for...
Conference Paper
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The Photovoltaics for Sustainable Milk for Africa through Refrigeration Technology (PV-SMART) uses direct drive PV for off-grid milk cooling under the USAID Powering Agriculture Energy Grand Challenge Program (PAEGC). The project is implemented by Winrock International and SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc. refrigeration. The PV chillers are direct drive...
Conference Paper
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The USAID Photovoltaics for Sustainable Milk for Africa through Refrigeration Technology (PV-SMART) project is a new and creative concept of providing on-farm solar milk refrigeration for off-grid dairy farmers in Kenya. It uses a modified off the shelf direct drive photovoltaic refrigerator (PVR) technology, coupled with innovative cooling and ene...
Conference Paper
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Solar water pumping is a mature, reliable, and economically attractive solution for off-grid irrigation, livestock water, and community water supply. With increasing reliance on water pumping for food security needs, and limited access to conventional energy sources for many communities most in need of water pumping, development programs around the...
Conference Paper
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One of the world's largest solar mini-grids was installed for the community of Bamiyan in central Afghanistan in 2013. The 1 MWp photovoltaic/diesel hybrid mini-grid was installed by a partnership led by Sustainable Energy Services International (SESI) for the Government of New Zealand as part of international donor infrastructure development for t...
Conference Paper
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Solar power is a natural and symbiotic choice for water pumping. It is one of the most economically attractive solar energy applications with direct drive PV systems often providing decades of reliable service. There is a good match between seasonal solar resource and seasonal water needs. Photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) systems can meet a wide r...
Conference Paper
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Over 1,500 PV systems were installed as part of the USAID Afghanistan Clean Energy Program in 21 provinces of between 2009-2012. These PV systems were used to provide power for water pumps, computers, refrigerators, lights, and other equipment for schools, homes, farms, and clinics. The program developed a national solar guideline for proper design...
Book
Drawing on the authors' extensive research and project implementation around the globe, Solar Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment covers solar energy resources, thermal and photovoltaic systems, and the economics involved in using solar energy. It provides background theory on solar energy as well as useful technical information for implem...
Article
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New Mexico, nicknamed the Land of Enchantment, is rapidly becoming the "Land of Windchantment." There is a veritable wind land rush taking place in the state, with a plethora of wind developers signing wind power leases with ranchers across the eastern plains. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2008/12/new-mexico-land-of-windchant...
Conference Paper
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The growth of wind energy has mushroomed over the past decade. Over the next twenty years, there will be more significant growth in wind energy with the expectation of 20% wind grid penetration by 2030. To accommodate this amount of wind power into our grid, the infrastructure of the transmission grid must be improved. In the high penetration scena...
Article
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This paper analyzes the fault characteristics observed at a wind power plant, and the behavior of the wind power plant under fault events.
Article
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The authors present a model methodology for incorporating renewable energy technologies and sustainable engineering topics into an Engineering or Engineering Technology program's curriculum. The model is based upon the ongoing experiences of a four-year fully accredited Engineering Technology program in the Southwestern United States. Departments o...
Conference Paper
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This paper summarizes operational histories of three Russian-designed photovoltaic (PV) lighthouses in Norway and Russia. All lighthouses were monitored to evaluate overall system and Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) battery bank performance to determine battery capacity, charging trends, temperature, and reliability. The practical use of PV in this unusual...
Article
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The Nicaraguan Ministery of Energy and Mining (MEM), with the World Bank (WB) has implemented a large-scale solar and micro-hydro rural energy initiative called the Renewable Energy for Rural Zones Program (PERZA). The main project objective of the PERZA is to provide basic electricity services and associated social and economic benefits in selecte...
Article
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The U.S. Photovoltaic (PV) Industry Roadmap stresses the need to work in partnership with the U.S. government to foster market growth for PV applications over the next 20 years. While the main thrust of the roadmap document is on the development of domestic markets for grid-tied PV systems, the developing world also represents a significant market...
Article
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The Nicaraguan National Energy Commission (CNE) with the World Bank (WB) is implementing a large-scale solar and micro-hydro rural energy initiative called the Renewable Energy for Rural Zones Program (PERZA – Proyecto de Electrificación Rural para Zonas Aisladas). The main project objective of the PERZA is to provide basic electricity services and...
Article
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The Honduran Science and Technology Council (COHCIT) installed innovative solar electric school projects with funding from the World Bank (WB) and the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB). COHCIT implemented nine solar electric systems for rural schools and community centers between 2003-05. COHCIT partnered with New Mexico State University and San...
Article
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In collaboration with various state and federal government educational organizations in Mexico and Central America, Sandia National Laboratories and its partners are helping to extend existing distance education networks into rural off-grid communities through the proper utilization of renewable energy technologies. This paper describes the educati...
Article
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Japan has the most successful photovoltaics (PV) industry and mature market in the world. By the end of 2004, Japan became the first country to install a GigaWatt of PV. Through aggressive government policies beginning with the SunShine Program launched in 1974, and more recent subsidies promoting deployments, Japan leads the world in PV production...
Article
Un factor limitante para la obtención de agua purificada en destiladores solares es la precipitación de sales en la base del evaporador. El objetivo de este trabajo es el estudio isotérmico a 60 o C de la precipitación de CaCO 3 en un destilador solar experimental, utilizando como afluente agua subterránea con alto contenido de calcio, bicarbonatos...
Article
A limiting factor in solar stills for the production of purified water is the precipitation of salts in the still basin. The objective of this work was the study of isothermic precipitation of CaCO 3 in a experimental solar still using groundwater as water supply with high concentrations of soluble calcium and sulfates. Three experiments of calcium...
Article
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Between 1994 and 2000, 206 photovoltaic (PV) water pumping pilot systems were installed in Mexico as part of the Mexican Renewable Energy Program (MREP). MREP is a collaborative program sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that has been managed by Sandia National Laboratories (Sa...
Article
Full-text available
Se presenta un estudio isotérmico de la precipitación de CaCO3 en un destilador solar experimental, utilizando como afluente agua subterránea con alto contenido de calcio, bicarbonatos y sulfatos solubles. Se efectuaron tres experimentos de la reacción entre el calcio con los iones bicarbonato. El primer experimento se siguió durante 5 h con el des...
Article
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Renewable energy technologies have been widely applied to support diverse protected areas in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) collaborative Mexico Renewable Energy Program (MREP), over 70 renewable energy systems have been installed in Mexico. These...
Article
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The Chihuahua Distance Education Coordinating Committee (CEED) of the Mexican Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) implemented 54 photovoltaic (PV) systems for rural schools in 2002. Winrock International and New Mexico State University (NMSU) working under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mexic...
Article
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Solar distillation is a proven and simple concept for providing potable water since it was first conventionally utilized in Chile in 1872. Yet, over 1 billion people in the world do not have access to potable water and over 5 million die each year due to lack of clean water. One area with problematic water needs is along the U.S./Mexico Border (bot...
Conference Paper
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Throughout Latin America, rural connectivity is a topic of increasing interest. Country governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector are all teaming to bring a variety of innovative programs to rural areas that provide services such as telephony, distance education, and access to the Internet. Photovoltaic (PV) technologies ar...
Article
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This report evaluates the key market and technical barriers faced by wind energy technology for the small scale remote power (residential and village) off-grid market sector. Market and technical questions posed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are discussed to identify promising priority areas for DOE wind program research and de...
Article
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The behavior of salt precipitation in a single basin solar distiller at 75oC was investigated in a laboratory. Groundwater was used as the supply water with high concentrations of calcium and sulfates in ionic form. The variations in the calcium concentration in the brine over the time was measured using a Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. X-ray...
Article
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Este artículo discuta la experiencia de la destilación solar del agua en los estados de San Luis Potosí y Chihuahua, México.
Article
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This report introduces conventional and renewable energy sources for water pumping applications in rural villages by reviewing the technologies and illustrating typical applications. As energy sources for water pumping, the report discusses diesel/gasoline/kerosene engines, grid power supplies, traditional windmills, electrical wind turbines, and P...
Article
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This paper describes the reliability and performance of the Chorreras photovoltaic (PV) hybrid ice-making system. The system is unique and is located near the fishing village of Chorreras, Chihuahua in northern Mexico. Information gathered from field visits and a continuous monitoring data acquisition system are reviewed to discuss system design an...
Conference Paper
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RESUMEN En el Estado de Chihuahua, dependencias de gobierno estatal y federal han estado trabajando por varios años en la promoción del uso de energía renovable para apoyar el desarrollo rural. Esto se ha hecho a través del Grupo de Trabajo de Energía Renovable (GTER), el cual es conformado por dichas dependencias, con fondos compartidos pagados a...
Article
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This paper describes the reliability and performance of the Chorreras photovoltaic (PV) hybrid ice-making system. The system is a first of its kind in the world and is located near the fishing village of Chorreras, which is located along a man-made lake in a remote desert area of the State of Chihuahua in northern Mexico. The information gathered f...
Article
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This paper characterizes the accomplishments and future challenges of the Mexico Renewable Energy Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and managed by Sandia National Laboratories. The goals of the Mexico Renewable Energy Program are to promote the use of renewable energ...
Article
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The Xcalak village wind/solar hybrid system, installed in August 1992, has shown that a proper institutional support structure is key to overall system success. Unfortunately, the Xcalak hybrid was planned without any long-term support structure and "donated" to villagers incapable of maintaining such a complicated system. In March 1993 the system...
Article
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Recent and current thinking on poverty alleviation emphasizes empowering poor households and communities to secure clean water supplies, health & health services, food, education, income, sustainable resources, access to resources, and an active voice and role in political, economic and social decision making. The role of renewable energy technol...
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There are two distinct parts to the home lighting challenge; the light source and the energy source. Photovoltaics (PV) coupled with light emitting diodes (LEDs) offer a practical, more economic, and better energy and lighting alternative to fuel-based illumination in the developing world. Indeed providing reliable LED lights to the world’s undevel...
Article
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Sandia National Laboratories National Laboratories (SNL) and the Southwest Technology Development Institute (SWTDI) at New Mexico State University have been working in Mexico with a variety of program partners in developing sustainable markets for PV water pumping systems through the implementation of pilot projects. The program is sponsored by the...
Article
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Evaporative air-conditioning (EAC) is an environmentally friendly and energy efficient cooling method that only uses water as the working fluid. EAC provides superior indoor air quality over vapor-compression systems since 100% outdoor air is used. The use of EAC instead of vapor-compression systems also helps reduce global CO 2 , CFC, and other gr...