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News Release: NREL Solar Researcher Honored with ASES Abbot Award

July 21, 2006

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) honored Dr. Chuck Kutscher of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with the Charles Greeley Abbot Award during the recent ASES SOLAR 2006 conference.

The Abbot Award recognizes individuals who have made significant career contributions to the field of solar energy or the society. Kutscher has been a member of ASES for 28 years, served on the board of directors for nine years and served as Chairman for 2000-2001. He was also General Chair of the SOLAR 2006 national conference, where he assembled a team of nine experts to present analyses on how renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies can address global warming in the U.S.

Kutscher is a Principal Engineer/Group Manager in NREL's Center for Buildings and Thermal Systems. Since joining the Laboratory in 1978, he has worked on solar energy, geothermal energy, and building energy efficiency.  Kutscher’s projects have included designing a desiccant cooling test laboratory, producing NREL's solar industrial process heat design handbook, developing stretched-membrane parabolic dish solar concentrators, inventing a high-performance heat exchanger and leading NREL's low-cost solar collector effort. The latter involved pioneering development (in conjunction with Conserval Systems, Inc.) of the innovative transpired air solar collector, winner of an R&D 100 Award and Popular Science's "Best of What's New" award. Transpired air collectors are dark, perforated metal plates that are installed over a building's south-facing wall to capture the sun's heat to warm the building ventilation air.

Kutscher has a B.S. degree in physics from the State University of New York at Albany, an M.S. degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

ASES is the nation’s oldest and largest membership society dedicated to advancing the U.S. to a sustainable energy economy. For more information, visit

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by Midwest Research Institute and Battelle.

—Sarah Barba