Gagik Kirakosyan, 60, together with his research group comprised of Janik Sevoyan, 24, Vachagan Melkonyan, 27, and Lilit Kirakosyan, 27, have been working on the new method that, quite simply put, will help individuals find a better way to not only access and use solar energy in their homes, but also to store it.

The group is among the 27 selected as 2018 Armenian National Science and Education Fund (ANSEF) awardees earlier this year.

Gagik said their system to acquire solar energy would be extremely useful as Armenia has recently adopted new regulations which allow individuals to produce solar energy themselves, as opposed to turning to energy companies. Individuals would have a mechanism with which they could easily access their own stored solar energy for everyday use.

“That’s a modern way of dealing with solar energy so what we are doing is also very timely,” he said. “In the second phase of the program, we also want to create a back-up system which will accumulate the energy generated from the solar panel and transfer it to the electric utility network on a constant basis. We plan to apply to the next round of ANSEF so we can get help to design and build the back-up system,” he said.

Gagik studied physics in Yerevan before earning his PhD in Moscow and returning to Armenia in 1986. Since the 1990s he has been involved in studies on the use of solar energy, and production and projects connected to it. He is currently a professor at the Institute of Information and Communications Technologies and Electronics in Yerevan. He received his first ANSEF grant in 2006.

Janik stated that the future system will be widely used in everyday life. “Frankly speaking, the ANSEF grant was a nice surprise to me. When Mr. Kirakosyan gave me a call to say that we won, I could hardly believe it. Why? Because escaping bureaucratic and biased attitudes that we usually face as scientists often means funding our work ourselves, as opposed to relying on being accepted for a grant. But ANSEF is different,” said the young PhD student who is pleased with the flexibility and autonomy granted through the ANSEF program, as well as its lack of administrative bureaucracy.