Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award

Prof. Hoyt Clarke Hottel was in charge of the Godfrey L. Cabot solar energy R&D program at MIT from the late 1930s to the mid 1960s. The Cabot program at MIT involved research on non-biological uses of solar energy by humanity. A parallel program at Harvard involved the use of plants.

Although solar heat collectors of a number of types had already been used in test centers for several centuries, Prof. Hottel and his co-workers were the first to develop accurate analytical models for solar heat collectors. Their modeling and testing work on flat plate collectors led to what is currently known as the Hottel-Whillier model. Original work, by Prof. Hottel and Dr. Byron Woertz, was so careful and precise that in the early 1940s it led to a calibration adjustment in the Eppley pyrheliometer. Prof. Hottel also developed the “utilizability” method for solar energy calculations, invaluable for long term system predictions before computer programs like were available.

On the MIT Cabot program, work was also done on house heating and cooling, selective surfaces, thermoelectrics, solar stills, phase change heat storage, and non-biological photochemistry. Three experimental solar houses were built and tested extensively. Another project of the Cabot team involved the development of lightweight solar stills to provide drinking water to the crew members of US planes shot down over the ocean in World War II.

Prof. Hottel was an extremely dependable and helpful thesis advisor to a large number of BS, MS, and PhD candidates in solar energy and other engineering topics. Sometimes Prof. Hottel forgot how helpful he had been: he paid students compliments on their work, and had to be reminded that he had suggested that approach to begin with. ISES honored Prof. Hottel with the very first Farrington Daniels Award in 1975. MIT honored him by establishing the Hoyt C. Hottel Lectureship in 1985, and the Hoyt C. Hottel Professorship in Chemical Engineering in 1995.

Criteria: The primary requirement is that the recipient has made a significant contribution to the technology in any area of the solar energy field. Hottel Award nominees may have been involved in the development of useful analytical models; the discovery, development, or improvement of energy conversion processes; or the widespread implementation of solar energy technology. No geographical limitations are imposed, and the recipient need not be a member of the Society.

Past Hottel Award Winners

2012 Frank Kreith, retired from University of Colorado
2011 Mark Thornbloom, Kelelo
2010  Charles E. Andraka, Sandia National Labs
2009  Ajeet Rohatgi, Suniva
2008  Geoffrey Lester Harding
2007  Yogi Goswami, University of South Florida
2006  Jan Kreider, University of Colorado
2005  William A. Beckman, University of Wisconsin, Madison
2004  Stan Ovshinsky, Energy Conversion Devices
2003  Gary C. Vliet, University of Texas at Austin
2002  Gilbert Cohen, Duke Solar Energy
2001  Paul B. MacCready, Aerovironment
2000  Randy Gee & Ken May, Industrial Solar Technology Corporation

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