David Faiman (born 1944 in the United Kingdom) is an Israeli engineer and physicist. He is a world expert on solar power. He is the director of the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center and Chairman of the Department of Solar Energy & Environmental Physics at Ben-Gurion University's Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research in Sde Boker.
Faiman attended the University of London and received his Ph.D from the University of Illinois in 1969. In September 1973 Faiman immigrated to Israel (made aliyah) from the U.K. two weeks before the start of the Yom Kippur War. He worked at the Weizmann Institute as a theoretical physicist until Amos Richmond recruited him to assist in the founding of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Sde Boker. In 1976, Faiman joined Ben-Gurion University and helped establish the Blaustein Institutes; he then began to focus his research into the field of applied solar energy. He became a tenured professor at Ben-Gurion University in 1995. He is Professor of Physics and Chairman of the Department of Solar Energy & Environmental Physics at the Blaustein Institutes.
Faiman's work attempts to use concentrated sunlight and a solar panel to produce more electricity than believed possible. He and his team designed a reflector that concentrates light so strongly that it can burn organic material, and then directs it at a solar panel that collects and converts it into electricity twice as efficiently as standard panels. Faiman's team feels this discovery is a way to mass-produce solar energy to be cost competitive with fossil fuels. On National Public Radio, Faiman claimed that his team was able to derive 1,500 watts of electric power from a four-inch-by-four-inch module. They have reportedly teamed with Israeli start-up company Zenith Solar to build a prototype. Faiman is an adviser to the company.
He is Israel's representative to the Task 8 Photovoltaic Specialist Committee of the International Energy Agency and co-authored their book, Energy from the Desert: Practical Proposals for Very Large Scale Photovoltaic Systems (James & James, London, 2007).
- Sde Boker makes solar energy viable, Ofri Ilani, Haaretz, August 8, 2007.
- David Faiman biography, Stephen Salat, Digital, Life, Design
- BGU shields its eyes and stares into the solar future, Ehud Zion Waldoks, The Jerusalem Post, November 2, 2008.
- Faculty biography accessed December 22, 2008.
- Israeli professor envisions a bright future, Joseph Flesh, Israel 21C, April 30, 2006.
- Looking to the sun, Tom Parry, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, August 15, 2007.
- Reflective mirrors seen raising solar potential, Ari Rabinovitch, Boston Herald, August 29, 2007.
- Israel Pushes Solar Energy Technology, Linda Gradstein, National Public Radio, October 22, 2007.