DoE funds $53M in early-stage solar research

DoE funds $53M in early-stage solar research

Technology News |
By Rich Pell

Of the 53 projects, 31 will focus on photovoltaics research and development. 

Within the PV topic, the selected projects will develop and test new ways to accelerate the integration of emerging technologies into the solar industry. These Innovative Pathway projects do not fund individual technologies along their pathway to market, but instead focus on improving the pathway itself.

The projects include Higher Throughput, Lower Cost Processing of Flexible Perovskite Solar Cells by Photonic Curing at the University of Texas at Dallas, Improving Energy Yield in Photovoltaic Modules With Photonic Structures at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Life-Cycle Analysis of Scalable Single-Junction and Tandem Perovskite Solar Cell Systems at Columbia University in New York. 

There are several projects on III/V materials such as GaAs and widebandbap polycrystalline materials, including MIT working on low cost III/V cells using Remote Epitaxy through Graphene, while a team at the University of Washinton is looking at Corrective Algorithms for Photovoltaic Film Deposition and Rapid Thermal Processing in Scalable Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing. Researchers at Princeton will also look at Identifying Impacts of Process, Precursors and Defects in Metal Halide Perovskite Solar Cells while the University of Michigan will look at Semi-Transparent, Reliable and Efficient Scalable Organic Solar Cells for Building Integrated Applications

The Georgia Institute of Technology is looking to push past 23% efficiency for P-PERC Solar Cells while Colorado State University is investigating doping with CdTe and CdSeTe for Higher Efficiency and Stanford University is looking to scale up production of Open-Air Fabrication of Durable Perovskite Solar Modules.

Machine learning is also being used widely. kWh Analytics in San Francisco is using Machine Learning on Real-World Performance Data to examine cell degradation, while the University of Washington is working on Machine Learning Assisted Enhancement of Perovskite Stability and Performance

Case Western Reserve University is finding way to make PV modules last 50 years while the University of Colorado Boulder is developing Mini-Modules Made with Monolithically Integrated All-Perovskite Tandem cells.

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