CLICK HERE: free registration for Semiconductor Today and Semiconductor Today ASIACLICK HERE: free registration for Semiconductor Today and Semiconductor Today ASIA

14 March 2013

US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium and NREL team up to develop thin-film PV cells and modules

The US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC), an industry-led collaboration headquartered at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), has partnered with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to improve manufacturing processes for thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, including products, metrology and reliability that will support the US solar industry in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of next-generation solar PV systems.

“Through this initiative, we look forward to enhancing the manufacturability of thin-film solar PV technologies, which is critical to enabling increased usage in residential, commercial and utility applications across the country,” says Dr Pradeep Haldar, PVMC chief operating and technology officer and CNSE’s VP of Clean Energy Programs.

“This unique partnership between NREL and PVMC will leverage national resources, accelerate commercialization of next-generation solar products, and boost interactions between US research labs and industry manufacturing initiatives,” says Joe Hudgins, PVMC’s senior VP of business development and strategic alliances. “Together we are leading the national effort to help facilitate the transfer and commercialization of future solar products, equipment and manufacturing lines including thin-film, advanced silicon, and future materials,” he adds.

NREL has established processes, measurement and characterization capabilities, and expertise in all the major PV conversion technologies. PVMC will join NREL to support US solar manufacturing by leveraging decades of knowledge and capabilities in materials and cell processing, advanced testing, metrology and materials analysis, and modeling. These interactions aim to accelerate PVMC program deliverables and help to overcome the gaps and challenges necessary to build a strong US solar industry.

Additionally, the NREL and PVMC collaboration will be expanded to other national labs to create a greater impact on the US PV manufacturing industry. These national partnerships aim to replicate the SEMATECH and CNSE models that have regained and sustained US technology leadership in the semiconductor industry.

Spearheaded by CNSE and SEMATECH as part of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative, PVMC is targeting a reduction in the total installed cost of solar energy systems by 75% over the next decade. As an active participant in PVMC’s US Thin-Films PV Roadmap, NREL is working with other roadmap members to provide a congruent plan for the national CIGS industry, including module and systems manufacturers, suppliers and end-users, that will identify common challenges and define the areas of technical developments needed to sustain and advance a competitive US photovoltaic industry.

Several initiatives are currently underway to enhance product and manufacturing development, some of which are likely to become industry standards in the future, it is reckoned. In February, SEMI and PVMC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance their cooperation in areas of standards and roadmap activities for the solar thin film industry.




See Latest IssueRSS Feed