- US DOE has announced 19 projects that have been shortlisted for its $82 million funding
- A lot of projects focus on CdTE and perovskite solar technologies that the department says are vital to diversifying the solar supply chain
- Recycling is also big on the agenda as 8 projects have been selected for this domain
- Projects shortlisted will now enter into award negotiations with the DOE to win the awards finally
A total of 19 projects, including from CdTe solar panel manufacturers First Solar and Toledo Solar, have made the cut to be considered for the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) $52 million funding that aims to strengthen domestic solar manufacturing, recycling and development of new American-made technologies.
An additional $30 million is also available for technologies that will help integrate solar energy into the grid.
The shortlisted projects will now enter award negotiations with the department post which funding agreement will be executed. Nonetheless, the list includes some very interesting technology projects that have the potential to strengthen the entire solar value chain.
US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm called it some of the government’s largest ever investments in research to strengthen the country’s domestic solar supply chain. According to the department, this investment will help promote cheaper, more efficient solar cells and advance cadmium telluride (CdTe) and perovskite solar manufacturing—’two technologies vital to diversifying the solar supply chain’.
Under the Solar Manufacturing Incubator Program, First Solar will develop a tandem module combining CdTe and silicon for residential rooftops with the DOE funding of $7.3 million. It will be more efficient than silicon or thin-film modules on the market today. First Solar is building an R&D line at Perrysburg, Ohio to produce full-size prototype of both thin-film and tandem modules.
Toledo Solar too has secured $8.8 million to demonstrate the application of semitransparent CdTE solar panels to windows, to address a new market for thin-film solar devices.
Vitro Flat Glass will use $1.6 million DOE funding to improve the power output of CdTe modules through a high-performance superstrate.
Additionally, as part of the PV Research and Development Funding program, the department has approved $9 million for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to design, build and test commercially relevant tandem cells of silicon and perovskite materials. Another $9 million has been awarded to the University of Colorado Boulder to design and build tandem silicon-perovskite cells to minimize cost and maximize efficiency and durability.
Recycling is also big on the agenda for the US government as 8 projects in the domain have been selected for the funding. Among the winners is Solarcycle that has secured $1.5 million to develop a mechanical method to concentrate the materials following it up with an environmentally friendly chemical process to recover them.
Georgia Institute of Technology will work on a project to replace silver in solar cell electrical contacts by developing new copper and aluminium based metal pastes that can be screen printed onto silicon solar cells, which could reduce the cost of adding metal contacts by 50%.
Locusview has also won $750,000 to develop standards for tracing modules through the entire supply chain with an aim to recycle and reuse the materials used.
Among other winning innovative recycling concepts, University of California San Diego will develop new materials to layer between the solar cell and packaging layers of the module than can be easily ‘unzipped’ to disassemble the module for reuse and recycling.
A list of all the winning 19 projects is available on the DOE’s website.
Source from Taiyang News
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