New Group to Help Improve Solar PV Module Reliability

solar PV modules

Several national laboratories are forming a consortium to accelerate the development of module materials for solar photovoltaics (PV) and lower the cost of generated electricity.

The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will form the Durable Module Materials (DuraMat) National Lab Consortium. The group will develop unique capabilities to more quickly develop, characterize and deploy new materials and architectures that will improve the value of PV modules for PV manufacturers, plant developers, financiers and utilities.

The consortium will receive $30 million over five years from the DOE’s SunShot Initiative. Teresa Barnes, from NREL’s Materials Science Center, will be the director for DuraMat. Anthony Martino of Sandia National Laboratories will be the deputy director.

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in February launched the Energy Materials Network (EMN), an initiative designed to give entrepreneurs and manufacturers a competitive edge in the clean energy industry. DuraMat is the fourth EMN consortia named, with three more anticipated to be announced in fiscal year 2017.

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