US collaboration to advance thin film technologies

The collaboration will examine areas including products, metrology, reliability, module and cell processing, advanced testing, materials analysis and modeling.

Pradeep Haldar, PVMC chief operating and technology officer and CNSE VP for Clean Energy Programs additionally told pv magazine, "This is an open collaborative agreement that will be expanded as needed. No limits have been established … PVMC and NREL will both invest individually or together, as well as pursue additional funding from others, based on the specific projects chosen."

He added that the initial goals are to establish a state-of-the-art thin film manufacturing development facility, and to enable testing and reliability programs at PVMC. "This will be achieved in the first two years of the program," he said.

While the parties would not divulge how much had been invested in the collaboration, a spokesperson told pv magazine, "Both parties are leveraging their existing assets to fulfill an industry need which will enable faster and cheaper results than otherwise possible. This strategy best optimizes the taxpayers investment in National Labs."

The U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative is targeting a 75% reduction in the cost of installed thin film photovoltaic systems within ten years.

The taxpayer funded NREL will collaborate with the PVMC, which is made up of representatives from the solar industry, universities and government partners and headquartered in New York at the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

The PVMC recently signed a memorandum of understanding with electronics manufacturing industry body SEMI over standards and thin film roadmap aims. SEMI recently announced its ambition of finding a solution to the solar trade wars raging around the globe.

Edited by Becky Beetz.