U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Photovoltaic Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting Technologies Past Projects
On June 11, 2009, DOE announced the first round of Photovoltaic (PV) Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting Technologies awardees. The funded projects target manufacturing and product cost reduction with the potential to have a near-term impact on a substantial segment of the PV industry.
General Electric Global Research ($1,800,000)
Niskayuna, New York
The objective of this project is to demonstrate that a distributed PV architecture with localized maximum power point tracking, and highly integrated rack, module, and power conversion components can outperform current commercial and utility-scale PV installations by increasing the energy yield, reducing total lifecycle costs, and improving overall system reliability and availability. The distributed architecture aims to reduce the levelized cost of electricity 10%–15% through increased energy yield and system availability, and reduced installation, operation and maintenance costs.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company ($3 million in Recovery Act funding)
Flexible, transparent ultra moisture barrier film is the prerequisite for the successful commercialization of durable, flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaics, as CIGS cells are extremely moisture sensitive. The objectives for this project are to scale up atomic layer deposition (ALD)-on-plastic technology by building a prototype tool and then a pilot tool, and to prepare for planned ALD-on-plastic commercialization. Successful commercialization of flexible, transparent ultra moisture barrier product will enable flexible, high-efficiency CIGS cells, and thus enable roll-out building integrated CIGS PV installation to achieve cost reduction.
Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc. ($3 million)
The objective of this project is to develop production-worthy equipment for creating sheets of single-crystal silicon using the floating silicon method (FSM). Varian Semiconductor has adapted the conventional (Czochralski) method of crystal growth to grow single crystals of silicon in sheets rather than boules to optimize the process for PV applications. Silicon sheets grown by FSM have the same crystalline quality as wafers grown for the integrated circuit industry. The equipment can also support the PV industry by eliminating kerf losses and the consumable costs associated with wafer sawing, allowing optimal photovoltaic efficiency by producing high-quality single-crystal sheets, and reducing the cost of assembling photovoltaic modules by creating large-area silicon cells, free of microcracks.
Learn about the projects funded through the second round of the PV Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting Technologies program.