Personal Profile

Timothy J. Silverman wants solar technology to last longer and make more energy. He studies how solar panels make energy, wear out, and break down outside. He makes tools to find problems and special tests to cause those problems faster than they happen outside.
Silverman has developed tools and methods for detecting problems. Some favorites include electroluminescence imaging, photoluminescence imaging, and data from outdoor solar electricity production. Check out this video on YouTube about a field photoluminescence tool he developed. He has created accelerated tests for degradation driven by mechanical, thermal, electrical, optical, and chemical phenomena. Check out this video on YouTube about a new mechanical test he invented.
Silverman's work has covered performance and reliability problems in all major and emerging photovoltaic (PV) technologies, including crystalline silicon, cadmium telluride, copper indium gallium diselenide, III-V, and metal halide perovskite. Favorite projects include finding out how the wind can wear out cracked solar cells, how solar panels can be made to run cooler, and how shadows can permanently damage some solar panels. Silverman won the nation's highest award for early career researchers, the PECASE, for his work on shadows in thin-film PV modules.
Silverman has also done strategic analysis supporting the full scope of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office and the former DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office (now split into the Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office and Industrial Efficiency & Decarbonization Office).
Silverman is a Distinguished Member of Research Staff and Senior Scientist at NREL, where he has worked since 2011.

Education/Academic Qualification

Bachelor, Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University

PhD, Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin


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Collaborations and Top Research Areas From the Past 5 Years

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