Photovoltaics: From the Laboratory to the Marketplace

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Photovoltaics (PV), the direct conversion of sunlight to electricity, is experiencing significant improvements in technology performance and lowered costs. Fostering these improvements, the SERI Photovoltaic Advanced Research and Development (PV AR&D) Project supports research and provides services to the U.S. PV industry. The PV AR&D Project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)Photovoltaics Division under the Office of Utility Technologies. This paper presents the recent advances and future direction of the PV project. The project, implemented through SERI in-house research and subcontracts has about half of the funds competitively awarded to industry and universities. Research areas are Fundamental and Supporting Research, Advanced Thin-Film Materials,High-Efficiency Materials, Module Development, and Systems Development. Materials of interest include amorphous silicon, copper indium diselenide, cadmium telluride, crystalline silicon, gallium arsenide and related alloys, transparent conductors, antireflection coatings, substrates, and encapsulants. The PV project inherently provides technology transfer that helps industry shorten the time tobring R&D advances to the marketplace. SERI annually performs over 10,000 measurements for the entire PV community, participates in collaborative research, and welcomes visiting scientists. Through subcontracted R&D, SERI funds government/industry cost-shared partnerships, university participation and new ideas programs, and the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) initiative. Twospecific areas of recently increased national focus are (1) manufacturing processes for cost-effective PV modules, and (2) systems development for high-value utility applications. The SERI research approach is based on facilitating direct contact between industry, electric utilities, and others interested in PV technology. This approach heavily relies on SERI/industry partnerships. TI1earrangements vary to address generic and company-specific problems to improve the U.S. industry's competitive position and accelerate greater electric utility deployment of PV systems.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages10
    StatePublished - 1991
    EventASME/JSES Solar Energy Conference - Reno, Nevada
    Duration: 17 Mar 199122 Mar 1991


    ConferenceASME/JSES Solar Energy Conference
    CityReno, Nevada

    Bibliographical note

    Prepared for the ASME/JSES Solar Energy Conference, 17-22 March 1991, Reno, Nevada

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-211-3971


    • manufacturing processes
    • photovoltaics (PV)
    • systems development
    • technology transfer


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