Durable Module Materials Consortium (DuraMat)

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Awardee: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Location: Golden, CO
Subprogram: Photovoltaics
SunShot Award Amount: $30,000,000

The Durable Module Materials (DuraMat) National Laboratory Consortium is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of durable, high-performance materials for photovoltaic (PV) modules to lower the cost of electricity generated by solar power, while increasing field lifetime. DuraMat is one of several consortia under the Energy Materials Network, which aims to solve industry’s toughest clean energy materials challenges. Led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), DuraMat supports projects that improve module materials in partnership with industry and academia to further optimize reliability and energy harvest of low-cost PV modules. Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are collaborating with NREL in the consortium.

DuraMat was announced on September 15, 2016. Read the press release.

Approach

Industry and academia will be able to engage with DuraMat through competitively selected U.S. Department of Energy-funded projects or standard national laboratory partnerships. DuraMat’s research strategy focuses on accelerating material development, ensuring industry engagement, and meeting the long- and short-term module materials research needs of the PV industry. A network of easily accessible capabilities areas will help facilitate applied R&D:

  • Data Analytics
  • Predictive Modeling
  • Materials Discovery and Forensics
  • Module Prototyping and Durability
  • Field Deployment
  • Market Analysis

Objectives

Dramatically accelerating the development of new PV module materials will enable significant reductions in the cost of solar power. It is expected that DuraMat activities will lead to dependable, high-performance, low-cost PV module materials and architectures by developing module technologies that enable dramatic reductions in the levelized cost of energy from solar power. In addition, DuraMat will build and support a network of active collaborations from within the national laboratories, industry, and academia to design, develop, and deploy advanced module materials. Highly promising materials and module technologies will be moved from early stages of research to successful deployment in the marketplace at an accelerated rate.

Learn more about the SunShot Initiative's other photovoltaic funding programs.