SETO FY2018 – Photovoltaics

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The Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 (SETO FY2018) funding program addresses the affordability, flexibility, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. This program funds early-stage research projects that advance both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technologies and supports efforts that prepare the solar workforce for the industry’s future needs.

On October 23, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would provide $53 million in funding for 53 projects in the SETO FY2018 funding program. Of those projects, 31 will focus on photovoltaics research and development. Read the announcement.

Approach

Projects in the photovoltaics research and development topic support early-stage research that increase performance, reduce materials and processing costs, and improve reliability of PV cells, modules, and systems to enable the industry to achieve its 2030 cost goals.

Within the PV topic, the office has also selected projects that will develop and test new ways to accelerate the integration of emerging technologies into the solar industry. These Innovative Pathway projects do not fund individual technologies along their pathway to market, but instead focus on improving the pathway itself.

Objectives

Projects in this funding program will strengthen the innovation ecosystem across the country and work toward achieving the office’s 2030 cost targets. Technical projects will work toward developing new technologies and solutions capable of lowering solar electricity costs for PV, while Innovative Pathway projects will work toward creating new ways to overcome technology transfer challenges.

Selectees

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS): Photovoltaics

University of Texas at Dallas

Project Name: Higher Throughput, Lower Cost Processing of Flexible Perovskite Solar Cells by Photonic Curing
Location: Richardson, TX
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $69,113
Principal Investigator: Julia Hsu

Washington State University

Project Name: Preparation and Evaluation of N-type CdSeTe as an Absorber in Thin-Film CdTe PV
Location: Pullman, WA
DOE Award Amount: $198,578
Cost Share: $49,645
Principal Investigator: Kelvin Lynn

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Project Name: Improving Energy Yield in Photovoltaic Modules With Photonic Structures
Location: Minneapolis, MN
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Vivian Ferry

Columbia University

Project Name: Comparative Life-Cycle Analysis of Scalable Single-Junction and Tandem Perovskite Solar Cell Systems
Location: New York, NY
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Vasilis Fthenakis

Colorado School of Mines 2

Project Name: Multi-Messenger In-situ Tolerance Optimization of Mixed Perovskite Photovoltaics
Location: Golden, CO
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Xerxes Steirer

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1

Project Name: Controlling the Recombination Activity of Dislocations in III-V Solar Cells
Location: Urbana, IL
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Minjoo Lee

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2

Project Name: Wide-Bandgap Polycrystalline III-Vs as Transparent, Carrier-Selective Heterojunction Contacts for Silicon Photovoltaics
Location: Urbana, IL
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Minjoo Lee

University of Washington 1

Project Name: In-situ Photophysical Monitors and Corrective Algorithms for Photovoltaic Film Deposition and Rapid Thermal Processing in Scalable Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing
Location: Seattle, WA
DOE Award Amount: $198,806
Cost Share: $50,329
Principal Investigator: Devin MacKenzie

Arizona State University 1

Project Name: Impact of Undoped Substrates on High Performance Silicon Solar Cells
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Andre Augusto

DNV GL

Project Name: Bifacial PV Module Energy Modeling Validation Study
Location: Oakland, CA
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Tara Doyle


Increasing Affordability, Reliability, and Manufacturability of PV Cells, Modules, and Systems

Princeton University

Project Name: Identifying Impacts of Process, Precursors and Defects in Metal Halide Perovskite Solar Cells
Location: Princeton, NJ
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Barry Rand

University of Michigan

Project Name: Semi-Transparent, Reliable and Efficient Scalable Organic Solar Cells for Building Integrated Applications
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
DOE Award Amount: $1,300,000
Cost Share: $325,474
Principal Investigator: Stephen Forrest

Georgia Institute of Technology

Project Name: Technology Development for Greater than 23% Efficient P-PERC Solar Cells
Location: Atlanta, GA
DOE Award Amount: $700,000
Cost Share: $175,000
Principal Investigator: Ajeet Rohatgi

Colorado State University

Project Name: Doping CdTe and CdSeTe for Higher Efficiency
Location: Fort Collins, CO
DOE Award Amount: $750,000
Cost Share: $187,500
Principal Investigator: Walajabad Sampath

kWh Analytics

Project Name: Deciphering Degradation: Machine Learning on Real-World Performance Data
Location: San Francisco, CA
DOE Award Amount: $1,250,000
Cost Share: $500,000
Principal Investigator: Adam Shinn

Stanford University

Project Name: Accelerated Scaling to Rapid Open-Air Fabrication of Durable Perovskite Solar Modules
Location: San Francisco, CA
DOE Award Amount: $1,496,069
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Reinhold Dauskardt

University of Washington 2

Project Name: Machine Learning Assisted Enhancement of Perovskite Stability and Performance
Location: Seattle, WA
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Hugh Hillhouse

Arizona State University 2

Project Name: Bringing High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells With Heterojunction Contacts to Market with a New, Versatile Deposition Technique
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,000,000
Cost Share: $250,000
Principal Investigator: Zachary Holman

Cypress Creek Renewables

Project Name: Capturing the Full Benefits of Bifacial Modules to Achieve an LCOE of $0.03 per Kilowatt-hour through a Regional Optimization of the Electrical Architecture
Location: San Francisco, CA
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $396,310
Principal Investigator: Jenya Meydbray

Case Western Reserve University

Project Name: Towards 50 Year Lifetime PV Modules: Glass/Backsheet vs. Double Glass
Location: Cleveland, OH
DOE Award Amount: $1,350,000
Cost Share: $337,500
Principal Investigator: Roger French

University of Colorado Boulder

Project Name: Mini-Modules Made with Monolithically Integrated All-Perovskite Tandems
Location: Boulder, CO
DOE Award Amount: $1,499,764
Cost Share: $375,235
Principal Investigator: Michael McGehee

University of Washington 3

Project Name: CIGS Technology Advancement via Fundamental Modeling of Defect/Impurity Interactions
Location: Seattle, WA
DOE Award Amount: $681,016
Cost Share: $179,090
Principal Investigator: Scott Dunham

Collaborative Cross-Cutting PV Research

Amtech Systems, Inc.

Project Name: Field-Effect Passivation by Desired Charge Injection into SiNx Passivation in Crystalline-Silicon Solar Cells
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,120,000
Cost Share: $280,000
Principal Investigator: Jeong-Mo Hwang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project Name: Low-Cost, High-Efficiency III-V Photovoltaics Enabled By Remote Epitaxy through Graphene
Location: Cambridge, MA
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Jeehwan Kim

University of Delaware

Project Name: Novel and Effective Surface Passivation for High-Efficiency N- and P-Type Silicon Solar Cells
Location: Newark, DE
DOE Award Amount: $800,000
Cost Share: $200,000
Principal Investigator: Ujjwal Das

Arizona State University 3

Project Name: Diagnosing and Overcoming Recombination and Resistive Losses In Non-Silicon Solar Cells Using a Silicon-Inspired Characterization Platform
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Zachary Holman

Arizona State University 4

Project Name: Reliability Evaluation of Bifacial and Monofacial Glass/Glass Modules with Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) and Non-EVA Encapsulants
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Govindasamy Tamizhmani

Innovative Pathways: Photovoltaics

Groundswell

Project Name: Accelerating Low-Income Financing and Transactions for Solar Access Everywhere (LIFT Solar Everywhere)
Location: Washington, DC
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Lori Michelle Moore

International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST)

Project Name: Developing and Piloting Solar Financing Models to Expand PV Access to Low and Moderate Income Americans
Location: Lakewood, CO
DOE Award Amount: $999,935
Cost Share: $256,454
Principal Investigator: Ravi Malhotra

Arizona State University 5

Project Name: Developing Socially and Economically Generative, Resilient PV-Energy Systems for Low- and Moderate-Income Communities: Applications to Puerto Rico
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,229,307
Cost Share: $307,328
Principal Investigator: Clark Miller

GRID Alternatives

Project Name: Revolving Program Related Investments Energy Savings Fund
Location: Oakland, CA
DOE Award Amount: $999,470
Cost Share: $2,022,801
Principal Investigator: Jake Bobrow

Learn more about the SETO FY2018 funding program and the projects selected for the concentrating solar-thermal power and workforce initiative topics.