The Photovoltaics Research and Development 2: Modules and Systems (PVRD2) funding program aims to develop technologies with the potential to lead to new classes of commercial PV products that improve module performance, reliability, and manufacturability. PVRD2 builds on progress made in the first round of this funding program. The Department of Energy announced selections for PVRD2 on July 12, 2017.
PVRD2 has three distinct focus areas that address solar energy costs through PV research and development:
- Small exploratory projects to determine the potential of an innovative idea in PV hardware research and lay the groundwork for further development
- Significant improvements in the performance, energy yield, manufacturability, and reliability of completed PV modules as well as the development of advanced methods for module characterization and analysis
- Hardware and software solutions to facilitate the rapid, safe, and cost-effective deployment and commissioning of PV systems
PVRD2 projects will contribute toward achieving the 2030 goal of reducing the levelized cost of energy of solar power to $0.03 per kilowatt hour. PVRD2 projects work to develop one or more innovations that, when combined with a portfolio of other solutions, will help achieve cost targets.
Project Name: Characterization of Contact Degradation in Crystalline Silicon PV Modules
Principal Investigator: Kristopher Davis
Project Summary: This project is developing a highly-automated metrology solution that can non-destructively extract the series resistance and dark current of individual cells encapsulated within a photovoltaic (PV) module with minimal uncertainty for both parameters using calibrated electroluminescence imaging. This metrology can be used in reliability and durability evaluations to accelerate cycles of learning and to help develop new technologies and integrate them into high-volume manufacturing.