Sandia researcher Greg Nielson, team leader on the Microsystems-Enabled Photovoltaic cell project, holds up a sample of the cells that won a regional Excellence in Technology Transfer Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC). (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Today’s energy world requires dynamic, innovative thinking and the flexibility to rapidly accommodate changing market demands. The solar photovoltaics (PV) industry has advanced significantly in recent years, yet the PV world of tomorrow has only been imagined. Sandia National Laboratories contributes to the advancement of PV technology through research in advanced PV technologies, such as III-V thin cells, and advanced small and thin c-Si. The lab also offers extensive experience and expertise in systems integration, micro-fabrication, MEMS and microsystem technologies, semiconductor device technology, and advanced PV systems analysis.

SNL’s advanced research and development (R&D) supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) goals to reduce PV system costs and facilitate high penetration of PV technologies into the nation’s energy mix.

We are collaboratively working with the U.S. photovoltaic industry, the DOE, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, other government agencies, and international organizations to increase the world-wide use of photovoltaic power systems by reducing cost, improving reliability, increasing performance, removing barriers, and growing markets.

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.

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Microsystems Enabled Photovoltaics (MEPV) is an ongoing R&D effort at Sandia to develop novel photovoltaic systems that use microscale photovoltaic cells and/or microscale optics to generate electricity from a variety of light sources and power devices in flexible, moldable, or flat-plate formats.

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