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New materials and designs for photovoltaic modules providing low-cost energy

The DuraMAT Consortium brings together Department of Energy national laboratory and university research capabilities with the photovoltaic (PV) and supply-chain industries to accelerate a sustainable, just, and equitable transition to zero-carbon electricity generation by 2035. 

The consortium is focused on five core objectives:

  1. Development of a central data resource for PV modules
  2. Multi-scale and multi-physics modeling
  3. Disruptive acceleration science
  4. Forensic tools for fielded modules
  5. Materials solutions for more durable, reliable, and resilient modules.

DuraMAT leverages the decades of experience, expertise, and world-class facilities at the national laboratories to create a “one-stop-shop” for timely solutions to critical barriers limiting module reliability and durability. In its first 5 years, DuraMat has become a trusted partner for the US industry.

The core objectives were defined in partnership with DuraMat’s Industry Advisory Board and are long-term research objectives that are expected to continue through DuraMat 2.0. Selection and funding of specific projects, however, are dynamic, allowing the consortium the flexibility to address the most current and pressing industry concerns. DuraMAT funding supports research projects through a number of competitive processes.

The core objectives address these two questions:

  • Which materials and module designs will enable sustainable, high-energy-yield, 50-year modules, and how do we ensure that these new modules are not going to fail prematurely?
  • What triggers wear-out, defined as a rapid increase in degradation at end of life, and what are the characteristics, rates, and mechanisms of long-term degradation in PV modules?

Our research strategy integrates the following core objectives in an innovation engine that accelerates material development, ensures industry engagement, and meets the long- and short-term module materials research needs of the PV industry:

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