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Materials Discovery, Selection, and Design Using Software Tools

As a DuraMAT project, Colorado State University (CSU) is performing photovoltaic (PV) module materials discovery, selection, and design using leading information technology, software tools. This includes a rigorous selection methodology based on the module component function, objective, and constraints.

These databases contain 90,000 data sheets from 800 manufacturers. In conjunction with the materials science literature, all polymer, CSU is exploring thermoplastic and elastomer material families. This methodology holds the opportunity to discover advanced materials to improve module reliability and reduce costs to achieve SunShot goals. 

In this project, four key module components will be investigated including the:

  • Module edge seal
  • Inner laminate film
  • Back box material
  • Back box to back sheet attachment adhesive.

CSU will develop performance expressions / equations for the four module components based on the key attributes such as moisture vapor transmission rate, UV resistance, and cost. Glass/ glass module constructions will be the initial focus. The materials discovery and manufacturing process is to be advanced concurrently.

Core Objective

Module Material Solutions


Colorado State University's Next Generation PV Center


The outcomes of this project will be new insights into key encapsulation materials. This will aid module designers and manufacturers in developing low cost, reliable products.


Software tools are available by license. Program results will be published and presented at conferences.


To learn more about this project, contact Kurt Barth.

Chart showing water vapor transmission (kg.m/m 2.s) by price (USD/kg)
Illustration of a chart showing three oval shapes with smaller oval shapes within them.