The new Spark project format will fund research aimed specifically at innovative concepts that will increase module reliability and performance.
For current Spark Call, please refer to Fiscal Year 2023 Core Call.
Send questions to DuraMAT@nrel.gov.
Spark Proposal Purpose
Spark proposals are intended to be short-term (6–9 month) projects that serve a defined need, bridge gaps in DuraMAT's core objective areas, or address a previously unidentified opportunity for research to impact the PV industry. The budget for each Spark project is limited to $65,000.
Successful proposals will display a measurable near-term impact by establishing new areas of research, proving out a new technique, bridging gaps in DuraMAT capabilities, or answering an urgent question for the PV community. Proposals must have a well-defined, short-term work plan with one or two key tasks that will accomplish the proposal's goals.
Proposed work should address the DuraMAT goal of accelerating a sustainable, just, and equitable transition to zero-carbon electricity generation by 2035 by addressing 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?
Ideas must fit within the scope of DuraMAT. See www.duramat.org for more details.
National laboratory staff are encouraged to submit proposals for funding. All Spark funding must stay within DOE national laboratories. Industry and university staff may team with the national laboratories for funded work to be done at the national laboratories. Proposals must have a national lab PI or co-PI. All proposals are encouraged to work in collaboration with industry, university, and other national laboratories.