DOE launches Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium to cut costs, raise efficiency of solar cells – Swift 能源 News

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Published on August 03, 2022 by Chris Galford

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With $20 million in hand, a new Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium kicked off this week at the U.S. Department of Energy, where the focus will be on making cadmium telluride solar cells more efficient, less costly, and ready to tap new markets.

This initiative, administered by the National Renewable Energy Lab, targets solar cells created by the United States, which remain the second-most common photovoltaic technology after silicon. However, the DOE expressed concern over domestic manufacturing in this area, noting that without improvements, the United States will have to lean on clean energy imports and unstable supply chains to pursue its clean energy efforts.

“As solar continues its reign as one of the cheapest forms of energy powering our homes and businesses, we are committed to a solar future that is built by American workers,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “DOE is proud to partner with leading solar researchers and companies to chart the future of CdTe technology, which presents an immense opportunity for domestic manufacturers to help ensure our nation’s security while providing family-sustaining jobs.”

As a result, the Consortium’s goals will be to expand domestic CdTe photovoltaic material and module production, bolster its domestic supply chain and improve American competitiveness in this sector. The University of Toledo, First Solar, Colorado State University, Toledo Solar Inc., and Sivananthan Laboratories, Inc will lead these efforts.

“Our world requires scientific innovation to address the inefficient ways we find, produce and consume energy,” Dr. Gregory Postel, University of Toledo president, said. “The University of Toledo is proud to help power the future by leading this consortium that leverages our expertise in solar energy research and commercialization and strengthens our partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and other leaders in this important and growing field.”

Such research will focus on areas that include CdTe doping strategies, identifying and investigating additional contacting materials, and the development of a bifacial CdTe module capable of absorbing light from the front and back.