The Durable Module Materials (DuraMat) National Lab Consortium will receive approximately $30 million over five years from the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative. SunShot funds projects designed to accelerate the market competitiveness of solar power and has chosen to focus the DuraMat program on module materials to complement the SunShot portfolio.
Teresa Barnes, from NREL’s Materials Science Center, will be the director for DuraMat. Anthony Martino of Sandia National Laboratories will be the deputy director.
“DuraMat provides easily accessible capabilities that bring the national lab and university research infrastructure together with the PV and supply-chain industries,” Barnes said. “Our research strategy integrates data analytics, module durability testing, prototyping, predictive modeling, field deployment, materials discovery, materials forensics, and technology transfer to accelerate module material development and reduce the cost of electricity from photovoltaics.”
The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in February announced the launch of the Energy Materials Network (EMN), an initiative crafted to give US entrepreneurs and manufacturers a competitive edge in the global race for clean energy. EMN focuses on tackling one of the major barriers to widespread commercialization of clean energy technologies - namely the design, testing, and production of advanced materials.
As part of the EMN, the DuraMat consortium will provide industry and academia the expertise and capabilities that can only be found at the national laboratories. DuraMat will develop unique capabilities to more quickly develop, characterize and deploy new materials and architectures that will improve the value of PV modules for PV manufacturers, plant developers, financiers, and utilities. With module materials already accounting for 40% or more of the total PV module costs, DuraMat will address the substantial opportunities that exist for durable, high-performance, low-cost materials for module components.
EERE envisions that dramatically accelerating the development of new PV module materials will clear the way for significant reductions in the cost of solar power.
The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.