Photovoltaic Research News

Visit the NREL news section for a complete list of NREL press releases and feature stories related to PV.

Sept. 22, 2022

Department of Energy Renews NREL's Center for Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Semiconductors for Energy

Cutting-edge semiconductor research at NREL will continue at the Center for Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Semiconductors for Energy (CHOISE) as part of funding announced last week.

Sept. 12, 2022

New Insights Revealed Through Century-Old Photochemistry Technique

A collaborative team from NREL and Princeton University has resurrected a century-old microwave technique to reveal a surprising feature of well-established light-driven chemistry. The study outlines how an important class of "photoredox catalysts" operates, leading to unforeseen ways to manipulate their efficiency and selectivity.

Sept. 1, 2022

News Release: NREL-Led Breakthrough Pushes Perovskite Cell to Greater Stability, Efficiency

A unique architectural structure enabled the researchers to record a certified stabilized efficiency of 24% under 1-sun illumination, making it the highest reported of its kind. The highly efficient cell also retained 87% of its original efficiency after 2,400 hours of operation at 55 degrees Celsius.

Aug. 18, 2022

Growing Plants, Power, and Partnerships Through Agrivoltaics

It is hard to find a flock of sheep nestled under an array of solar panels. But both solar developers and those in the local community who care for the land—whether as farmland, rangeland, or native habitats—can benefit from agrivoltaics.

Aug. 4, 2022

Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium Aims To Reduce Costs, Speed Deployment of Low-Carbon Thin-Film Solar Technologies

This week, U.S. Department of Energy announced a new three-year consortium intended to accelerate the development of cadmium telluride (CdTe) technologies by lowering the cost and increasing the efficiency of the thin-film solar cells.

July 6, 2022

NREL Innovations Open Door to Industry Collaboration, Commercialization

NREL researchers made for an inventive bunch in fiscal year 2021, even exceeding record-breaking activity in FY '20. A patent issued in November 2021 for compressed gas energy storage, for example, which covers the idea of injecting compressed natural gas into defunct oil and gas fracking sites, accounted for just one of 36 issued patents in FY '21.

July 1, 2022

NREL Scientists Explore How To Make PV Even Greener

How do we reduce the carbon impact of an already green technology?

June 27, 2022

News Release: NREL Analysis Highlights Strategies Beyond Recycling To Bolster Circular Economy for Solar and Battery Technologies

In a new comprehensive literature review, researchers at NREL discovered that alternatives to recycling may have untapped potential to build an effective circular economy for solar photovoltaic and battery technologies, such as reducing the use of virgin materials in manufacturing, reusing for new applications, and extending product life spans.

June 15, 2022

American-Made Solar Prize Kicks Off Round 6

The sixth round of competition offers $4.1 million in prizes for those ready to revolutionize the solar industry.

June 14, 2022

News Release: New Additives to Perovskite Tandem Solar Cells Boost Efficiency, Stability

Scientists at NREL have demonstrated a tin-lead perovskite cell that overcomes problems with stability and improves efficiency. The new cell, a tandem design with two layers of perovskites, measured a 25.5% efficiency.

June 6, 2022

NREL Senior Scientist Steve Johnston Receives American Solar Energy Society Award

NREL Senior Scientist Steve Johnston has been selected as a recipient of the 2022 American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award.

May 31, 2022

Celebrating Solar Reliability Pioneer Dick DeBlasio

Deblasio was instrumental in getting the solar photovoltaics and distributed energy industries going. Sadly, he died on April 27 at the age of 80.

May 19, 2022

ARPA-E Funding Drives Innovation, Industry Partnerships at NREL

Among NREL's many funding agencies, the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) funds what is perhaps some of NREL's most innovative work.

May 18, 2022

Capturing Light From Heat at 40% Efficiency, NREL Makes Big Strides in Thermophotovoltaics

NREL has a long history of building solar cells that capture light from the sun at record-setting efficiencies. But the sun is not the only light source from which photovoltaics can capture energy.

May 18, 2022

News Release: NREL Creates Highest Efficiency 1-Sun Solar Cell

Researchers at NREL created a solar cell with a record 39.5% efficiency under 1-sun global illumination. This is the highest efficiency solar cell of any type, measured using standard 1-sun conditions.

May 5, 2022

News Release: NREL Scientists Advance Renewable Hydrogen Production Method

Perovskite materials may hold the potential to play an important role in a process to produce hydrogen in a renewable manner, according to an analysis from scientists at NREL.

May 4, 2022

Department of Energy Announces Solar District Cup Class of 2021–2022 Winners

On Monday, April 25, DOE announced the top division winners and Project Pitch Champion in the Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition Class of 2021–2022. A total of nine student-led teams won first, second, or third place across the three divisions, plus four honorable mentions.

April 22, 2022

Working Out the Details of a Circular Solar Economy

As solar grows rapidly as an energy source, the number of photovoltaic (PV) modules that are manufactured and installed each year will continue to expand.

April 18, 2022

Scientists Decide How To Prove Out Perovskite Panels for Space Power

As researchers develop new technologies for space applications, careful thought and rigorous testing must be performed to be certain the technology can function for an extended period in the operating environment.

April 14, 2022

Win-Win: Prize Competitions Drive U.S. Clean Energy Entrepreneurship

NREL customizes competitions for DOE technology offices—solar, water, buildings, geothermal, and others—to meet industry needs. American-Made is a pillar of DOE's activities, incentivizing U.S. entrepreneurs to strengthen American leadership in energy innovation and domestic manufacturing.

March 15, 2022

Aging Gracefully: How NREL Is Extending the Lifetime of Solar Modules

DuraMAT, a multi-laboratory consortium led by NREL, is exploring ideas that could extend solar module lifetime up to 50 years.

Feb. 28, 2022

Small City Sets Example for Floating Solar, Empowered by NREL Data Set

No U.S. cities have done anything like what Cohoes, New York, was proposing: a municipally-owned and operated floating solar installation—but there was no reason it would not work. The technology of floating solar is sound, and their reservoir could hold enough panels to power all Cohoes city-owned buildings and streetlights—erasing around $500,000 in annual electricity costs.

Feb. 24, 2022

National Community Solar Partnership Aims To Reach 5 Million and Beyond

The National Community Solar Partnership hosted its annual summit, featuring esteemed DOE leadership, state governors, and industry experts.

Feb. 7, 2022

Building a Solar-Powered Future

The Solar Futures Study draws insights from across NREL's expertise and tools to deliver detailed analysis of solar energy's future in the United States.

Feb. 3, 2022

Wood Next Fund Partners With American-Made Challenges Prize Competitors To Support Water Desalination Technology Innovations

Winning thousands in cash prizes is just one of the many benefits that comes with being a finalist in an American-Made Challenges (AMC) Prize competition.

Jan. 14, 2022

American Chemical Society Recognizes NREL Women at the Forefront of Energy Research

Since 2019, the American Chemical Society (ACS) has published an annual series, titled "Women Scientists at the Forefront of Energy Research," to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the energy science field.

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