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Photovoltaic Research News

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

November 27, 2017

NREL Develops Switchable Solar Window

Thermochromic windows capable of converting sunlight into electricity at a high efficiency have been developed by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

November 22, 2017

Scientific Society AAAS Honors NREL's Tumas as Fellow

William Tumas, an associate laboratory director for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has been elected a fellow by the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

October 25, 2017

NREL Research Yields Significant Thermoelectric Performance

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reported significant advances in the thermoelectric performance of organic semiconductors based on carbon nanotube thin films that could be integrated into fabrics to convert waste heat into electricity or serve as a small power source.

October 24, 2017

NREL Findings Could Lead to More Reliable Solar Cells

New research shows how to increase reliability of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells. Key to the improvement is the use of photoluminescence excitation spectroscopy to identify defects in the solar cell that lower its efficiency and cause degradation.

October 23, 2017

Driving Down PV Costs by Streamlining Project Data

NREL is teaming with a range of stakeholders on the Orange Button initiative to drive the creation and adoption of industry-led, open data standards for seamless data exchange across the solar industry.

October 13, 2017

At NASEO Meetings, NREL's Solar Technical Assistance Team Gains States' Perspectives

NREL's Solar Technical Assistance Team attends meetings of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) to stay up-to-date with the needs and concerns of state officials.

October 2, 2017

New REopt Lite Tool Allows Building Owners to Optimize PV and Battery System Sizes

The REopt Lite web tool helps building owners evaluate the economics of grid-connected solar photovoltaics (PV) and battery storage at commercial sites.

September 26, 2017

NREL Charts the Emergence of Corporate Procurement of Utility-Scale PV

Corporations and other institutions have contracted for more than 2,300 megawatts of off-site solar, using power purchase agreements (PPAs), green tariffs, or bilateral deals with utilities.

September 12, 2017

NREL Report Shows Utility-Scale Solar PV System Cost Fell Nearly 30% Last Year

The installed cost of solar power fell to record lows in the first quarter of 2017 because of the continuing decline in photovoltaic (PV) module and inverter prices, higher module efficiency, and lower labor costs, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

September 7, 2017

A New Theory on Crystal Symmetry May Lead to Advanced Applications

Angelo Mascarenhas and Brian Fluegel, scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), have published a theory for crystal lattices with a tensor periodicity that may inspire a new generation of techniques for growing materials with properties that can be exploited for electronic, photonic, and optical energy-storage applications.

August 25, 2017

International Experts to Share Technical Progress and Solutions at 2017 International PV Soiling Workshop

The workshop will be October 23-25, 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Center. Three days of technical presentations will cover topics such as soiling losses in harsh climates, modeling and predicting soiling losses, procedures and equipment for measuring soiling losses, robotic cleaning machines, antisoiling coatings, and International Electrotechnical Commission standards in connection to photovoltaic soiling.

August 25, 2017

NREL, Swiss Scientists Power Past Solar Efficiency Records

Collaboration between researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) shows the high potential of silicon-based multijunction solar cells.

August 23, 2017

Researchers Validate UV Light’s Use in Improving Semiconductors

A discovery by two scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) could aid the development of next-generation semiconductor devices.

August 10, 2017

Graduate Students Gain Hands-On PV Experience from NREL Researchers

The Hands-On PV Experience gave thirteen graduate students a chance to spend one week at NREL, deepening their knowledge of photovoltaics and learning from top solar scientists.

July 14, 2017

Announcing the Solar Energy Innovation Network

The Solar Energy Innovation Network is a new three-year program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, designed to remove soft cost (non-hardware) barriers to wide-scale integration of distributed solar photovoltaics within the U.S. electricity system.

July 5, 2017

NREL at 40: It All Started With a Desire to Harness the Sun

Groundbreaking work in advanced energy research sprang from lab's 1977 start as SERI.

July 3, 2017

Webinar July 20: Using Machine Learning and Data Analysis to Improve Customer Acquisition and Marketing in Residential Solar

A free webinar on Thursday, July 20, 2017, from 1–2 p.m. ET, will share exciting new research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories, and Vanderbilt University on how data analytics, machine learning, and social science can improve marketing and customer acquisition processes for residential solar.

June 20, 2017

PV Module Reliability Experts Gather for DuraMAT Workshop

On May 22 and 23, 2017, the Durable Module Materials Consortium convened a workshop at Stanford University to discuss photovoltaic module reliability.

June 1, 2017

NREL Brings Midmarket Solar PV Technical Assistance to 36 Universities and Colleges

NREL has offered no-cost technical assistance to American universities seeking to go solar. The program, in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot initiative, is designed to increase the deployment of mid-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at universities, engage stakeholders to develop deployment solutions, and empower decision makers.

June 1, 2017

NREL's III-V Team Demonstrates Record Efficiency Dual-Junction Solar Cell

NREL scientists recently demonstrated a dual-junction solar cell with a record one-sun, certified efficiency of 32.6% (±1.4%), surpassing the previous record by a full percentage.

April 24, 2017

NREL Tests Energy Storage System to Fill Renewable Gaps

NREL and Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Americas are testing an energy storage system to help renewable energy resources provide more consistent power.

April 10, 2017

Researchers at NREL Find Fewer Failures of PV Panels and Different Degradation Modes in Systems Installed after 2000

Overall failure rates for photovoltaic (PV) solar panels have fallen dramatically when compared to installations prior to 2000, according to a comprehensive review by researchers from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

March 28, 2017

New Report Shines Light on Installed Costs and Deployment Barriers for Residential Solar PV with Energy Storage

Learn about how NREL researchers are making detailed component and system-level cost breakdowns available for residential photovoltaic (PV) solar systems for the first time.

March 28, 2017

More Than 200 Attend NREL/SNL/BNL Photovoltaic Reliability Workshops

NREL, Sandia National Laboratories, and Brookhaven National Laboratory partnered to host two coordinated workshops on PV Reliability, which ran from Feb. 28 to March 2.

February 14, 2017

NREL, SLAC Determine Ideal Conditions for Making Perovskite Photovoltaic Absorbers

Researchers at NREL and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have mapped the processing phase space where ideal conditions exist to create perovskite photovoltaic absorbers.

February 3, 2017

NREL Research Pinpoints Promise of Polycrystalline Perovskites

A team of scientists from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) determined that surface recombination limits the performance of polycrystalline perovskite solar cells.

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