Photo of Mike Kempe.

Michael Kempe

Senior Scientist


Dr. Michael D. Kempe is a senior scientist and studies the factors that affect the longevity of PV cells and modules. His work concerns primarily modeling and measuring moisture ingress into PV modules and studying the effect of moisture on polymer adhesion, device performance, and component corrosion. His work also includes the development of a technique for measuring the moisture permeation rates in films at levels around 10-6 g/m2/day and the evaluation of edge seal materials. He is also studying the effects of ultraviolet radiation and heat on the mechanical, chemical, and electrical stability of PV packaging components. This effort is tied into creating qualification tests that accurately assess safety and are predict long-term durability.


B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Utah

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology 

Featured Work

Michael D. Kempe, David C. Miller, John H. Wohlgemuth, Sarah R. Kurtz, John M. Moseley, Dylan L. Nobles, Katherine M. Stika, Yefim Brun, Sam L. Samuels, Qurat (Annie) Shah, Govindasamy Tamizhmani, Keiichiro Sakurai, Masanao Inoue, Takuya Doi, Atsushi Masuda, and Crystal E. Vanderpan, “Multi Angle Laser Light Scattering Evaluation of Field Exposed Thermoplastic Photovoltaic Encapsulant Materials”, Energy Science and Engineering, 4, 1 pg 40-51 (2016).

Kempe, M.D., Nobles, D.L., Weigel, M.D., Nachtigal, A.K., Roehrig, M.A., Berniard, T.J., Spagnola, J.C., and Schubert, C.M. 2015. "Evaluation of the Durability of Flexible Barrier Materials." Presented at the 42nd IEEE PVSC, New Orleans, LA.

Kempe, M.D., and  Wohlgemuth, J.H. 2013. "Evaluation of Temperature and Humidity on PV Module Component Degradation." Presented at the 39th IEEE PVSC, Tampa, FL.

Arrelaine A. Dameron, M.D. Kempe, M.O., and Reese, A. 2014. "Internal Sensor Compensation of Increased Ca Test Sensitivity." Review of Scientific Instruments, 85 (7).

Kempe, M.D., Dhananjay, M.O. Reese, A., and Dameron, A. 2014. "Modeling Moisture Ingress Through Polyisobutylene-Based Edge-Seals." Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, DOI 10.1002/pip.2465.

Kempe, M.D. 2006. "Modeling of Moisture Ingress Rates Into Photovoltaic Modules." Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 90: 2720–2738.

View all NREL publications for Mike Kempe.