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Solar energy research at NREL includes photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, solar grid and systems integration, and market research and analysis.

Photovoltaic Research

Photo of a roof-mounted PV array on the NREL campus.

NREL's capabilities in photovoltaics (PV) range across fundamental and applied research and development (R&D), including theory and modeling, materials deposition, device design, measurements and characterization, and reliability testing and engineering.

Our PV R&D emphasizes innovation in the following PV conversion technologies:

Our PV R&D also includes:

Concentrating Solar Power Research

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Solar Grid and Systems Integration

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NREL research addresses the technical challenges associated with integrating PV technologies into a stable grid. This research is closely coordinated with work in the National Center for Photovoltaics and the Energy Systems Integration Facility. Key areas of solar systems integration include:

Solar Market Research and Analysis

Photo of four men working to install PV panels on a roof.

Through rigorous data collection, analysis, and stakeholder engagement, NREL's solar market research and analysis efforts further solar technologies' role in supporting a more efficient and better performing U.S. electricity system. This cross-cutting set of activities leverages NREL's unique analytical and deployment capabilities.

Learn more about solar market research and analysis at NREL.

Learn About Solar Energy

Solar technologies use the sun's energy to provide electricity, heat, light, hot water, and even cooling for homes, businesses, and industry. Learn more about solar energy technologies such as photovoltaic (solar electric) systems, concentrating solar power systems, passive solar heating and daylighting, solar hot water, and solar process heat and space cooling.