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

Photovoltaic Research

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

In concentrating solar power (CSP), NREL plays a leadership role in the following:

Solar Grid and Systems Integration

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 Acceleration and Soft Costs Research

NREL is working to enable faster, easier, and less expensive installations by addressing soft costs and market barriers through data collection, analysis, and assistance to decision-makers who affect solar markets. This cross-cutting set of activities leverages NREL's unique analytical and deployment capabilities. Key areas for solar balance of systems (BOS) and soft costs include the following.

Data Collection and Analysis

Assistance to Decision-Makers

NREL also has resources related to solar maps and renewable resource data.

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.