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New Crystalline Silicon Module Architecture to Reduce Costs withImproved Manufacturability andDurability

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019972
Agency Tracking Number: 245360
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 16a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001941
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-06-30
Small Business Information
305 W. Magnolia, 137, Fort Collins, CO, 80521-0000
DUNS: 078698590
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kurt Barth
 (970) 217-9434
 kbarth@direct-solar.com
Business Contact
 Kurt Barth
Phone: (970) 217-9434
Email: kbarth@direct-solar.com
Research Institution
 Colorado State University
 Tushar Shimpi
 451 Isotope Drive
Fort Collins, CO, 80523-0001
 (303) 704-8884
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Direct Solar in partnership with Colorado State University's Next Generation PV Center (NGPV) and H. B. Fuller Company will develop a new solar module architecture and manufacturing process optimized for crystalline silicon (c-Si) modules that significantly reduces manufacturing costs and improves reliability. The outcome of this program will be a new c-Si module design, streamlined manufacturing process and accelerated stress test results showing improved reliability. Prototype manufacturing processes eliminating vacuum lamination will be demonstrated with cycle times of under 1.5 min. (compared to 13 min. for current industry methods). The new technology will lower manufacturing costs and reduce cap-ex by 3-5 times and reduce factory footprint by nearly 20 times. This technology will address reliability and durability issues currently facing crystalline silicon solar by: a. eliminating potential induced degradation, b. controlling moisture ingress with desiccants, and c. advancing a robust glass / glass package that minimizes cell breakage. The research will enable lower cost modules with higher reliability and durability needed to achieve the DOE Solar Energy Tech. Office (SETO) goals of 3 cents/kWh. During phase 1 of the effort 5 tasks will be accomplished: Application Process Development for the Silicone and Interlayer Encapsulation Materials Engineering and Design of Encapsulation Application Tools, Prototype Dispensing Experiments, Techno-Economic Analysis and Conceptual Design for GW/yr. Manufacturing, Dissemination of Results. Under this program, the new module architecture, prototype process demonstration, test results and IP portfolio will be developed sufficiently to enable licensing to equipment suppliers and OEM module manufactures for commercial product introduction.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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