Thin film solar technologies can be deposited on flexible or light substrates
Thin film photovoltaics have been shown to be much less expensive to produce in larger volume.
The U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC), headquartered in New York State, is an industry-led consortium for cooperative R&D among industry, university, and government partners to accelerate the development, commercialization, manufacturing, field testing and deployment of next-generation solar photovoltaic (PV) and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) systems. Through our technology programs, advanced manufacturing development facilities, system demonstration, and reliability and testing capabilities, PVMC is a proving ground for innovative solar technologies and manufacturing process as well as PV product development and deployment.
Created as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SunShot initiative and headquartered in New York State, PVMC is a partnership between SEMATECH and SUNY's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).
Through PVMC, SEMATECH and CNSE will spearhead a unique research and development collaboration across industry, academia, and government to accelerate the development, commercialization and manufacturing of next-generation thin film (copper indium gallium selenide - CIGS) and crystalline-Si PV manufacturing technologies. In partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF), PVMC is also conducting additional R&D in crystalline silicon (c-Si) metrology and wafering methodologies.
To complement the solar industry’s current focus on crystalline silicon (c-Si) technology and PVMC’s own targeted c-Si programs, PVMC also focuses on the research, manufacturing and integration thin film technology — an innovative, cost effective, way to harness the power of sunlight into electricity.
Thin film solar technologies such as CIGS use layers of semiconductor materials that are only a few micrometers thick and can be deposited on solid or flexible and light-weight substrates. PVMC is working to unlock the potential of this challenging but promising next-generation solar technology, which could prove to be less expensive to produce in high volume. PVMC is also driving cost reductions and technology innovations in elements of current crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar technologies, which continue to hold a dominant share of the solar market.
In addition, PVMC is developing roadmaps and standards to help forge industry consensus and driving system improvements to address broad industry needs related to power electronics, module advancements, building integration, testing and reliability.
Altogether, innovations in each of these areas target the same overall objectives - expanding our national resources for low-cost energy, and ultimately securing U.S. energy independence.
PVMC welcomes support and participation from companies and organizations across the solar PV industry supply chain, including national laboratory and university research partners; PV industry companies including material, equipment, and metrology suppliers; module producers and integrators; designers, roofing manufacturers, and installers; and utility companies and other end users.
PVMC offers several tiers of participation, from full membership in all activities, to program area participation, to participation in selected custom activities. Members will have shared access to world-class facilities, tools, and talent located at PVMC’s advanced manufacturing development facilities, analytical laboratories and field testing and demonstration sites.
In addition to formal membership and proprietary development activities, PVMC offers opportunities to participate in industry-wide events and learn more about PVMC’s programs.
At SEMATECH, we work with our members and partners to reduce the time from innovation to manufacturing. Our role is to address critical challenges in advanced technology and manufacturing effectiveness, and to find ways to speed development, reduce costs, share risks, and increase productivity.
The mission of the Department of Energy is to ensure America's security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.
The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) is the first college in the world dedicated to education, research, development, and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics.