A growth system that can produce thin solar cells quickly and at low cost, and an ultra-efficient supercomputer platform both developed or advanced by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and its partners have been named among this year's most significant innovations by R&D Magazine.
"We at NREL are gratified that our innovative work in energy efficiency and renewable energy continues to be honored with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry," NREL Director Dan Arvizu said. "Investments in energy research and development not only create jobs in America but help advance the goal of a clean energy future."
"These awards recognize the tremendous value of our National Labs," said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. "Research and development at the National Labs continues to help our nation address its energy challenges and pursue the scientific and technological innovations necessary to remain globally competitive."
The two prestigious awards, known in the research and development community as "the Oscars of Innovation," bring to 57 the number of R&D 100 awards that NREL has won since 1982.
Innovative Growth System Lowers Cost of Monocrystalline Silicon Wafers
NREL worked with the company Crystal Solar to demonstrate the viability of high-efficiency thin monocrystalline silicon (Si) solar cells and modules that are less than 80 microns thick and to show that they can be grown at low-cost through an epitaxial process.
The Direct Monocrystalline Silicon Wafer Growth by High-Throughput Epitaxy Team also showed that the process can grow cells in large quantity at a cost of about 50 cents a watt an important threshold toward America's goal of cleaner energy future. The growth system produces cells at half the cost and 100 times the speed of conventional epitaxial reactors, opening the door to rapid commercialization.
NREL performed characterization a
|Contact: David Glickson|
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory