US Department of Energy launches DuraMat consortium to improve solar module materials

The US Department of Energy has announced a new Energy Materials Network (EMN) consortium, the Durable Module Materials (DuraMat) National Lab Consortium, which is led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

DuraMat will speed up the development and deployment of high performance materials for photovoltaic (PV) modules to reduce the cost of electricity produced by solar power, while increasing field lifetime.

The DoE's SunShot Initiative will offer DuraMat with an estimated $30m over five years.

The funds will enable DuraMat to use the expertise and capabilities of the national laboratories to develop new materials for module components.

The consortium in partnership with industry and academia will support materials-improvement projects to further optimise reliability as well as energy harvest of low-cost PV modules.

Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will join NREL as collaborators in the consortium.

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in February announced the launch of EMN, which is an initiative to enable American manufacturers gain a competitive edge in clean energy.