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Solar Photovoltaic Success Stories

These success stories highlight some of the effective licensing and partnership activity between laboratories and industry in the area of Solar Photovoltaic.

5 Success Stories
CategoryTitle and AbstractCompany / LaboratoriesDate
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

NREL has joined forces with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop a plug-and-play technology that will result in newly connected solar generation being automatically "discovered" and configured by the main generation control system. NREL will perform a review of communications protocols to identify important protocols that the plug-and-play solar microgrid controller must be compatible with. CSIRO will also collaborate with... read more


NREL is partnering with solar inverter manufacturer Solectria at the ESIF to develop 500- and 750-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) inverters with advanced features that can support the electric grid.


The ESIF’s utility-scale power hardware allows Solectria to test its inverters using simulated utility grid and solar PV emulation so researchers can see the impact of the inverter’s advanced features on power reliability and quality. The?ESIF’s grid... read more


Google and the IEEE Power Electronics Society are working with NREL at the ESIF on the Little Box Challenge, an open competition challenging engineers to build smaller power inverters for use in photovoltaic (PV) power systems.


Up to 18 finalists in the Challenge will be invited to bring their inverter to the ESIF in 2015 for testing and evaluation against the contest parameters. NREL’s world-class researchers will use the state-of-the-art capabilities of the... read more

Crystal Solar and NREL Team Up to Cut Costs

A faster, cheaper way to manufacture silicon solar cells, partially funded by the Energy Department and fine-tuned at its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has won a coveted R&D 100 award as one of the top technology innovations of 2013.

Crystal Solar's approach to growing high-quality, high-efficiency silicon wafers at 100 times the usual throughput and half the cost could be a game-changer, creating American jobs and stemming the flow of solar cell manufacturing... read more

Award-Winning Etching Process Cuts Solar Cell Costs

Optimizing solar-cell technology can be a complex job, requiring expertise in material science, physics, and optics to convert as much sunlight as possible into electricity. But despite this complexity, a simple fact is key to making a high-performance solar cell: any sunlight reflected off the cell can’t possibly be converted into electricity.

Manufacturers have tried to minimize the reflection of sunlight off of solar cells by first chemically etching... read more