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Status and Recent Progress in Photovoltaic Manufacturing in the USA

Description: This paper describes the present status of photovoltaic technology and recent manufacturing progress obtained through the US Department of Energy's Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology Project (PVMaT). Although barriers to the widespread use of photovoltaics--a clean and renewable energy--continue to exist, many of these barriers are cost-related and can be addressed through further research on existing approaches. Important areas for development are new materials, improved manufacturing processes, more efficient conversion of sunlight to electricity, and ensured long-term reliability. Improvements in these areas can be expected to lead to lowering of system costs and, ultimately, of energy cost. Specific improvements in manufacturing processes by individual PVMaT participants are described.
Date: January 12, 2001
Creator: Witt, C.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Terrestrial photovoltaic technologies - Recent progress in manufacturing R&D

Description: This paper describes photovoltaics (PV) as used for energy generation in terrestrial applications. A brief historical perspective of PV development is provided. Solar-to-electricity conversion efficiencies for various photovoltaic materials are presented, as well as expectations for further material improvements. Recent progress in reducing manufacturing costs through process R&D and product improvements are described. Applications that are most suitable for the different technologies are discussed. Finally, manufacturing capacities and current and projected module manufacturing costs are presented.
Date: May 15, 2000
Creator: Witt, C. E.; Surek, T.; Mitchell, R. L.; Symko-Davies, M. & Thomas, H. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress update on the US photovoltaic manufacturing technology project

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) project is helping the U.S. photovoltaic (PV) industry extend its world leadership role in manufacturing and stimulate the commercial development of PV modules and systems. Initiated in 1990, PVMaT is being carried out in several directed and staggered phases to support industry`s continued progress. Thirteen subcontracts awarded in FY 1996 under Phase 4A emphasize improvement and cost reduction in the manufacture of full-system PV products. Areas of work in Phase 4A included, but were not limited to, issues such as improving module-manufacturing processes; system and system-component packaging, integration, manufacturing, and assembly; product manufacturing flexibility; and balance-of-system development with the goal of product manufacturing improvements. These Phase 4A, product-driven manufacturing research and development (R&D) activities are now completing their second phase. Progress under these Phase 4A and remaining Phase 2B subc ontracts from the earlier PVMaT solicitation are summarized in this paper. Evaluations of the success of this project have been carried out in FY 1995 and late FY 1996. This paper examines the 1997 cost/capacity data that have been collected from active PVMaT manufacturers.
Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Mitchell, R.L.; Witt, C.E. & Thomas, H.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Decade of PV Industry R and D Advances in Silicon Module Manufacturing

Description: The US Photovoltaic (PV) industry has made significant technical advances in crystalline silicon (Si) module manufacturing through the PV Manufacturing R and D Project during the past decade. Funded Si technologies in this project have been Czochralski, cast polycrystalline, edge-defined film-fed growth (EFG) ribbon, string ribbon, and Si-film. Specific R and D Si module-manufacturing categories that have shown technical growth and will be discussed are in crystal growth and processing, wafering, cell fabrication, and module manufacturing. These R and D advancements since 1992 have contributed to a 30% decrease in PV manufacturing costs and stimulated a sevenfold increase in PV production capacity.
Date: January 18, 2001
Creator: Symko-Davis, M.; Mitchell, R.L.; Witt, C.E.; Thomas, H.P.; King, R. & Ruby, D.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current status and future prospects for the PVMaT project

Description: The goals of the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology project (PVMaT) are to help the US PV industry improve photovoltaic manufacturing processes and equipment; accelerate manufacturing cost reductions for PV modules, balance-of-systems components, and integrated systems; increase commercial product performance and reliability; and enhance the investment opportunities for substantial scale-ups of US-based PV manufacturing plant capacities. PVMaT is in its ninth year of implementation, and subcontracts have been completed from four solicitations for R and D on manufacturing process problems. They are in the second year of subcontracts for a fifth PVMaT solicitation. Based on the latest (1998) data from ten PVMaT industrial participants, the average direct manufacturing cost for these producers has been reduced by 29%--from $4.08 to $2.91 per peak watt since 1992--and there has also been a more than five-fold increase in manufacturing capacity-from 13.1 to 73.3 megawatts. The authors believe that continuing R and D on manufacturing processes contributes significantly to expeditious reductions in PV manufacturing costs, and they identify areas for future R and D.
Date: February 9, 2000
Creator: Witt, C.E.; Mitchell, R.L.; Symko-Davies, M.; Thomas, H.P.; King, R. & Ruby, D.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Manufacturing improvements in the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) Project

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology Project (PVMaT) is a government/industry research and development (R and D) partnership between the US federal government (through the US Department of Energy [DOE]) and members of the US PV industry. The goals of PVMaT are to help the US PV industry improve module manufacturing processes and equipment; accelerate manufacturing cost reductions for PV modules, balance-of-systems components, and integrated systems; increase commercial product performance and reliability; and enhance the investment opportunities for substantial scale-ups of US-based PV manufacturing plant capacities. The approach for PVMaT has been to cost-share risk taking by industry as it explores new manufacturing options and ideas for improved PV modules and other components, advances system and product integration, and develops new system designs, all of which will lead to overall reduced system life-cycle costs for reliable PV end products. The PVMaT Phase 4A module manufac turing R and D projects are just being completed, and initial results for the work directed primarily to module manufacture are reported in this paper. Fourteen new Phase 5A subcontracts have also just been awarded, and planned R and D areas for the ten focused on module manufacture are described. Finally, government funding, subcontractor cost-sharing, and a comparison of the relative efforts by PV technology throughout the PVMaT project are presented.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Witt, C.E.; Mitchell, R.L.; Thomas, H.P.; Symko, M.I.; King, R. & Ruby, D.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress in photovoltaic system and component improvements

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) project is a partnership between the US government (through the US Department of Energy [DOE]) and the PV industry. Part of its purpose is to conduct manufacturing technology research and development to address the issues and opportunities identified by industry to advance photovoltaic (PV) systems and components. The project was initiated in 1990 and has been conducted in several phases to support the evolution of PV industrial manufacturing technology. Early phases of the project stressed PV module manufacturing. Starting with Phase 4A and continuing in Phase 5A, the goals were broadened to include improvement of component efficiency, energy storage and manufacturing and system or component integration to bring together all elements for a PV product. This paper summarizes PV manufacturers` accomplishments in components, system integration, and alternative manufacturing methods. Their approaches have resulted in improved hardware and PV system performance, better system compatibility, and new system capabilities. Results include new products such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-listed AC PV modules, modular inverters, and advanced inverter designs that use readily available and standard components. Work planned in Phase 5A1 includes integrated residential and commercial roof-top systems, PV systems with energy storage, and 300-Wac to 4-kWac inverters.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Thomas, H.P.; Kroposki, B.; McNutt, P.; Witt, C.E.; Bower, W.; Bonn, R. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress in photovoltaic system and component improvements

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) project is a partnership between the US government (through the US Department of Energy [DOE]) and the PV industry. Part of its purpose is to conduct manufacturing technology research and development to address the issues and opportunities identified by industry to advance photovoltaic (PV) systems and components. The project was initiated in 1990 and has been conducted in several phases to support the evolution of PV industrial manufacturing technology. Early phases of the project stressed PV module manufacturing. Starting with Phase 4A and continuing in Phase 5A, the goals were broadened to include improvement of component efficiency, energy storage and manufacturing and system or component integration to bring together all elements for a PV product. This paper summarizes PV manufacturers` accomplishments in components, system integration, and alternative manufacturing methods. Their approaches have resulted in improved hardware and PV system performance, better system compatibility, and new system capabilities. Results include new products such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-listed AC PV modules, modular inverters, and advanced inverter designs that use readily available and standard components. Work planned in Phase 5A1 includes integrated residential and commercial roof-top systems, PV systems with energy storage, and 300-Wac to 4-kWac inverters.
Date: July 1, 1998
Creator: Thomas, H.P.; Kroposki, B.; McNutt, P.; Witt, C.E.; Bower, W.; Bonn, R. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Manufacturing improvements in the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) Project

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology Project (PVMaT) is a government/industry research and development (R and D) partnership between the US federal government (through the US Department of Energy [DOE]) and members of the US PV industry. The goals of PVMaT are to help the US PV industry improve module manufacturing processes and equipment; accelerate manufacturing cost reductions for PV modules, balance-of-systems components, and integrated systems; increase commercial product performance and reliability; and enhance the investment opportunities for substantial scale-ups of US-based PV manufacturing plant capacities. The approach for PVMaT has been to cost-share risk taking by industry as it explores new manufacturing options and ideas for improved PV modules and other components, advances system and product integration, and develops new system designs, all of which will lead to overall reduced system life-cycle costs for reliable PV end products. The PVMaT Phase 4A module manufacturing R and D projects are just being completed and initial results for the work directed primarily to module manufacture are reported in this paper. Fourteen new Phase 5A subcontracts have also just been awarded and planned R and D areas for the ten focused on module manufacture are described. Finally, government funding, subcontractor cost sharing, and a comparison of the relative efforts by PV technology throughout the PVMaT project are presented.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Witt, C.E.; Mitchell, R.L.; Thomas, H.P.; Symko, M.I.; King, R. & Ruby, D.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ten Years of Manufacturing R and D in PVMaT -- Technical Accomplishments, Return on Investments, and Where We Go Next

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology Project has been conducting cost-shared R and D with industry for ten years. Objectives of this project are to improve photovoltaic manufacturing processes and products and to lower manufacturing costs. The majority of the efforts have been module related. Results in terms of automation, yield, and throughput have provided a significant reduction in direct manufacturing costs. Some of these results are detailed, and a measure of the return due to these efforts is discussed. Finally, technical directions for future activities are identified.
Date: January 15, 2001
Creator: Witt, C.E.; Mitchell, R.L.; Symko-Davies, M.; Thomas, H.P. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory); King, R. (U.S. Department of Energy) & Ruby, D.S. (Sandia National Laboratories)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department