US-MAP US universities form perovskite consortium
The consortium will accelerate domestic commercialisation of perovskite technologies by providing access to comprehensive research capabilities that establish a solid technical foundation.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds at the University of Washington, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Toledo have formed the U.S. Manufacturing of Advanced Perovskites Consortium (US-MAP), which will accelerate commercialisation of perovskite technologies and ensure U.S. leadership in the manufacturing of next-generation photovoltaics and optoelectronics.
Perovskites are a type of thin-film solar cell that have the same crystal structure as the natural and versatile perovskite mineral. Perovskite crystals can be used in a wide range of applications including LEDs, solar cells lasers, x-ray detectors, ultrasonic imaging, and wireless communications. And it is the development of perovskite solar cells—which can be used to power grid-connected systems—that the new US-MAP Consortium will focus on.
“Perovskites have the potential to become a game-changer for solar and many other fields,” said Martin Keller, director of NREL. “By combining our research efforts, this new consortium will bring this technology to market sooner than if we were all operating alone.”
Although perovskite cells have shown lots of promise in lab-based environments, there is plenty of work that has yet to be done to ensure that the technology is ready for real-world applications, with manufacturing durability and sustainability representing the primary challenges that the consortium’s research will focus on. By sharing research and development and pilot manufacturing, the consortium will together reduce development costs and, in theory, bring commercial perovskites technology to market quicker.
In addition to universities, the consortium was founded with six member companies—Blue Dot Photonics of Seattle, the Energy Materials Corporation of New York, First Solar of Arizona, Hunt Perovskite Technologies of Texas, and Swift Solar and Tandem PV of California. Together, these companies will help US-MAP develop and implement a framework to maximise the potential for commercial success, with US-MAP providing laboratory and research facilities and resources to help these companies with R&D. These facilities will grant access to analytical tools for the testing of cell performance, stability, and durability. Other R&D resources include module packaging and computational modelling.
“Forming this collective will enable innovation in the U.S. that will strengthen our position in these important materials and associated technologies,” said the director of US-MAP, Joseph Berry.