- NREL has sought proposals for small projects to speed up the development of CdTe technology to meet objectives of CTAC
- $2 million total funding will be available for 4 to 10 projects that can run from 6 months to up to 2.5 years
- Research should focus on high efficiency devices, tellurium supply and characterization, modelling, and simulation to guide the development
The US government’s Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Accelerator Consortium (CTAC) is inviting proposals for small projects to accelerate CdTe technology development to award a maximum of $2 million through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), aiming to support US manufacturing.
CTAC was launched in August 2022 by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to promote the development CdTe solar cells with cell efficiencies over 24% and module costs below $0.20 per W by 2025, and above 26% cell efficiency with module costs below $0.15 per W by 2030 (see US Laser Focused On Silicon Free PV Technology).
Under the RFP, proposals will be welcomed for the following 3 topic areas to meet the objectives set out by CTAC to be achieved:
- High efficiency devices: New approaches to ultra-high efficiency device configurations, to achieve and exceed 26% cell efficiency.
- Tellurium supply: Increase tellurium production and yield in the U.S while lowering cost.
- Characterization, modeling and simulation: Advanced characterization, modelling, and simulation that can guide technology development.
Projects will be selected basis statement of objectives being met with the best combination of technical factors and evaluated price or cost that is most advantageous to NREL.
Between 4 and 10 awards are likely to be awarded under the RFP with each standing to win $75,000 to $150,000 a year. Projects can run for 6 months and go up to a total of up to 2.5 years. However, the award money can only be directed towards research and development (R&D) and not towards purchasing capital equipment. Government funding of any equipment results in government ownership, it added.
“CdTe is a leading PV technology built on US innovations that currently holds significant market share within domestic utility scale PV systems,” stated NREL while explaining the importance of enhancing US competitiveness in CdTe PV. “To keep pace with a highly competitive and innovative global PV module market, CdTe manufacturing needs readily adaptable advances at the cell and module levels that simultaneously enable higher conversion efficiencies and manufacturing cost reductions without risking long-term module durability.”
Launched on September 19, 2022, last date to submit proposals to this call is October 28, 2022 and winners will be announced in January 2023. Further details are available on the GSA website.