The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) awarded on May 8 a subcontract to Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD) to develop a new solar cell manufacturing technology.

According to the DOE, the research project will concentrate on the development of online diagnostic systems, closed loop control, and continuous online optimization of a solar manufacturing line large enough to produce 30 megawatts of solar cells each year. The DOE also said that the manufacturing lines built with the new technology will have more rapid start-up and commissioning, higher yields, and lower production costs. NREL will contribute about $3 million toward the $6 million, three-year subcontract, with ECD providing the balance of the funds.

— by J.J. Siegel

Publication date: 06/09/2003