US PV Manufacturing Consortium update from Intersolar North America

Dan Armbrust, president & CEO of SEMATECH and the US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) speaks about CIGS technology and the consortium’s mission.

July 11, 2011 — Dan Armbrust, president & CEO of SEMATECH and the US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) spoke with ElectroIQ in advance of his invited presentation at Intersolar North America today.

The PVMC was created as part of the US Department of Energy?s (DOE) SunShot initiative, which is tasked with reducing the cost of PV solar energy systems by about 75% over the next decade. SEMATECH and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany are teamed up to lead the R&D collaborative effort. The collaboration will be joined by industry, academia, and government entities to accelerate the development, commercialization, and manufacturing of next-generation copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin film PV manufacturing technologies.


In this interview, Armbrust describes the objectives of the PVMC, how it originated, and its relationship with the DOE’s SunShot initiative (see table). He also explains why CIGS technology was selected for the acceleration effort and touches on the timeline with respect to facilities and equipment ramp up (see figure).

Table. Specific PVMC tasks/programs.
SOURCE: PVMC

Manufacturing Development Facilities

–Provide immediate access to small-scale CIGS pilot line
–Establish advanced 10MW Manufacturing Development Facility

National Roadmap and Standards
Manufacturing Productivity and Scale-up Programs
Cell/Module Structures, Process, and Equipment Optimization
Manufacturing Processes and Metrology Programs
Reliability Enhancement

In-line and Off-line Metrology, and New Wafering Methodologies
–Develop and demonstrate new metrology technologies
–Establish new feedstock and wafering development programs

Balance of System (BOS) Programs
PV Commercialization Support Structure

–Support transfer of PVMC technologies into manufacturing
–Provide incubation, start-up, and transition support to U.S. industry 

Training and Workforce Development Programs

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