DoE hands out $29 million for thin-film solar-cell research

The Department of Energy National Renewal Energy Laboratory (NREL, Golden, CO) has awarded multiyear contracts totaling about $29 million to 11 organizations to improve the performance and reliability of thin-film photovoltaics. Although the highest-efficiency solar cells are made of single-crystal silicon, thin-film devices use much less material and cost only a fifth to a tenth as much to make, according to NREL program manager Ken Zweibel. If yield and other manufacturing issues (such as coat

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