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Berger’s research group to collaborate on $2M photovoltaics project

Professor Paul BergerPaul R. Berger, professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Physics, and his research group will collaborate on one new project led by the Ferro Corporation of Cleveland, in collaboration with StrateNexus Technologies of Columbus, the Edison Welding Institute and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This two-year project, is part of the collaborations developed through the Ohio State node of the Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization (PVIC). The project is supported by a recent $1 million award from the Third Frontier Program of the Ohio Department of Development as part of the Third Frontier Photovoltaics Program. The award was matched by an additional $1 million in funding.

The project will develop and test hermetic sealing for a wide range of photovoltaic (PV) modules including both flexible organic and rigid inorganic PV. If PV module lifetime could be extended well beyond the full amortized rate has depreciated to zero, then surviving PV modules will provide virtually free energy thereafter, significantly lowering their cost-of-ownership.

The Berger research group brings to the team expertise in organic photovoltaic cells, having won awards at the Photovoltaic Specialists Conference each year during the last two years. Preliminary sealing results from Berger’s group with the Edison Welding Institute during a pilot program supported by PVIC and EWI on organic photovoltaic encapsulation, provided the groundwork for this award. The unique chemistry of Ferro’s glass frits and StratesNexus’ organic binders complete the team for hermetic sealing of rigid and flexible PV modules, respectively.

PVIC-OSU was also a collaborator in a second of the six new research projects that were awarded as part of the Third Frontier Photovoltaics Program. Visit the Institute for Materials Research website for more information about the PVIC-OSU collaborations.

The Ohio Third Frontier Photovoltaic Program supports the research and development that addresses the technical and cost barriers to commercialization of photovoltaic components and systems in Ohio. More information on the program and the new awards can be found at www.thirdfrontier.com.