The price for solar photovoltaic technology for home and commercial use, has been dropping steadily for the last decade. Solar pv is basically a semiconductor material so we are likely to see the same continous drop in manufacturing costs as witnessed for consumer electronics.
Researchers for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Laboroatory in Colarado, are working to reduce the costs by increasing the efficiency of the solar cells themselves. Heat generated by the solar cells actually caused the cells to lose efficiency. Reducing these losses will improve the economics for the solar modules and systems.
Over time the efficiency of silicon based solar cells tends to decrease and they must be cleaned and inspected on a regular basis. NREL is also working to reduce this impact to modern solar panel designs.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located in Golden, Colorado, is the United States’ primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility, and is funded through the United States Department of Energy (DOE). This arrangement allows a private entity to operate the lab on behalf of the federal government under a prime contract. NREL receives funding from Congress to be applied toward research and development projects. NREL also performs research on photovoltaics (PV) under the National Center for Photovoltaics. NREL has a number of PV research capabilities including research and development, testing, and deployment. NREL’s campus houses several facilities dedicated to PV research.