Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2020 Perovskite Funding Program

Funding Agency:
Department of Energy

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is being issued by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). SETO supports solar energy research and development (R&D) with the goal of improving the affordability, reliability, and domestic benefit of solar technologies.

The SETO 2020 Perovskite Funding Program seeks to advance perovskite photovoltaic technology development and competitiveness through projects in economically viable device and manufacturing R&D and performance validation. The primary goals are to improve understanding of stability; establish methods to produce high-efficiency, stable devices using industry-relevant fabrication techniques; and develop test protocols that enable high confidence in long-duration field performance of perovskite-based photovoltaic technologies.

Deadlines:

  • Required Concept Papers: Sep. 23, 2020
  • Full Applications: Dec. 1, 2020

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Topic Area 1: Device R&D (Efficiency and Stability): This topic area will fund research projects to advance perovskite efficiency and stability at the cell or mini-module scale beyond the current state of the art. Projects may include intrinsic and extrinsic approaches to improve stability, methods to understand and characterize degradation, alternative materials or processes to improve performance or reduce costs, or advanced device architecture, including tandems. Teams may be led by academic, national laboratory, or industry researchers, and should include diverse participants from the R&D community to maximize relevance and utilization of results.

Topic Area 2: Manufacturing R&D: This topic area will fund research projects to address challenges with manufacturing perovskite modules at relevant scale and throughput. Key areas will include process uniformity and repeatability, cell to module conversion losses, and encapsulation approaches. Teams must be led by a for-profit business, and should include substantial involvement by established manufacturing and process engineering entities with proven expertise in the area.

Topic Area 3: Validation and Bankability Center: This topic area seeks to establish a neutral, independent validation center that can be used to verify perovskite device performance and address acceptance and bankability challenges. Independence and neutrality are required to ensure there are no conflicts of interest between this effort and other projects seeking to demonstrate high-performance devices. This center will be responsible for developing and refining test protocols, including accelerated life testing that closely correlates with long-term fielded performance. The center will also be responsible for operating an extensive field testing effort using devices produced by the R&D community to iteratively refine all test protocols and improve community understanding of remaining stability and performance issues. The center will investigate the environmental impact of perovskite technologies and serve as an objective source of information and analysis for the investment and finance communities. Teams must be led by a DOE/National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC)/National Laboratory.

Eligibility Requirements

Topic Area 2 Eligibility Restriction: Eligibility is restricted to for-profit business entities as the prime recipient of awards. The reason for this restriction is that these entities are best positioned to rapidly commercialize new technologies related to innovations in manufacturing. For Topic Area 2, the scope of work performed by the prime recipient shall not be less than the scope of work performed by the subrecipients who are ineligible to be prime applicants, as measured by the total project costs. The requirement for the prime recipient’s share of total project costs can be met with the prime’s percentage being greater than the individual contribution of each subrecipient even if the prime applicant’s share is less than 50% of the scope of work. For example a project allocation of 40% prime applicant and three subapplicants each utilizing 20% of the budget is allowable.

Topic Area 3 Eligibility Restriction: Eligibility is restricted to DOE and National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)/National laboratories. The reason for this restriction is that SETO seeks to establish an objective validation capability, and the FFRDCs and national laboratories are best suited to provide this service to the R&D community, both in terms of existing infrastructure and mission alignment.

An entity may submit more than one Concept Paper and Full Application to this FOA, provided that each application describes a unique, scientifically distinct project and provided that an eligible Concept Paper was submitted for each Full Application.

Amount

$10,000,000

Amount Description

EERE expects to make a total of approximately $20 million of federal funding available for new awards under this FOA, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. EERE anticipates making approximately 6-10 awards under this FOA. EERE may issue one, multiple, or no awards. Individual awards may vary between $500,000 and $10 million.

Topic Area 1: Device R&D (Efficiency and Stability): EERE may issue approximately 3-6 awards in this topic area. Individual awards may vary between $500,000 and $1.5 million.

Topic Area 2: Manufacturing R&D: EERE may issue approximately 2-4 awards in this topic area. Individual awards may vary between $1.5 million and $2.5 million.

Topic Area 3: Validation and Bankability: EERE may issue approximately 1 award in this topic area. Individual awards may vary between $8 million and $10 million.

Funding Type

Grant

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

September 23, 2020