Microscale Concentrated Photovoltaics Workshop

ARPA-E held a workshop on "Microscale Concentrated Photovoltaics" from Thursday, May 8 to Friday, May 9, at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, VA.

The workshop brought together the world's leading experts in concentrated photovoltaics (CPV), microscale optics, and MEMS to develop strategies and performance metrics for future research. Participants lent their expertise to help set performance metrics and cost targets to help define a successful research program. Strategic breakout sessions were planned that operated in parallel.

The primary objective of the workshop was to identify innovative approaches in concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) to enable the expanded deployment of high-efficiency PV in residential and commercial markets.

ARPA-E was interested in approaches that reduce the cost and size of concentrated PV while maintaining or improving CPV performance in a flat-panel form factor. Targeted outcomes included:

  • Assessing and exploring technical strategies to allow decreased installation cost and increased deployment in the residential and commercial building rooftop market. 
  • Understanding fabrication, integration, power conversion, and packaging challenges for microscale CPV. 
  • Quantifying potential benefits from disruptive innovation in tracking such as self-tracking, MEMS tracking, artificial heilotropis mand other strategies to reduce tracking cost or enable the use of cheap, low precision mechanical tracking. 
  • Discussion of cost metrics sufficient to make technologies developed through this program economically viable. 
  • Identification of appropriate performance metrics to govern a potential FOA in this area. 

Approximately 40-50 experts from academia, national/federal labs, and industry participated. Information gained from the workshop will assist ARPA-E leadership in the development of potential programs and funding opportunities which target key technological roadblocks relevant to the ARPA-E mission. 

Agenda: Thursday, May 8th – Friday, May 9th

Day 1: Morning Session

ARPA-E Introduction 

Dr. Eric Rohfling, ARPA-E 

Workshop Background & Objectives

Dr. Michael Haney, ARPA-E 

Solar Cell Market Evolution            

Dr. Jim Rand 

Exploiting Scale Effects in Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, and Systems        

Dr. Greg Nielson

From Novelty to Ubiquity: Challenges & Strategies of Scaling the LCD Platform

Dr. Pete Bocko

An Overview of DoD Military Energy Needs

Ms. Sharon Beermann-Curtin

Day 1: Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Day 2: Morning Breakout Sessions