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Micro-Scale Optimized Solar-Cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC)(SBIR/STTR)


Thursday, January 22, 2015


The Advanced Research Projects Agency ? Energy (ARPA-E), an organization within the Department of Energy, is chartered by Congress in the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-69), as amended by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-358), to support the creation of transformational energy technologies and systems through funding and managing Research and Development (R&D) efforts. Originally chartered in 2007, the Agency was first funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The mission of ARPA-E is to identify and fund research to translate science into breakthrough energy technologies that are too risky for the private sector and that, if successfully developed, will create the foundation for entirely new industries. Successful projects will address at least one of ARPA-E?s two Mission Areas: 1. Enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies that result in: a. reductions of imports of energy from foreign sources; b. reductions of energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and c. improvement in the energy efficiency of all economic sectors. 2. Ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies. Program Overview: The MOSAIC (Micro-scale Optimized Solar-cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration) Program will fund potentially disruptive technologies and related system concepts to achieve new performance and cost benchmarks for solar-electric generation from photovoltaics (PV). Specifically, MOSAIC will develop novel concepts that integrate arrays of high-performance micro-scale concentrated PV (micro-CPV) elements into modules that are similar in profile and cost to traditional non-concentrated ?flat-plate? (FP) PV, but achieve the performance level associated with conventional Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV). Realization of the aggressive targets of MOSAIC will require the formation of R&D teams from several communities, including material scientists, electrical and packaging engineers, optical engineers, micro-scale manufacturing specialists, and researchers in polymers and opto-electronics. The MOSAIC Program?s overall technical target is solar-to-electrical power conversion efficiency (as measured against total annual incident solar radiation) of > 30% across a wide range of geographic locations with varying amounts of direct and diffuse insolation. This would represent an approximately 50% improvement over conventional ?1-sun? FP PV module performance. Such an advance will significantly reduce the area and number of modules needed to provide a given power output ? and thereby reduce those Balance of System (BOS) costs associated with installation and maintenance that are proportional to installed system area. If micro-CPV-based panels achieve production costs comparable to those of 1-sun conventional panels (now roughly $100/m2), then the benefit from reduced BOS costs will lead to system costs as low as $0.75/W and $1.25/W for utility and residential market applications, respectively, resulting in a decrease in the PV-generated Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) acr oss a wide geographic domain. Further, the significant reduction in the footprint needed for a given power output may also expand the adoption of PV solar in the constrained-space rooftop market, where many roofs are currently too small, too shaded, or sub-optimally oriented for installation of today?s PV panel technology to be economical. To obtain a copy of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) please go to the ARPA-E website at ARPA-E will not review or consider concept papers submitted through other means. For detailed guidance on using ARPA-E eXCHANGE, please refer to the ARPA-E eXCHANGE User Guide (

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