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Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS)

2020 | book

Lessons and Results from a Binational Consortium

about this book

This book describes the development, functioning, and results of a successful binational program to promote significant scientific advances in Earth-abundant photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP), advanced process / manufacturing technologies, multiscale modeling and reliability testing, and analysis of integrated solar energy systems.

SERIIUS is a consortium between India and the United States dedicated to developing new solar technologies and assessing their potential impact in the two countries. The consortium consists of nearly 50 institutions including academia, national laboratories, and industry, with the goal of developing significant new technologies in all areas of solar deployment. In addition, the program focused on workforce development through graduate students, post-doctoral students, and an international exchange program. Particular emphasis was placed on the following efforts:

Creating disruptive technologies in PV and CSP through high-impact fundamental and applied research and development (R&D). Identifying and quantifying the critical technical, economic, and policy issues for solar energy development and deployment in India. Overcoming barriers to technology transfer by teaming research institutions and industry in an effective project structure. Building a new platform for binational collaboration using a formalized R&D project structure, along with effective management, coordination, and decision processes. Creating a sustainable network and workforce development program from which to build large collaborations and promoting a collaborative culture and outreach programs. This includes using existing and new methodologies for collaboration based on advanced electronic and web-based communication to facilitate functional international teams.

The book summarizes the general lessons learned from these experiences.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

This chapter introduces the background political environment leading to the creation of the call for proposals for binational renewable energy consortia between India and the United States. We discuss the evolution of the team and development of the proposal for the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United Sates (SERIIUS), which addresses one of the specific areas called out in the request for proposals. We present the management structure and communications strategy for ensuring efficient operation and project management of multi-institutional, binational project teams. We discuss the three-pronged research structure focused on Earth-Abundant Photovoltaics, Multiscale Concentrated Solar Power, and Solar Energy Integration, and the development of specific project teams and project goals. We describe the staffing and educational programs, including project exchanges and workshops, developed to extend the impact of SERIIUS. We present an overview of some of the global accomplishments in the three technical areas and in the education and outreach areas.
David Ginley, Kamanio Chattopadhyay

Chapter 2. Sustainable Photovoltaics

This chapter covers the largest set of projects in SERIIUS that can be viewed overall as having three distinct themes. First is the development of new low-capital thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technologies by high-throughput manufacturing processes with a focus on solution-based roll-to-roll processing. This effort was highly integrated with the development of thin glass substrates and packaging from Corning, and focused on absorbers made from CuInGaSe2, CuZnSnSeS, organic molecules such as fluorinated polymers, perovskite solar cells based on methyl ammonium lead iodide (MAPbI), and silicon. Significant progress, including world-record devices, was achieved in a number of areas, and substantial improvements in lifetime were attained. Second is an assessment of the stability and failure mechanisms of PV in hot / dry and hot / wet climates. This work included assessing PV module stability across the seven climate zones of India and in the United States. The importance of dust and particulates was assessed. New failure mechanisms were identified, in particular to the hot / dry and hot / wet climates, and an international working group was convened. Coupled to developing new PV technology and understanding degradation pathways, an effort was made in multiscale modeling - from atoms to modules - to begin to connect the basic science to the ultimate deployability of the PV devices and modules. Here, the potential importance of bifacial modules was assessed.
David Ginley, Joel Ager, Rakesh Agrawal, Muhammad A. Alam, Brij Mohan Arora, S. Avasthi, Durga Basak, Parag Bhargava, Pratim Biswas, Birinchi Bora, Wade A. Braunecker, Tonio Buonassisi, Sanjay Dhage, Neelkanth Dhere, Sean Garner , Xianyi Hu, Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Dinesh Kabra, Balasubramaniam Kavaipatti, Lawrence Kazmerski, Anil Kottantharayil, Rajesh Kumar, Cynthia Lo, Monto Mani, Pradeep R. Nair, Lakshmi Narsamma, Dana C. Olson, Amlan J. Palavan, Srinivasan Ragh Ramamurthy, Bulusu Sarada, Shaibal Sarkar, OS Sastry, Harshid Sridhar, Govisami Tamizmani, Jeffrey Urban, Maikel van Hest, Juzer Vasi, Yanping Wang, Yue Wu

Chapter 3. Multiscale Concentrated Solar Power

This chapter highlights the multiscale concentrated solar power thrust, which focused on developing new low-cost manufacturable technologies for both high- and moderate-temperature thermal cycles. In the high-temperature range, the focus was on the supercritical carbon dioxide (s-CO2) Brayton cycle. Research involved developing low-cost heliostats coupled with novel bladed receivers and a novel CO2 test loop. A key focus was developing a functional testbed to evaluate and optimize the Brayton cycle as a cost-shared effort with the Indian Institute of Science. The project also investigated developing a novel helical receiver to heat the CO2. Extensive computational modeling of the thermal flow and gradients was conducted to develop the novel CO2 cycle. The program also pursued developing low-cost mirrors, absorbers, and throughs for Rankine cycle solar thermal parabolic through technology. A new small-scale, positive-displacement organic Rankine cycle expander was developed and tested. Solution-based approaches were considered that promise low-cost manufacturing. Coupled with the heat collection work were investigations of thermal storage approaches. Specifically, new molten salts were developed capable of much higher-temperature performance with improved thermal conductivity, and a new system was developed for low-temperature Rankine systems.
David Ginley, R. Aswathi, SR Atchuta, Bikramjiit Basu, Saptarshi Basu, Joshua M. Christian, Atasi Dan, Nikhil Dani, Rathindra Nath Das, Pradip Dutta, Scott M. Flueckiger, Suresh V. Garimella, Yogi Goswami, Clifford K. Ho, Shireesh Kedare, Sagar D. Khivsara, Pramod Kumar, CD Madhusoodana, B. Mallikarjun, Carolina Mira-Hernández, M. Orosz, Jesus D. Ortega, Dipti R. Parida, M. Shiva Prasad, K. Ramesh, S. Advaith, Sandip K. Saha, Shanmugasundaram Sakthivel, Sumit Sharma, P. Singh, Suneet Singh, Ojasve Srikanth, Vinod Srinivasan, Justin A. Weibel, Tim Wendelin

Chapter 4. Solar Energy Integration

This chapter covers the integrated analysis component of the program, which provided a critical resource to help define the optimal research agenda. This work includes assessing the solar resource across the various climate zones in India and a coupling of this to the technology roadmaps in India and the United States. The analysis was coupled with mapping optimal site selections for various applications of photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) from village power to national grid. The results were backed up by detailed tech-to-market and techno-economic analysis that helped to define the detailed research roadmap for both PV and CSP. Various potential scenarios were defined for the manufacture of silicon solar cells in India, revitalizing this manufacturing sector. Overall, this work led to clearly defining the bankability of solar across different deployment length scales. This analysis helped investors and governmental entities develop specific policies to meet solar deployment goals. Part of this work included developing online tools specific to India to assess the resource and technology / deployment scenarios; one example is the System Advisor Model tool specific to India.
David Ginley, Suhas Bannur, Mridula Dixit Bharadwaj, Aimee Curtwright, Vaishalee Dash, Rafiq Dossani, G. Srilakshmi, Praveen Kumar, Zhimin Mao, NC Thirumalai, Shanthi Nataraj, Oluwatobi Oluwatola, Badri S. Rao, Costaid Samaras, Sara Turner, Bhupesh Verma, Henry Willis, Rushil Zutshi

Chapter 5. Summary

SERIIUS has clearly demonstrated that the different approaches and philosophies of two countries can be leveraged to form an organization that can make unique contributions to the research landscape. The very structure of combining national laboratories, academic institutions, and industry from both countries has produced opportunities not otherwise achievable and created associations that will significantly outlast the organization itself.
David Ginley, Kamanio Chattopadhyay


additional Information
Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS)
Print ISBN
Electronic ISBN
Dr. David Ginley
Kamanio Chattopadhyay