Alumnus Heads Berkeley Lab Solar Energy Materials Project

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Anubhav Jain, a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) alumnus, has been named to manage a new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory project to seek materials that would make solar power modules cheaper and more durable.

Berkeley Lab’s five-year, $1.36 million research grant is part of a $30 million joint DOE effort called DuraMAT (Durable Module Materials National Lab Consortium). Jain’s research has focused on discovering new materials with high-throughput computing, using modeling to predicting multiple materials’ qualities. Materials scientists can tap data about compounds and test the ones most likely to fit their needs.

Under Jain’s guidance the lab’s team will leverage this “materials genome” approach to find promising materials to improve the performance and durability of photovoltaic modules, lowering the cost of solar power generation while extending equipment lifetimes.

In a Berkeley Lab release, Jain said the team will first focus on integrating information from materials and solar module datasets at multiple length and time scales. Then it will use statistical analysis and machine-learning techniques to learn why modules fail and what can be done to improve their dependability and lifetimes.

Jain was a DOE CSGF recipient from 2008-2011. He earned a doctoral degree in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011.