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EE237: Solar Energy Conversion presents "What Really Matters in PV and What are Potential Disruptive Drivers?"

image of Dr. Pawan Kapur
What Really Matters in PV and What are Potential Disruptive Drivers?
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - 3:30pm
Allen 380X
Dr. Pawan Kapur (Medifacturing)
Abstract / Description: 

To usher Solar 2.0 beyond incremental solar module cost and efficiency improvement, it is critical to understand true metrics for solar projects that impact the ultimate cost of electricity. This talk is divided in three parts. The first part discusses the system's and project relevant metrics which constitute the bottom line for customers. It also sets the stage for the importance of a multi-dimensional advancement of solar module technology as apposed to conventional incremental improvements in cost and efficiency areas only. The second part discusses Solar 1.0, the historical drivers which contributed to the dramatic cost reduction and the rapid commoditization of solar PV over the last decade. The final part of the talk delves into potential disruptive ideas both related to dramatic efficiency improvement and system's level smartness, which will drive the next wave in advancement, the Solar 2.0.


Dr. Kapur is a seasoned executive who has successfully built and lead both R&D and Manufacturing teams for highly innovative solar products over last decade. He has more than 20 years of deep domain technical expertise and track record of innovation in solar PV, semiconductor, and photonics areas.

Most recently, Pawan was Senior VP of Manufacturing at a Medifacturing startup company doing metal 3D printed orthopedic implants. Before this, he was the Chief Scientific Officer at a solar start-up company, Sunpreme Inc., with primary responsibilities of leading the company's next-generation product, existing product cost reduction roadmap, and the maximization of product field performance. Prior to Sunpreme, Pawan was Vice President of Engineering and a principle at a venture-backed, solar company that he helped grow from 2 people to over 100 people. His team led the conception and execution of a multi-faceted PV engineering roadmap with several world records, as well as the transfer and ramp of this technology from R&D to a > $25M high volume pilot manufacturing. In this role he enjoyed building strong teams and leaders across design, process development, yield, and tool engineering.

Pawan holds more than 40 issued patents and has published about 65 research papers. He held a consulting Professor appointment in the Electrical Engineering department at Stanford University for two years. Pawan received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.