Technical Program

Plenary Speakers

Area 1: Tom Markvart, University of Southampton, UK, and Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic

Can Thermodynamics Guide us to Make Better Solar Cells?

Tom Markvart is Professor of Energy Conversion at the Solar Energy Laboratory, University of Southampton, UK, and Head of Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics at the Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic. Over the years, his research interests have evolved from the degradation of solar cells in space to stand alone systems and utility integration, returning to the fundamentals of photovoltaics with focus on the thermodynamics of light and novel mechanisms for PV conversion.

Area 2: Raffi Garabedian

First Solar's Amazing Progress on CdTe

Mr. Raffi Garabedian has been the Chief Technology Officer of First Solar, Inc. since May 2012. Mr. Garabedian joined First Solar in 2008 as Director of Disruptive Technologies and served as its Vice President of Advanced Technologies since 2010 and oversaw its advanced research and development (R&D) operations in Santa Clara, Calif. He has held a number of other positions and is well known in the industry for his thoughtful leadership. Mr. Garabedian holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic University and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Davis.

Area 3: Brendan Kayes

Brendan Kayes is the Director of Device Technology at Alta Devices. In 2018, Brendan’s team demonstrated a single-junction solar cell with 29.1% conversion efficiency under non-concentrated sunlight, currently a world record. Brendan's team has also made a two-junction solar cell with 31.6% efficiency. Currently he has 19 granted patents, and more than 20 scientific journal articles and conference proceedings. Brendan is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and has a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology.

Area 4: Denis De Ceuste

Denis De Ceuster is the owner of DDC Solar LLC. He has led the technology development at various solar companies, with a strong focus on advanced high-efficiency cell technologies based on N-type silicon. In 2008, he co-founded TetraSun Inc., a silicon-valley start-up that developed new low-cost processes and solar cells architectures. Prior to that Denis spent 12 years at SunPower, where he led the solar cell technology group as Director of Cell R&D.

Area 5: Uwe Rau

Dr. Uwe Rau is a Professor at RWTH Aachen and the Director of the Institute Energy and Climate Researchat Forschungszentrum Jülich. He has a Diploma and Dr. Rer. Nat. in Physics from the University Tübingen, Germany and has previously worked at the Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart.

Area 6: David Cahen, Weizmann Institute of Science and Bar-Ilan University, Israel

David Cahen moved from the Netherlands to Israel after high school. He studied chemistry & physics at Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem (HUJI), materials science & physical chemistry at Northwestern Univ., and, as PD, biophysics of photosynthesis at HUJI and the Weizmann Inst. of Science (WIS). As WIS faculty he specialized in optoelectronic materials chemistry & physics. Today he focuses on novel PV/sustainable materials, and on protein electron transport, including bio-optoelectronics implications. He is AVS and MRS fellow. Since 2017 he also heads a group at Bar-Ilan University.

Area 7: Yannick Combet, Stratobus Venture Director

StratobusTM - Energetic challenge toward lighter than air innovation

Yannick Combet is leading Stratobus Director for Thales Alenia Space. Prior to that, Yannick was the engineering manager of solar array department for Thales Alenia Space for 10 years where he developped PV pathfinder solutions for constellations before moving to spacecraft advanced studies and bids. He obtained master degrees from Arts & Metier Paris, Supelec Paris and EMC/ESD specialisation at university of Burgundy.

Area 8/9: Chris Deline, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Bifacial PV system performance: separating fact from fiction

Dr. Chris Deline is a research engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO in the photovoltaic performance and reliability group. He is principal investigator for multiple PV field performance projects including degradation rate assessment and bifacial module power rating and production modeling. He also operates the US Department of Energy Regional Test Center site at NREL for field assessment of novel PV technologies. At the moment Dr. Deline is particularly excited by the field deployment of new bifacial PV systems including tracked and fixed-tilt systems with energy storage, and the development of the open-source ray tracing software toolkit bifacial_radiance.

Area 10: Patrick Chapman, Enphase Energy

Patrick Chapman (F’18) is the Senior Director of Inverter Technology at Enphase Energy. Dr. Chapman received BSEE and MSEE degrees from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1996 and 1997, respectively. He received a Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2000. He was on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign until 2010, where he was an Associate Professor. He cofounded SolarBridge Technologies, where he served as CTO until it was acquired by SunPower Corporation. He is a recipient of the IEEE Richard M. Bass Outstanding Young Power Electronics Engineer Award.

Area 11-12: Andrew Blakers, Australian National University

100% Renewable Energy

Andrew Blakers is Professor of Engineering at the Australian National University. His research interests are silicon solar cells and 100% renewable energy futures.