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Gabor Photovoltaics Consulting, LLC
Technology for Silicon and Thin Films
Resume

   WORK EXPERIENCE

  

 Independent Photovoltaics Consultant Sep 2011-present

  •  Consulting services for the PV industry and PV investors
    • Designed an integrated PV factory, chose tool vendors and materials suppliers, and performed cost of ownership analysis for a domestic startup company
    • Performed a due diligence investigation and analysis for a potential investor in a PV company
    • Provide ongoing technical support for multiple New England PV Project companies     
    • Evaluated module technologies and associated reliability and risk issues for a New England installation
    • Provided process development, materials, and equipment consulting to a domestic module startup company
    • Assisted solar startup companies in writing Sunshot Incubator and SBIR proposals
    • Assisted a different solar manufacturing equipment startup company in writing a successful SBIR Phase1 proposal, and more recently a Phase2 application
    • Specified module materials, designs, fabrication methods, and evaluated OEMs of lightweight solar panels for yet a different solar startup company
    • Performed cost/performance analysis for a Fortune 500 company
    • Advised a different solar manufacturing equipment startup company on strategy and experimentation
    • Advised an investment group on small-cap investment opportunities within the PV space
    • Advised a PV company on merger and acquisition strategy
    • Wrote a 260-page report for Greentech Media Research 
             INNOVATIONS IN CRYSTALLINE SILICON PV 2013:
               â€¨Opportunities, Challenges, Costs,
 and Leaders in Nine Technology Areas   

                       Chapters include
      • Conventional Crystalline Silicon PV Technology
      • Sensitivity Analysis: The Value of Efficiency
      • Quasi-Mono Wafers
      • Diamond Wire Sawing
      • Kerfless Wafers
      • Selective Emitters
      • Reduced-Silver Metallization (Including Plating and Stringing)
      • Dielectric-Passivated Backside Cell Architectures
      • Conductive Adhesives
      • Encapsulant Alternatives to EVA
      • Frameless and Plastic-Framed Module Designs
  • Gave live and online invited presentations including:
    • Greentech Media Solar Summit
    • Greentech Media Podcast
    • Greentech Media Webinar
    • Intersolar – CA (July 2013)
    • Several guest lectures at Brown University
    • Guest lecture at MIT

 Brown University  (Providence, RI), Jan 2014 – present

             Adjunct Lecturer

 1366 Technologies  (Lexington, MA), Jan 2008 – Jun 2011

             Principal Technologist and Co-Founder
  • Helped develop initial business plan and present plans to VC investors.
  • Helped write successful NREL Incubator proposal for $3 million of funding for advanced texture and metallization of silicon solar cells.  Managed project, wrote reports, and presented results.  Resulted in texturing equipment sale to a solar panel customer. www.nrel.gov/docs/fy11osti/49934.pdf
  • Personally recruited and hired 4 people, and was involved in hiring decisions on most other employees.
  • Helped to plan the solar cell pilot line and facilities, specify equipment, and ramp up the line.
  • Evaluated different potential wet processing equipment partners to co-develop a honeycomb texturing cluster using 1366 Patterning equipment and in-line wet benches.  Presented our technical results and advantages of our technology. Resulted in a contract with our top pick, RENA, the worldwide leader in wet processing equipment for PV.  Managed this project following the contract.
  • Personally brought a novel patterning technology from proof of concept level to pilot line level including all hands on process, materials, and equipment development and provisional patent application.
  • Presented technology regularly to Board of Directors, Industry representatives, and government officials (including Secretary of Energy Steven Chu).
  • Wrote two papers that were accepted as oral presentations at the European PVSEC conferences.
  • Co-wrote 1 patent application (1st author), 3 provisional patent applications, and > 20 disclosures of invention.

 

 Independent Photovoltaics Consultant Apr 2007

  •     Performed due diligence for a venture capital group looking at investing in a thin film PV startup.  Visited the startup, interviewed staff, performed cost analysis, did background research, assessed the technology and competitive position, and wrote a report.  Investment went forward, and this company is one of the few survivors manufacturing in this technology segment.

 

 Evergreen Solar, Inc.  (Waltham, MA and Marlboro MA), 1996 – Dec 2007  

Senior Member of the Technical Staff, PV Module R&D: 2005 – Dec 2007

  • Initiated and managed a program to evaluate next generation methods for cell interconnection (beyond conventional soldering).  Demonstrated prototype modules with 78% FF.  Invented new approaches.
  • Managed the program to evaluate and choose the next generation soldering equipment with higher yields and lower labor for factory expansions.  Specified and ordered an R&D prototype; optimized the process/design and materials (wire and flux); specified multiple units for a 60MW factory expansion estimated to save over $7million/year in operating costs; improved module quality/reliability.  Formed a strong partnership with the vendor.
  • Managed a large interdivisional team optimizing quality of soldering and other module manufacturing processes to improve reliability of new modules with thinner cells reduced from 300 down to 190 microns.  Module certification achieved.
  • 3 patent applications and many disclosures of inventions.
    Principal Technologist, EverQ Joint Venture: 2004-2005
  • Initiated the first contacts with Q-Cells; main technical representative of Evergreen interacting with Q-Cells and later REC during their due diligence in deciding whether to invest in the joint venture.  Established strong personal bonds with staff at the companies helping to build trust.
  • Designed the 30MW cell fabrication line in EverQ1 together with my partner at Q-Cells.  Specified all process, automation and characterization equipment from diffusion through cell test.  Championed the new process of sputtered SiN which saved over $1 million/year in operating costs.  Worked closely with the vendors and the planning team during the evaluation, proposal, construction, and facilitization planning processes.
  • Managed senior staff.  Completed project on time, on budget, and met performance goals.  Success led to construction of a 2nd larger factory.

    Senior Scientist, Solar Cell R&D:
    1996-2004
  • Managed senior and junior staff and technicians and reported directly to CTO.
  • Optimized the process conditions for sputtered SiN on String Ribbon and demonstrated equivalent performance to PECVD SiN.  Managed contract with Fraunhofer ISE and Applied Films to perform tests.  System later adopted by EverQ expansion.
  • Initiated work on laser edge isolation on String Ribbon cells; evaluated/optimized different lasers and specified the first system for implementation into the Evergreen line.  Improved cell efficiency by 0.2% absolute.  Process and equipment later adopted for EverQ expansion.
  • Initiated the work on POCl3 diffusion for String Ribbon cells.  Improved cell efficiency by 0.2% absolute.  Made novel boat design for automated loading and high mechanical yield of non-flat wafers.  Process and boat design later adopted for EverQ expansion.
  • Managed contracts with the U. of Konstanz and Georgia Tech leading to a series of record efficiency solar cells on String Ribbon silicon which helped to demonstrate the potential of String Ribbon and aided fundraising and strategic relationships for the company.  Initial work on laser edge isolation, POCl3 diffusion, direct screen printing, and chemical texturing all performed under these programs, leading to their eventual inclusion in factory expansions.
  • Introduced in-line wet processing.  Specified and ramped up a demonstration unit and later a production system which improved mechanical yields, reduced labor, and improved safety as compared to old batch etching system.
  • Helped to design, specify, optimize processes, and ramp-up a large portion of the first production line in Marlboro.
  • Led the SiN antireflection coating program which increased cell performance by over 20%.  Performed initial outside tests, bought small scale demonstration equipment, and specified and bought one of the first Centrotherm SiN PECVD systems.  Installed system, debugged, optimized processes, and ramped up production on new boat design and automation equipment.
  • Co-designed the equipment and optimized the process and materials for 3 generations of decal metallization lines.  Invented process and materials to achieve narrow and tall fingers by this method, increasing cell efficiency by 2% relative.
  • Invented monolithic module assembly techniques to interconnect cells without soldering.
  • Co-wrote multiple proposals for government funding through NREL and NIST programs bringing several $million of R&D revenue in house.

 

 Energy Photovoltaics, Inc. (EPV) (Princeton, NJ), 1995-1996

    Senior Scientist

  • Responsible for scaling up novel CIGS deposition recipes.
  • Wrote a successful SBIR phase 1 proposal on development of selenide-compound feedstock formation methods for CIGS deposition.

 

 NREL (Golden, CO), 1991-1995

    Graduate Student Researcher

  • Invented the 3-Stage process for making record efficiency CIGS solar cells.  2 filed patents which have been extensively licensed and generated significant revenue.
  • R&D 100 award.  MRS Graduate Student award.

 

 EDUCATION

 

 University of Colorado, Boulder, CO   (research performed at National Renewable Energy Lab – NREL)

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering,  1995      Advisors: Garret Moddel – U. of CO; Rommel Noufi – NREL

Disseration: The Conversion of (In,Ga)2Se3 Thin Films to Cu(In,Ga)Se2 for Application to Photovoltaic Solar Cells

 

 Carleton College, Northfield, MN

B.A., Physics, 1989


 

 BOARDS/ADVISOR

 

 Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems  2009 - present

Board of Advisors – Solar Board

Advisor

Brown/RISD/Erfurt 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe team


 

 TECHNICAL SKILLS

  

 

Technology Roadmap Planning:

Stay on the pulse of the industry through extensive network of friends and colleagues, through reading trade journals and scientific publications, and through attending conferences and visiting companies and institutes.  Use this information to guide evolution of device designs, materials, and processing/automation equipment.  Influence directions pursued by vendors.

Strategic Partnerships:

Form close personal bonds with key partners such as institutes, vendors, customers, government, and joint venture partners.

Proposal Writing:

Write proposals for funding of research activity.

Subcontract Writing and Management:

Define tasks to outsource to institutes or other partners.  Transfer the results to internal operations.

Project Management:

Clearly communicate goals and timeframe and key decision points.  Run efficient meetings with clear tasks and due dates and published minutes.  Present gated reviews of progress.  Aim toward efficient but high-morale teams.  Encourage innovation.

Research:

Invent and document new processes, device designs, materials and equipment.  Manage other researchers and technicians. 

Publishing and Publicizing:

Present work internally to management and externally to partners and to the community.  Write papers for conference proceedings and journals.

Due Diligence:

Visit companies and assess their capabilities and prospects through interviewing, touring of facilities, and cost/benefit analysis.

Factory Design:

Sizing and layout of factories.  Process and automation equipment, buffering, and staffing decisions.

Capital Decisions:

Evaluate and rank vendors using trials and decision matrices.  Specification and acceptance testing of equipment.

Cost Analysis:

Perform cost/benefit analysis taking into account materials, capital, facilities, labor, and yield costs.

Device modeling

Model electrical and optical device performance through using tools such as Excel and PC1D.

Recruitment/ Interviewing/Hiring:

Target top candidates and sell them on the company.  Interview volunteer candidates and assess their strengths and fit within the company.

Product Development:

Work with marketing department to form new designs and meet new requirements.

Reliability Testing:

Perform accelerated testing to demonstrate field reliability of product.

Competitive Engineering:

Characterize competitor products to establish their performance reliability and to determine their construction methods, materials, and designs.

Firefighting:

Help solve factory problems in a timely manner. 

Teaching:

Teach seminars from grade school to professional level (recently at Brown University and MIT).

Languages:

Decent German.

 

 


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