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DSM people in solar: Madelon Janssen

What’s important in solar? Here Madelon Janssen, the RT&D Director for DSM Advanced Solar, shares some quick thoughts…  
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We bring materials knowledge and expertise that the industry has never had. The real skill is applying it the right way and keeping our eyes on what matters: Bringing down the Levelized Cost of Energy and making solar a viable renewable energy source.

We want to help the industry understand how new materials can boost the performance of PV modules. A big part of that is applying knowledge from other parts of DSM to our solar business. For example, did you know that our knowledge of biology is giving DSM a better understand of how and why solar panels react to the elements?

Solar is a relatively young industry, so at DSM we’ve invested heavily to show our commitment. We have several large solar energy test sites that are the best there is; along with a major research site in China; plus a global technical and service infrastructure that can support customers wherever in the world they may be.

One lesson we’ve learned in solar is that there is no ‘silver bullet’. Our dedicated researchers work every day on testing new materials for customers, from which we create four-cell ‘mini modules’ for further testing and potential scale up. You could call it a continuous ‘materials loop’ with new ideas constantly flowing!

Silicon cells has improved hugely, but new materials like perovskite are now a reality. I see hybrid concepts as the future; where perovskite is perhaps integrated into a system also containing silicon.