GÜNAM has been founded by an initiative from the Middle East Technical University (METU). It is not a coincidence that this establishment has come out from METU where the solar energy studies date back to 80s. GÜNAM has been supported by the Turkish Ministry of development since its establishment at the beginning of 2009. GUNAM infrastructure has been built up in the great campus area of Middle East Technical University as a multi-discipliner research center. Faculty members from six different disciplines of three different faculties have contributed to the establishment of GÜNAM. Faculty members from the Physics and Chemistry Departments (Faculty of Arts and Sciences); Materials and Metallurgy, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering Departments (Faculty of Engineering) have joined the center as the founding members. This wide ranged participation is reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the center, which is absolutely necessary for this technology.

GÜNAM is the leading and most comprehensive national center in the development of solar energy technologies including photovoltaic, concentrating solar thermal, and cross-cutting technologies such as high performance buildings, smart grids, and smart cities with a mission to be a global player in this field. With this vision and perspective, GÜNAM’s infrastructure and human capital has been expanding in recent years. New facilities such as Crystalline Si Photovoltaic Pilot Line establishment has been constructed in a new and separate building. GÜNAM is well integrated to European Union through projects such as EU-SOLARIS and CHEETAH and through institutions such as EERA (European Energy Research Alliance) and EUPVTP (European Photovoltaic Technology Platform). At national level, GÜNAM is working with many research institutes and universities all over from Turkey, a well as public and private sector institutions. GÜNAM has already been recognized nation-wide through a series of new collaborations, already running projects and national networks.

GÜNAM is expanding its collaboration network and its impact to global level. With this aim, GÜNAM emphasizes the importance of collaboration and interaction with its counterparts all over the world through high level innovative research projects, training and education activities.

There are currently 22 faculty members affiliated with GÜNAM, 12 permanent technical and administrative staff members and more than 70 graduate students using GÜNAM facilities for their graduate thesis work.

GÜNAM consists of several research laboratories focusing on specific fields of solar energy conversion. These laboratories are

• Cristal Si (c-Si) Photovoltaic Solar Cell Research Laboratory
• GÜNAM Photovoltaic Pilot Line (PVPL)
• Inorganic Thin Film Photovoltaic Solar Cell Technologies (a-Si and CIGS)
• Organic Photovoltaic Research Laboratory (OPV)
• Dye Synthesized Solar Cell (DSSC) Research Laboratory
• Nano Materials Development Group (METU NANOLAB)
• Solar Thermal Energy (STE) Laboratory called ODAK

In particular, c-Si laboratory is capable of producing solar cells with industrial size (156 mm x 156 mm). This makes GÜNAM an attractive partner for industrial companies. Recently, a key national project called MILGES (Development of National Solar Energy Power Station) has been awarded to GÜNAM and its industrial partners by TUBITAK. This project (which is the largest civilian R&D project given to a research institute in recent years) aims to develop high performance photovoltaic cells and modules and deploy them in a 10 MW power station in southeastern part of Turkey. GUNAM researchers have been involved in many national and international projects. Among them, projects funded by EU Framework Programs have special importance for the international recognition of GÜNAM.

Vision

To be recognized globally as

  • The main driver for solar energy R&I in Turkey;
  • ŸThe leading comprehensive solar energy Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the Eastern Mediterranean Region;
  • ŸContributing to solar energy R&I at EU and global levels through synergistic collaborations with leading CoEs in Europe specifically and throughout the world more generally.

Mission

To strengthen society by

  • ŸCreating fundamental knowledge through research that supports innovation in solar energy at national, EU and global levels;
  • Facilitating R&I at national, EU and global levels by providing scientific services and access to unique scientific facilities to researchers and industry;
  • ŸDeveloping human capacities through training and education to strengthen R&I capacities and culture in Turkey specifically and at EU and global levels more generally; identifying and exploiting Intellectual Property (IP) created at GÜNAM;
  • ŸSupporting the market-uptake of solar energy technologies in Turkey by providing scientific consulting to ministries to craft appropriate regulations and policies.