GÜNAM has been founded by an initiative from the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ/METU). It is not a coincidence that this establishment has come out from METU where the solar energy studies date back to the 80s. GÜNAM has been supported by the Ministry of Development (Turkey) since its establishment at the beginning of 2009. GÜNAM infrastructure has been built up in the great campus area of Middle East Technical University as a multi-discipliner research center. The faculty members from the seven different disciplines of three different faculties have contributed to the establishment and development of GÜNAM: ODTÜ Physics and Chemistry Departments (Faculty of Arts and Sciences); ODTÜ Civil Engineering, Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Materials & Metallurgy Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering Departments (Faculty of Engineering); Architecture Department (Faculty of Architecture). This wide range of participation is reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the center, which is necessary for this technology.

GÜNAM is the leading and most comprehensive national center in the development of solar energy technologies including photovoltaics, 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.

GÜNAM is well integrated into the European Union through the projects such as CHEETAH, EU-SOLARIS, and INSHIP through the institutions such as EERA (European Energy Research Alliance) and EUPVTP (European Photovoltaic Technology Platform). At the 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 on the 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 30 faculty members affiliated with GÜNAM, 8 administrative and technical personnel, and more than 130 students using GÜNAM facilities for their Ph.D. and M.Sc. thesis work.

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

• Cristal Si (c-Si) Photovoltaic Solar Cell Research Laboratory
• GÜNAM Photovoltaic Line (GPVL)
• 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, with its laboratories and new facility (GÜNAM Photovoltaic Line – GPVL), GÜNAM is capable of producing photovoltaic cells with traditional and emerging PV technologies such as PERC/PERT/PERL, Bifacial, IBC, HIT, Perovskite. This makes GÜNAM an attractive partner for institutional and industrial companies. Accordingly, a key national project called MİLGES (Development of National Solar Energy Power Station) has been awarded to GÜNAM and its industrial partners by TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey). 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 the southeastern part of Turkey. Also, GÜNAM researchers have been involved in many national and international projects. Among them, the 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;
  • the leading comprehensive solar energy Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the Eastern Mediterranean Region;
  • contributing 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

  • creating 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;
  • developing 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;
  • supporting the market-uptake of solar energy technologies in Turkey by providing scientific consulting to ministries to craft appropriate regulations and policies