This report discusses the project results and lessons learnt to date for the ANU Project, Driving Increased Efficiency and Reliability in Silicon Photovoltaics – From Ingots to Modules.
This project aims to develop new techniques and tools to identify the most important loss and degradation mechanisms in industrial photovoltaic technology, extending along the value chain from silicon ingots, wafers, cells and through to the final modules. These new methods will help to pinpoint key loss mechanisms, and lead to new strategies to avoid them. This will in turn increase the efficiency and reliability of photovoltaic modules, leading to further cost reductions of solar electricity for consumers in Australia and worldwide.
A primary focus of the project has been the development of novel luminescence-based tools for rapid and accurate inspection of ingots, wafers, cells and modules, in conjunction with BT Imaging, an Australian metrology company that services the global PV industry. We are also working closely with Jinko Solar, the largest manufacturer of PV modules worldwide, to develop improved silicon ingots and wafers using low-cost casting methods, and demonstrate high efficiency solar cells on these materials with industrially-compatible processing.
We also collaborate with some of the leading solar energy institutes worldwide, including Fraunhofer ISE in Germany and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the USA, to explore new possibilities for improved characterisation of silicon materials and solar cells. The project has been very successful to date, with a number of exciting new methods for wafer, cell and module inspection being developed and demonstrated, together with our industry partners.