This project developed a range of new methods and tools for identifying, quantifying, and eliminating defects in silicon photovoltaics, ranging across the entire value chain, from the silicon ingots, to wafers, cells and modules.
This project aimed to develop advanced tools and methods to detect and quantify the root cause of efficiency losses during the production of silicon PV modules. The project targeted loss mechanisms all along the value chain, from the initial silicon ingots, to wafers and cells, and also at the module level. In order to achieve these aims, we brought together a team of complementary experts from leading research institutions (including ANU, UNSW, and Fraunhofer ISE) and industry (such as BT Imaging and Sinton Instruments). This led to the development of powerful new techniques for detecting and studying defects, and for developing effective strategies to eliminate them or reduce their impact. Two of these new techniques, based on luminescence imaging of ingots and modules, are already being commercialised in Australia by project partner BT Imaging. Several others are in earlier stages of commercialisation.
As these new methods are adopted in R&D labs in industry and institutes, they will help drive further increases in module efficiency and reliability, resulting in lower costs of solar electricity for end users.