This report discusses the project results and lessons learnt to date for the UNSW Project, Integrating Industrial Black Silicon with High Efficiency Multicrystalline Solar Cells.
This project is focussed on enabling solar cells to more effectively absorb sunlight and thus produce more output power. Incurrent production technology some of the light incident ona solar cell is lost as reflection, essentially it bounces off the surface rather than being absorbed. To reduce this effect, the front surfaces are sculpted with a texture which deflects the reflected light back onto the cell surface, giving it a second chance to be absorbed. This is an effective strategy, however when integrated with cells many compromises in the shape of the texture occur to enable it to work with other parts of the device (e.g. the metal contacts). The goal of this project is to identify ways to use more advanced textures (black silicon) which are known to reduce reflection (in some cases to zero) but which do not currently work with modern manufacturing techniques. The project utilises advanced tools developed at the university to study the fundamental properties of the texture and collaborates with leading industry manufacturers to process these into cells.
This report marks the halfway point for the project. The project has created several new measurement and computer simulation techniques which allow the black silicon textures to be studied in detail. It has used these techniques to identify the causes of poor integration of the more advanced types of texture with higher performing solar cells and has begun to develop solutions to overcome these limitations.