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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Australian National University

    Location

    Australian Capital Territory

    ARENA Program

    Research and Development

  • Start Date

    August 2014

    Status

    Past

  • Project Partners
    UNSW Australia, Trina Solar Ltd, Tempress Systems

Summary

The Advanced Surface and Contact Technologies Improving Solar Cells project aims to develop a suite of key cell process technologies to improve the surface of silicon solar cells.

Need

The majority of today’s solar cells are produced on silicon wafers. Increasing the uptake of photovoltaic power requires continuous improvement to the silicon wafer technologies that are available to the market.

There are advanced solar cell designs that have the potential to be cheaper or more efficient. However, the cell process technologies currently available for silicon solar cells are limiting the manufacture of these advanced designs.

Project innovation

The Advanced Surface and Contact Technologies Improving Solar Cells project aims to develop a suite of key cell process technologies to improve the surface of silicon
solar cells:

  • Surface coatings: to improve the quality of the surface coatings and maximise cell
    efficiency.
  • Patterning: to enable advanced cell designs, focusing on laser based processes.
  • Metalisation: replacement of the standard screen printing metal used to carry current
    across the cell surface.

More advanced cell designs will be identified that benefit from the improved processes during development.

These advanced cell designs will be tested on industrial scale solar cells at small volumes to investigate proof of concept and at larger volumes to understand the manufacturability.

The final goal is to deliver one or more improved cell processes ready for industrial pilot-scale manufacture with commercial partners.

Benefit

This project aims to develop advanced industry-ready cell designs that reduce cost, increase efficiency and/or access new markets.

The benefits of these improvements will flow to Australian customers through project partner Trina Solar, the largest supplier of solar panels in the Australian market.

Last updated 30 August 2019
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