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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    University of NSW

    Location

    New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Australian Solar Institute

  • Start Date

    November 2012

    Status

    Past

  • Project Partners
    None
    This solar PV project was completed on 05 February 2016.

Summary

The Improved Measurement of Contaminants in Silicon Solar Cells project aims to compare, understand and further develop techniques that accurately identify the type and amount of efficiency-reducing contaminants in silicon solar cells. It will also investigate the lifetime effects of contamination in order to minimise its impact.

Need

The cost of producing solar cells can be reduced using lower-quality materials but these contain a higher level of defects and contaminants that reduce the cell’s ability to transform sunlight into electricity (known as its efficiency).

Improved techniques that can measure these contaminants are needed to further reduce the trade-off between solar cell cost and performance.

Project innovation

The Improved Measurement of Contaminants in Silicon Solar Cells project aims to compare, understand and further develop techniques that accurately identify the type and amount of efficiency-reducing contaminants in silicon solar cells. It will also investigate the lifetime effects of contamination in order to minimise its impact.

This will be done by testing identical materials with different techniques at UNSW, ANU and the Fraunhofer Institute.

The project includes establishing a library of measurement standards in both countries and the use of characterisation methods including:

  • techniques developed by UNSW with purpose-built equipment to measure the performance of solar cells made from materials that have short life-spans
  • luminescence spectroscopy techniques at ANU’s Process and Characterisation Solar Facility and the Fraunhofer Institute to reveal contamination types and concentration.

Combining information obtained from both techniques provides, for the first time, comprehensive and complementary data that is critical for the development of theoretical models.

Benefit

This project will accelerate the industry’s understanding of contaminants and defects as well as their impacts, leading to a reduction in the costs of manufacturing photovoltaic solar cells.

There is potential for the resulting measurement tool to be used as a prototype for later manufacturing and commercialisation.

Last updated
29 January 2021
Last updated 29 January 2021
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