- Lead Organisation
Australian National UniversityLocation
Canberra, Australian Capital TerritoryARENA Program
15 July 2014
12 September 2018
- Project PartnersUNSW Australia, University of Warwick, SunEdison, Sinton Instruments, Institut für Solarenergieforschung Hameln/Emmerthal GmbH, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, BT Imaging, Apollon SolarThis solar project was completed on 12 September 2018.
The Lowering the Cost of High Efficiency Silicon Solar Panels project will identify and reduce the impact of defects and impurities throughout the solar panel production process. It will cover the initial growth of the silicon ingots, wafers, cells and the final panel.
The Lowering the Cost of High Efficiency Silicon Solar Panels project will help to further increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of silicon solar cells and modules, making solar electricity more affordable.
The electrical output of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels made with crystalline silicon wafers is often limited by the presence of unwanted defects and impurities in the silicon. This reduced output increases the cost of PV solar power.
This image shows efficiency-reducing defects (dark regions) such as grain boundaries in a multi-crystalline silicon wafer. Powerful and rapid new techniques will be developed for pinpointing these defects.
This project will identify and reduce the impact of defects and impurities throughout the solar panel production process. It will cover the initial growth of the silicon ingots, wafers, cells and the final panel.
New ways of reducing the effect of such defects on solar cell performance will also be developed. Experts from some of the foremost research institutes and companies worldwide will contribute to this Australian-led project.
The project will increase the efficiency of solar panels with relatively little increase in production costs. This will lead to lower costs for Australian consumers and create advanced new test methods and hardware to be commercialised in Australia for a global and expanding market.