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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Australian National University

    Location

    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

    ARENA Program

    Research and Development

  • Start Date

    July 2014

    Status

    Past

  • Project Partners
    UNSW Australia, University of Warwick, SunEdison, Sinton Instruments, Institut für Solarenergieforschung Hameln/Emmerthal GmbH, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, BT Imaging, Apollon Solar
    This solar project was completed on 12 September 2018.

Summary

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.

Need

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.

Project innovation

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.

Benefit

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.

Last updated
28 January 2021
Last updated 28 January 2021
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