Solar Cell: Redesigned

Solar start-up engineer Vince Allen together with his crew had made something unique of their laboratories.

Now they have got the certification to mention they have got created the maximum green commercial-sized solar cell in the world.

In the solar world, performance and efficiency is a massive deal.

“The fundamental driving factors behind solar adoption come down to efficiency and cost,” Mr Allen said.”Being able to fabricate the most efficient commercial-sized solar cell is an achievement we’re very proud of, and to push Australian solar PV [photovoltaic] on a global stage.”

Ten years ago, commercial-sized sun cells had a performance score of approximately 14-16%.]

Sundrive, Mr. Allen’s company, has created a cell with 25.54% efficiency, as examined through the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamlin in Germany – a company that specializes in efficiency testing.

“Prior to that, the record was 25.26 per cent, so we’ve done a reasonably big jump,” he said.”Point three might not sound like a lot, but to us solar nerds it carries a lot of significance. “In the solar world, independent certification is critical if you want to present your results to research institutions.”

The Game Changer: No Silver

Mr Allen together with co-founder David Hu are obsessed on pursuing a way of constructing sun cells that don’t use silver.

Currently, 15% of the world’s business silver consumption are used into making solar cells.

It is a highly-priced and finite useful resource and one Mr Allen has avoided in favour of copper.

“I think what’s more significant than achieving the world record is we’ve been able to do it without silver,” Mr Allen said.”If you look at the commercial solar cells today and the last few world-record commercial-sized solar cells, there’s a strong correlation between efficiency and silver consumption. “We’ve effectively broken that trend using copper.”

Copper is 100 times cheaper than silver and we have much more resources of it and it copper requires lower processing temperature, which means much less power intake.

Mr Allen says the realistic performance restriction of a commercial-sized sun cell is nearing its limit of 27%.

“We see ourselves as having a technology that will help the industry grow to its next stage with more efficient silicon solar cells and we see an opportunity to be at the forefront of the next solar adoption wave.”

When will it be available?

As a small enterprise competing in an industry with technology and manufacturing, it will take some time.

Solar cells need to endure the Australian climate and a design that will last approximately 25 years.

They relocated from Wollongong to a larger area in southern Sydney.

Mass producing of this copper-based sun cell is a long process but that is their goal.

“In terms of our timeline, we’re planning to have a commercial-sized module containing our solar cells at the end of this year, which is representative of what we could put on a roof or in a solar farm,” he said.

“We’re also focused on building our pilot production line by end of next year with panels ready maybe by the first half of 2023.”

Article inspired from abcnews.

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