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ANU Scientists Set New Record with Bifacial Solar Cells

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CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 31, 2021 — Researchers at Australia National University (ANU) have produced a more efficient type of solar cell a true bifacial solar cell, using laser processing  and have set a world record for power output with bifacial solar cells in the process. The solar cells are dual-sided, meaning both the front and back of the cell generate power.

The bifacial solar cells easily beat the performance of single-sided silicon solar cells, principal investigator Kean Chern Fong said. The cell has nearly symmetrical power generation capacity on both its surfaces.

“When deployed on a conventional solar farm, a bifacial cell absorbs direct incoming light, while also taking advantage of ground reflection, which can contribute up to additional 30% power generation,” Fong said. 

Dual sided solar cells capture reflected and direct sunlight simultaneously. Courtesy of ANU.
Dual-sided solar cells capture reflected and direct sunlight simultaneously. Courtesy of ANU.
The team used specific laser doping technology to fabricate the cells. “Laser doping uses lasers to locally increase electrical conductivity,” chief investigator Marco Ernst said. “It is a low-cost industry-compatible process for boosting solar cell efficiency.”

This allowed the research team to achieve a front conversion efficiency of 24.3%, representing a bifacial factor of 96.3%. This performance represents an effective power output of approximately 29%, which exceeds the performance of the best single-sided solar cell. The results have been independently verified by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

“This is a world record for selectively laser doped solar cells and among the highest efficiency bifacial solar cells,” Ernst said.

Bifacial solar cells are are expected to have a market share of over 50% in the next five years.

This work has been supported by the Australian government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP). 

Photonics.com
Aug 2021
Research & Technologysolarbifacial solar cellsphotovoltaicslaser dopingsiliconfabricationrecordefficiencyhigh efficiencyhighly efficientworld recordnew recordAustralian National University

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