ANU builds on R&D reputation in joint development of IBC solar cell with Trina

In a joint effort with Chinese PV giant Trina Solar, Australian National University has helped to achieve a new “milestone” in solar research, with the development of a new high-efficiency solar cell.

In an announcement on Tuesday, Trina said the laboratory-scale Interdigitated Back Contact (“IBC”) solar cell had been independently tested to deliver an efficiency of 24.4%, putting it in the league of the most efficient solar cells to date.

The technology – which allows the surface facing the sun to be uniformly black, improving appearance and increasing electricity uptake – is the product of two years’ research at the ANU Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems.

The world-class R&D facility is already well known for its development of Sliver solar cells and hybrid PV/thermal parabolic trough concentrator systems. This latest achievement cements the role of the ANU, and Australia, as leaders in solar innovation.

Trina Solar – who posted a positive set of FY 2013 results on Tuesday, with a 36.9 per cent increase in total net revenues on the previous corresponding period to $1.77 billion – says it will now turn its attention to developing a commercial version of the IBC solar cell, as well as an IBC PV module.

The Chinese PV giant says a 125mm by 125mm commercial cell has already reached an efficiency greater than 22 per cent, and 238W for an IBC PV module (based on 72 cells) – both of which have been independently tested. It expects the solar cell to be ready for industrialised mass production soon.

(Editor’s note: Solar Choice analyst Nitin Nampalli also wrote about the technical details of Trina’s IBC cells earlier this week.)

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd