Researchers at Australian National University claim to have produced a more efficient type of solar cell using laser processing. The cell produced is supposedly a true bifacial solar cell with a nearly symmetrical power generation capacity on both surfaces of the device.
The research team claims to have set a new world record in the process by achieving a power output of approximately 29%, exceeding the performance of single-sided silicon solar cells. Laser-doping allowed the research team to achieve a front conversion efficiency of 24.3% and a rear conversion efficiency of 23.4%, representing a bifacial factor of 96.3%.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has independently verified the results.
Principal Investigator Dr. Kean Chern Fong said the so-called bifacial solar cells easily beat the performance of single-sided silicon solar cells.
“We have developed what I would call a true bifacial solar cell, as it has nearly symmetrical power generation capacity on both surfaces of the device,” Dr. Fong said.
“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 an additional 30% power generation. Bifacial solar cells are becoming increasingly important in the roll-out of solar farms and are expected to have a market share of over 50 percent in the next five years. Our work demonstrates the incredible capabilities of this technology,” he said.
The team used specific laser doping technology to fabricate the cells.
“Laser-doping uses lasers to increase electrical conductivity locally,” said Chief Investigator Dr. Marco Ernst. “It is a low-cost, industry-compatible process for boosting solar cell efficiency.”
This performance represents an effective power output of approximately 29%, well exceeding the performance of the best single-sided silicon solar cell.
“This is a world record for selectively laser-doped solar cells and among the highest efficiency bifacial solar cells,” Dr. Ernst said.
The Australian Government has supported this work through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics.
Earlier, Researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin claimed that they had developed an illumination model for deploying bifacial solar modules for large-scale solar projects, decreasing the levelized cost of electricity for large-scale solar projects.
In July 2020, researchers at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore claimed that bifacial solar modules that track the sun produced 35% more energy than regular modules and could help achieve some of the lowest levelized costs of electricity in the world.
Image credit: Eric Byler/Australian National University
Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.