REC Solar and UNSW partner to improve hydrogen passivation process

Norwegian solar company Renewable Energy Corporation ASA (REC) has partnered with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia to develop an improved hydrogen passivation process that was first discovered at UNSW.
Standard multicrystalline silicon cells currently have a maximum efficiency of around 17.5% to 18%, but according to Professor Stuart Wenham, the new technique, patented by his UNSW team, is expected to produce efficiencies of between 19% and 20% once fully developed. The new technique involves controlling the charge state of hydrogen atoms in silicon, thereby increasing its ability to generate electricity.
»We have seen a 10,000 times improvement in the mobility of the hydrogen and we can control the hydrogen so it chemically bonds to defects and contaminants, making these inactive,« he said. This improves the quality of the silicon, which in turn translates into higher cell efficiency.
For it’s part, REC says it is excited by the opportunity to collaborate with UNSW. REC President and CEO Øyvind Hasaas said: »By combining UNSW’s breakthrough technology with our strong background knowledge of multicrystalline silicon wafers and solar cells, we expect to be able to speed up the development of this new technology.«

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