World solar PV breakthrough from UNSW – homegrown awesomeness
I have a particular affinity with the University of New South Wales and this story made me smile with joy. The awesome nerds at the School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW have managed to get a load more efficiency from what is considered low-grade silicon with more defects and contaminants.
Doing something that I admit I don’t understand, they have managed to introduce hydrogen into atomic structure of silicon. And in doing so have managed to correct the defects within the silicon. Wow.
“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 things like defects and contaminants, making these inactive,” says Scientia Professor Stuart Wenham. I don’t know what that means but awesome.
They have managed to push the efficiency of standard commercial silicon cells from 19% between 21% and 23%. Doesn’t sounds like much but in the world of PV that’s huge.
And the double bonus. It means that high efficiency PV can now be made with standard commercial silicon, further driving down the cost of PV.
Go you awesome nerds.