A breakthrough that makes solar panels better than ever

4 May 2023 – Solar energy is the cheapest and most accessible form of energy. Now, it will be more efficient than ever. Scientists from a Chinese solar technology company have developed a new type of solar cell that could be a game-changer in the world’s transition towards renewable energy. Advanced modelling, performed by researchers at TU Delft, played a pivotal role deep understanding and engineering of the innovation. The new solar cell is made of the same material as 95 % of all current solar cells but performs much better at 26.81 % efficiency. The innovation further cements the crucial role of solar cells in the energy transition. Research results are published today in Nature Energy.
The report on this breakthrough is the result of a unique international collaboration between LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd, – one of the global leading producers of solar cells of the highest quality – together with Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The team optimized the design of the solar cell by using a much improved ‘nanocrystalline-silicon hole contact layer’. Such a new layer has been known as a theoretical possibility for quite some time, but it was never successfully put into practice.
The new layer can transfer electricity with far less resistance and results in a higher power conversion efficiency than any other type of solar cell made from crystalline silicon. Researchers at LONGi developed this new technology on standard, industry-grade silicon wafers, making the technology almost immediately applicable in the production of solar panels.

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