The Sweden-based thin-film solar solutions company, Midsummer, was recently selected to participate in a research project to develop a highly efficient and stable Si/CIGS tandem solar cell that aims to achieve over 30% efficiency.
The project has secured funding of AUD 3.08 million (USD 2.07 million) from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) with a total project budget of AUD 11.55 million (USD 7.78 million).
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) will lead the project. Other participants are some of the world's leading solar panel manufacturers. Xiaojing Hao, a professor at the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, commented:
Midsummer's CEO Sven Lindström said that silicon and thin film are two mature, stable and proven technologies in the current solar space. Combining them to create tandem cells has the best conditions for rapid commercialization.
The project will use Midsummer's generic R&D machine UNO as the platform which enables automated research and long series of tests without supervision. The feature of using the same equipment and substrate size in research work as in production allows easy transfers for process improvements, cost-saving measures and more.
Utilizing Midsummer's R&D machine has proven to facilitate thin-film and tandem cell research. Last month, researchers at Prof. Yang Yang's Laboratory at the University of California had developed a four-terminal perovskite-CIGS tandem solar cell with the help of Midsummer's machine, reaching an efficiency of 24.9%.