Cheaper solar cells on the horizon

SINTEF has been coordinating the three-year European project “FoXy: Development of solargrade silicon feedstock for crystalline wafers and cells by purification and crystallisation”.

Together with 10 other participants from several countries the research team has been trying to produce a “good-enough” grade of silicon for solar cells. In the course of a number of sub-projects and work packages, the scientists have succeeded in developing a new, cheaper type of solar cell that displays improved resistance to damage than current cell types.

Modules that incorporate new ways of assembling solar cells have also been developed. These modules are more compact, enabling more cells to be packed into a given area with a reduced risk of technical faults. In full-scale tests, the scientists have shown that the new solar cell module generates as much electricity as a normal solar cell.