Pioneering research at The Australian National University Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSES) led to the creation of SLIVER cell technology, which Transform Solar is now commercialising. During this process, the ANU will work in close collaboration with Transform Solar to make significant improvements in key technology areas to further reduce manufacturing costs and increase the efficiency of SLIVER cells. This will further improve the competitiveness of SLIVER technology.
SLIVER technology is used to manufacture thin crystalline silicon-based solar cells and modules with substantial decreases in both silicon material and cell manufacturing costs. It has the potential to produce the lowest cost crystalline silicon modules on the market. The technology is the subject of a major commercialisation effort by Transform Solar, a joint venture between Origin Energy and Micron Technology.
The project aims to further improve the cost competitiveness of SLIVER technologies, through simplification ofthe cell fabrication process and further improvements to the cell conversion
The project will make extensive use of the advanced manufacturing and characterisation equipment purchased with an ASI Foundation grant, which has raised the level of versatility, sophistication, and compatibility with industrial processes of the ANU photovoltaics (PV) facilities to the level required for this project.
Key equipment includes dry and wet lasers, an automated furnace capable of processing 150mm diameter wafers and solar cell characterisation equipment. Successful completion of the project will contribute substantially towards ensuring that aggressive cost reduction targets for SLIVER technology are met, allowing it to capture a significant share of the PV market.
Fact sheet: Next generation SLIVER solar cells (PDF 272KB)