AkzoNobel and SERIS will investigate how to respond to the photovoltaic industry’s desire to reduce the costs involved in moving towards more efficient cell architectures. More importantly, the collaboration reflects the growing expectation that the photovoltaic industry will move towards higher efficiency silicon wafer solar cell architectures.
"Solar cell manufacturers are constantly balancing cost and performance," said Alberto Allegro, global business director for AkzoNobel's HPMO business. 1 "As a major supplier of some of the key raw materials involved, we're eager to look into how we can work with SERIS to keep improving solar cell efficiency."
Dr Bram Hoex, director of the silicon materials and cells cluster at SERIS, agreed, citing AkzoNobel's significant knowledge in this field. "Together with SERIS we will identify how to best reduce the total cost of ownership of solar power," Dr Hoex explained. "In particular, the partnership aims to explore how to produce more cost-efficient metalorganic precursor grades that will offer the kind of long-term benefits the industry is looking for."
According to the partners, the new precursors should offer an attractive alternative to the current commercially available metalorganics, which are designed for applications other than high-efficiency silicon wafer solar cells.
The collaboration between SERIS and AkzoNobel marks a continuation of solar cell research in Singapore. In 2010, Fraunhofer ISE, VDE and SERIS opened a PV testing and certification centre.
- The company's High Purity Metalorganics (HPMO) business is a leading supplier of electronic materials to the semiconductor and solar industries.