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Solar research partnership in Australia

Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Silex Solar will research advanced technology to further improve the power conversion efficiencies of crystalline silicon solar cells.

The three-year collaborative solar research project has received an A$5 million grant from the Australian Solar Institute (ASI).

In addition to the solar research grant from the ASI, both Silex Solar and Suntech will contribute more than A$6m in direct funding and in-kind research resources over the next three years to support research operations.

The research project will focus on the development of advanced solar cell device designs and high volume cell manufacturing processes to achieve significant performance improvements and cost reduction breakthroughs. The research is expected to complement Suntech's development of high- efficiency Pluto technology.

Dr Stuart Wenham, Chief Technology Officer for Suntech and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Silicon Photovoltaics and Photonics at UNSW, says: "Our goal, by the end of this project, is to drive solar electricity generation past grid parity against retail electricity prices in more than 50% of the world's markets."

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity