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Environmental technology and conservation of energy

Imec extends collaboration with Total
on next generation silicon solar cells

Nanoelectronics research centre imec and global energy company Total, announced today that they have extended their collaboration to significantly increase the energy output of PV panels. Imec's industrial affiliation program (IIAP) on next-generation crystalline silicon solar cells is a multi-partner R&D program concentrating on further increasing the conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells and modules, while at the same time reducing industrial manufacturing cost.

Total joined imec's industrial affiliation program (IIAP) on next-generation crystalline silicon solar cells in 2009, which is a multi-partner R&D program bringing together companies along the value chain of solar cell manufacturing. Within this framework, researchers from Total collaborate with the solar R&D team at imec, including imec experts, solar cell manufacturers, material and equipment suppliers, and academia. Future R&D will build upon research breakthroughs achieved in the previous collaboration, such as 22.5% large area two-side contacted n-type PERT solar cells. Imec and Total will continue with the development of advanced cell architectures aiming at +23% bifacial n-type cells, novel low-cost module interconnection concepts, smart modules and techniques to more accurately predict the energy production from solar cell modules under varying weather conditions. With this, the partners aim to significantly increase the energy output of PV panels, in this way bringing the cost of electricity from solar further down.

"I am pleased that Total has extended its partnership to imec's R&D program on silicon solar cells and am looking forward to building upon the work we have done thus far," said Rudi Cartuyvels, executive vice president of smart systems and energy technology at imec. "Investing in R&D and innovation, is crucial for companies to prepare for the future and to stay ahead of the competition in a challenging environment such as the PV market. Total's commitment confirms the leading positions of imec's PV research in the global PV and energy market."

Fopr further information, view website: www.imec.co.uk

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