Discovery of a new technique which can improve the efficiency of lower-grade silicon used in the production of solar panels
WUXI, China, Feb. 18, 2014 -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (OTC: STPFQ) (the "Company" or "Suntech") today welcomed the January 20th announcement that Suntech's Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Professor Stuart Wenham, was awarded the prestigious Institution of Engineering and Technology's (IET) A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize of 300,000 pounds for Professor Wenham and his team's discovery of a new technique which can improve the efficiency of lower-grade silicon used in the production of solar panels.
"The advanced hydrogenation technology, developed collaboratively with Suntech, will allow lower-quality silicon to outperform solar cells made from better quality materials, producing higher efficiencies at significantly lower cost," said Professor Wenham, Suntech's CTO and Scientia Professor of the School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW Australia.
"It is a great honor to receive the A F Harvey Engineering Prize and the international recognition that it brings to this important innovation. The prize money will go a long way to helping us take the research to the next stage," said Professor Wenham.
"Our UNSW team is now working with the world's biggest solar manufacturers, like Suntech, through collaborative agreements with NewSouth Innovations to commercialize this low-cost technology," said Professor Wenham, who acknowledged the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's funding support for the project, which is expected to be completed in 2016.
Hydrogenation technology, which Professor Wenham's team has researched, enables the manipulation of hydrogen atoms within a silicon solar cell to eliminate the effect of impurities on the efficiency of the cell. By neutralizing impurities within the cell, lower grade silicon can function like more expensive, higher grade silicon, resulting in an efficiency boost and cost reduction.
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (OTC: STPFQ), through its international subsidiaries, has delivered more than 25,000,000 photovoltaic panels to over a thousand customers in more than 80 countries. Suntech's pioneering R&D creates customer-centric innovations that are designed to drive solar to grid parity against fossil fuels. Suntech's mission is to provide everyone with reliable access to nature's cleanest and most abundant energy source.
About UNSW's School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE)
SPREE is internationally recognized for its research in the area of photovoltaics and other solar and renewable energy technologies. The bulk of SPREE's research is carried out under the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence, the U.S.-Australia Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics and the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, all based at UNSW. SPREE was the first organization internationally to offer undergraduate training in Photovoltaics and Solar Energy, and has extended its educational programs to include postgraduate and research training. SPREE is also a major participant in the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.
About UNSW Australia
UNSW is one of the world's top 100 universities. It is the only research-intensive university in Australia established with a scientific, technological and professional focus.