Belgian nanoelectronics research centre imec and Kyocera Corporation announced today that Kyocera, the Japanese high-tech electronics company and manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) cells, modules and systems, has joined imec’s industrial affiliation program (IIAP) to advance next-generation crystalline silicon solar cells.
This multi-partner R&D program aims at increasing the efficiency of solar cells and modules while at the same time lowering the cost for solar energy. This is done through the development of innovative industry-relevant solutions on different crystalline silicon solar cell technology platforms with improved efficiencies ranging from 22.5% to 25%.
The IIAP creates a research ecosystem for accelerating the development of intellectual property, sharing R&D resources and risks, providing companies a cost-effective way to extend their research and product development capabilities. Researchers from energy companies, solar cell manufacturers and material and equipment suppliers collaborate with imec’s solar experts on developing advanced processes and testing them on imec’s semi-industrial pre-pilot line. Covering the complete solar cell value chain, imec’s industrial affiliation program provides essential information to help its partners make the right R&D choices to innovate their solar cell technologies, supporting them to maintain a competitive positioning in the solar cell market.
“We are excited that Kyocera, a powerhouse in the solar manufacturing business, has joined our research program. The commitment from Kyocera is a confirmation of the significance of our solar cell research for the global PV market,” said Luc Van den hove, president and CEO at imec. “It is my strongest conviction that only by investing in R&D and innovation, companies can prepare for the future and stay ahead of the competition in a challenging environment such as the PV market.”
“By collaborating with imec and its partners, we hope to further advance silicon photovoltaic cell technologies in order to make solar energy more accessible and usable for society,” stated Nobuo Kitamura, senior executive officer and general manager of the Corporate Solar Energy Group at Kyocera Corporation. “As a pioneer of solar energy with over four decades of experience, Kyocera remains committed to promoting the further use of solar power generation and we believe that the IIAP provides us with these opportunities by bringing together the expertise from leaders in the industry.”