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US firms team up with China’s YHCC to develop aluminium solar paste

Chinese company Sichuan Yinhe Chemicals and US tech firms APNT and Solexel signs R&D deal for metallic paste set to boost solar cell efficiency

PV panel
The PV paste aims to achieve solar cell efficiency of more than 22 per cent

Two US technology firms have teamed up with China's Sichuan Yinhe Chemicals (YHCC) to develop and commericalise a metallisation paste to boost solar cell efficiency.

The joint R&D and strategic cooperation agreement has seen US firm Applied Nanotech (APNT) and US solar manufacturer Solexel join up with Chinese chemicals company YHCC to develop and commercialise an aluminium solar paste. The PV paste aims to achieve solar cell efficiency of more than 22 per cent.

Mr Xianrong Li, chairman of YHCC said the company will manufacture the paste. APNT will be responsible for the research and development of the metallic paste technology, while Solexel will utilise YHCC's paste based on some of APNT's product technology.

Dr. Zvi Yaniv, CEO of Applied Nanotech, said working with the companies has the potential to "revolutionise" the solar industry.

He said: "It is ideal for us to work with partners, like Solexel and YHCC - companies that combine outstanding technology with the potential to revolutionise the solar industry in the near future, and bring extensive experience in high volume manufacturing as well. We will continue to improve our aluminium metallisation material under this agreement and expect to achieve even higher efficiencies with Solexel in the future."

The deal follows on from APNT signing a license agreement with YHCC in July 2011. The agreement gave the Chinese company exclusive worldwide rights to its solar ink and paste technology for silicon-based solar cells.

The agreement between APNT, Solexel and YHCC has been made to develop and commercialise APNT's proprietary aluminium paste. Using the paste aims to achieve an efficiency of over 22 per cent in Solexel's thin silicon solar cells.

Solexel has this year achieved 20.62 per cent and recently over 21 per cent efficiency for its solar cells. Both achievements were made utilising APNT's aluminium metallisation material.