Researchers from the Australian National University and Trina Solar Limited have jointly developed a new high-efficiency solar cell.

The laboratory-scale Interdigitated Back Contact cell was developed at the Australian National University Centre for Sustainable Energy System. The solar cell was independently tested by the Fraunhofer CalLab in Germany as being able to deliver an efficiency of 24.4%, putting it among the most efficient solar cells to date.

Professor Andrew Blakers, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at the ANU, said that "The ANU has been working to develop highly efficient back contact silicon solar cells, which have both positive and negative metallic contacts on the rear surface. That allows the surface facing the sun to be uniformly black, without the metal electrodes present on most solar cells. The back contact cell structure enables the end user to gain more electricity per unit area and a more favourable appearance."

Trina Solar is now developing a commercial version of the IBC solar cell as well as an IBC PV module. The commercial cell has already reached an efficiency greater than 22%.