Aurora Solar Technologies Inc. (“Aurora“) (“Company“) (TSX.V:ACU) (OTCBB:AACTF) (FSE:A82) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Collaborative Research Agreement (CRA) with the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS). SERIS is a top-tier applied research institute and has close ties with solar product manufacturers throughout Asia. The purpose of Aurora’s joint research with SERIS is to advance the infrared reflection and transmission measurement techniques commercially pioneered in the DecimaTM family of products. The Company expects that this will lead to several new commercial applications for the Decima products in solar cell production and will also create opportunities in the growing R&D market for solar cell design and qualification. Under a separate purchase agreement, Aurora will supply SERIS with its latest Decima infrared measurement system, which will be used to characterize the advanced solar cells developed by SERIS.
In January, the Company announced a cooperative project with SERIS on extending the Decima measurement capabilities to include heterojunction (HJ) solar cell manufacturing. HJ technology is a high-efficiency solar cell design that is rapidly being adopted in the industry. This project is already bearing fruit with several solar cell manufacturers expressing interest in evaluating Aurora’s HJ capabilities. Now, with the signing of this CRA, Aurora is joining major cell manufacturers and production equipment makers who are working with SERIS to define and realize the next generation of solar cells, modules and manufacturing technologies as the industry continues growing at over 30 percent per year.
The CRA research is focused on a number of solar cell properties that are critical to quality and performance, such as emitter surface concentration and junction depth that cannot practically be measured in production. Even laboratory testing of these properties is time-consuming and expensive, and in some cases there is no practical way to directly measure the properties at all. However, both Aurora and SERIS anticipate that investigation and further refinement of IR characterization technology can lead to the means to rapidly and easily measure these properties in both volume production and laboratory applications. Realization of these capabilities can have the potential to allow solar cell manufacturers to more quickly and effectively qualify new cell designs, ramp up production lines and control variations in production.
“We have established a strong industry presence with a superior product and increasing orders. This important collaboration will now build on this by combining SERIS’ research resources and broad industry contacts with our Decima IR technology base and commercial capabilities. This will enable us to expand our technology capabilities and customer base to meet the continuous demands for more efficient cell designs and process improvements in this explosive global industry,” said Gordon Deans, Aurora’s Chief Operating Officer.
“We are pleased to be increasing the depth and breadth of our relationship with Aurora,” said Dr. Armin Aberle, SERIS’ CEO. “In our work to advance the state of the art in the solar energy industry, SERIS works closely with numerous manufacturers and production equipment vendors. We expect that our work with Aurora will make a strong contribution to this industry development.”