Dr Ralf Preu and his team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems have won an innovation award worth €10,000 at the AKL International Laser Technology Congress taking place in Aachen, Germany from 7-9 May.
The award was presented to Dr Preu for his work on Laser Fired Contact (LFC) technology for the production of highly efficient silicon solar cells. Dr Preu was voted the winner from three selected finalists and a total of 23 submitted applications.
By the use of the LFC process, the team set several technological world records, including an efficiency of 19.5 per cent for a large area multi-crystalline silicon solar cell and 18.5 per cent for a standard sized module.
Approximately 1 million photovoltaic modules with Laser Fired Contacts have been produced and installed to date. The outstanding performance of these modules compared to standard technology has been confirmed in several field tests.
Dr Paul Hilton, part of the international jury comprised of nine experts, commented on the dedicated work of all three finalists and the outstanding innovations of the project teams in the field of laser technology.
Dr Ralf Preu has been awarded the title of AKL Fellow and ELI Fellow. The certificates for the first, second and third placed finalist teams were presented by Dr Ulrich Berners, president of the Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik AKL e.V. and Dr Paul Hilton, president of the European Laser Institute (ELI).
The Innovation Award Laser Technology is a European research prize awarded at two-yearly intervals by the associations Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik e.V. and the European Laser Institute (ELI). The award can be conferred on an individual researcher or on an entire project group, whose exceptional skills and dedicated work have led to an outstanding innovation in the field of laser technology.