Infoscience

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Manufacturing 100-mu m-thick silicon solar cells with efficiencies greater than 20% in a pilot production line

Reducing wafer thickness while increasing power conversion efficiency is the most effective way to reduce cost per Watt of a silicon photovoltaic module. Within the European project 20 percent efficiency on less than 100-mu m-thick, industrially feasible crystalline silicon solar cells ("20pl mu s"), we study the whole process chain for thin wafers, from wafering to module integration and life-cycle analysis. We investigate three different solar cell fabrication routes, categorized according to the temperature of the junction formation process and the wafer doping type: p-type silicon high temperature, n-type silicon high temperature and n-type silicon low temperature. For each route, an efficiency of 19.5% or greater is achieved on wafers less than 100 mu m thick, with a maximum efficiency of 21.1% on an 80-mu m-thick wafer. The n-type high temperature route is then transferred to a pilot production line, and a median solar cell efficiency of 20.0% is demonstrated on 100-mu m-thick wafers. (C) 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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