During the EU PVSEC event in Valencia, imec will present several large-area silicon solar cells with conversion efficiency above 19%. The two main types of cells exhibited comprise Ag-screen-printed contacts which were up to 19.1% and plated Cu-contacts which obtained 19.4%. The results were achieved on large-area cells (148cm2) with 170µm thickness, demonstrating the industrial viability of the process.
“The fact that such efficiencies can be obtained by metallization schemes based on screen-printed Ag contacts enables compatibility with present industrial metallization practice in the solar cell industry. The Cu-based front-side metallization is a step towards higher sustainability and lower cost, substituting Ag with Cu in future industrial production of crystalline silicon solar cells;” said Dr. Joachim John, team manager of industrial solar cells at imec. “These exciting results were obtained in the new solar cell process facilities recently set up in imec.”
“High efficiency, low cost, and sustainability are the main drivers in imec’s research on crystalline silicon solar cells, eventually targeting cells that are only 40µm thick with efficiencies above 20. We expect further improvements towards efficiencies of up to 20% for large-area silicon solar cells. This achievement is a major step forward towards industrial manufacturing of sustainable, low-cost, thin silicon solar cells with high efficiency,” said Dr. Jef Poortmans, director of imec energy and solar program.
The results were achieved within imec’s silicon solar cell industrial affiliation program (IIAP), a multi-partner R&D program that explores and develops advanced process technologies alongside reduced silicon usage, whilst increasing cell efficiency and further lowering the cost per watt peak.
imec’s record efficiency silicon solar cells feature rear-side passivation, laser ablation and, local aluminum back-side field and screen-printed contacts or Cu-plated contacts on advanced emitter schemes.
imec is exhibiting on Level 2, Hall 3, Booth A1.