The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), using Aerosol Jet printing equipment developed by Optomec, has achieved over 20% efficiency on solar cells when combined with Light Induced Plating (LIP) and Annealing. The results were presented at the Crystal Clear “Workshop on Metallization for Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells” on 1 October 2008.
The more narrow and higher integrity collector lines by Aerosol have higher conductivity and a lower shadowing effect, which all leads to an increased cell efficiency. In addition, since the process is non-contact, the Aerosol system can print on thinner wafers with less breakage than screen-printing.
The Fraunhofer study states, “So far, the front side metallization holds the main potential for a further increase in cell efficiency. The main targets are the reduction of the metalized area to reduce shading losses, a low contact resistivity to a lowly doped emitter, and a high line conductivity to transport the current as loss-free as possible out of the cell. The cells fabricated in this work combine the advantages of a new advanced front side metallization with an already established rear contact process, which are both industrially feasible. The front side grid was aerosol jet printed and light induced plated achieving line widths below 45 micron. On solar cells with an 110V/sq emitter record cell efficiencies of 20.3% were measured. In fact in a recent work, Fraunhofer ISE has found that the optical width of an aerosol jet printed and plated contact embedded in a module is only 43% of its geometrical width further reducing fill factor and providing increased cell/module efficiencies.”
The study also highlights that the shape of the collector lines supports the reflection of light back onto the solar cell. The study states, “In fact in a recent work, we have found that the optical width of an aerosol [jet]-printed and plated contact embedded in a module is only 43% of its geometrical width.”
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