History of PV technology and manufacturing to be explained in PV CellTech Extra fireside chat specials

By Finlay Colville
Solar cell efficiency records are being produced today by both R&D institutes and PV manufacturers and will form a key part of the forthcoming fireside chats at PV CellTech Extra. Image: LONGi Solar.

PV CellTech Extra is the new annual online PV cell technology and manufacturing platform, providing a review of the industry ahead of the full in-person, live, PV CellTech meeting in Berlin, Germany next March.

Over three days, from 11 to 13 October 2022, PV CellTech Extra features a host of invited industry presentations and webinars, looking at the key developments in the sector over the past few months.

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To launch the first PV CellTech Extra event, we have a special treat – the inclusion of two fireside chats that should turn out to be simply unmissable. This short article explains the scope of the two fireside chats, and the personnel involved.

From megawatt to terawatt: research, production equipment high-efficiency cells

Two fireside chats are going to take place during PV CellTech Extra, looking informally at the evolution of research breakthroughs, technology transfer activities and the role of production equipment suppliers.

On Day One (11 October 2022), I will be hosting a discussion with Martin Green and Pierre Verlinden titled: From R&D breakthrough to mass production reality: a historical perspective of PV technology & what to expect out to 2030.

This will look back over the past few decades and some of the key R&D breakthroughs that were pivotal in accelerating the performance of solar cells in mass production. Coming right up to date in 2022, there will also be a look out to 2030 and what the industry can look out for shortly.

On Day Two (12 October 2022), my next hosting privilege will be with Christian Buchner, Raymond de Munnik and Peter Wolf: From Megawatt lines to Gigawatt lines: the story of PV manufacturing equipment and supply-chains.

Here, we address the hugely important role equipment suppliers have had in enabling solar cell mass production with low cost, high yields and optimised efficiencies. The discussion will cover early cell production equipment, some of the thin-film offerings in the past, the move from multi to mono, the introduction of PERC and the push to TOPCon and heterojunction currently underway.

Collectively, both fireside chats should provide a highly enjoyable journey through time, as seen through the eyes of true experts in the field over the past several decades. Personally, I can’t wait to hear what everyone says, as we are going into the chats with pretty much an open book.

From a moderating standpoint, I am going to keep things very simple, as the PV industry is orders of magnitude larger today and many of the companies and people in the sector are new in the past decade or so. Also, interest in technology today is as topical with downstream stakeholders (developers, investors, O&Ms) as it is with cell manufacturers and R&D entities.

The presentations and chats at PV CellTech Extra will be available to listen to live or after at your leisure. Please follow the links here to register for the event and once you’ve heard the two fireside chats, please let us know if you enjoyed them!

11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.

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