PVI Issue

Photovoltaics International Volume 30

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With PV supply and demand finding equilibrium once again, manufacturers are turning their attention to the next big question they must face: what their technology of choice will be for the next round of production expansions they are planning, announcements of which are now coming thick and fast. In this issue of Photovoltaics International we feature an exclusive preview of research undertaken by Finlay Colville, head of our new Solar Intelligence activities. Colville will be publishing a full report on next-generation cell technologies in the new year, ahead of the PVCellTech event we will be hosting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in March 2016. Together the report and event promise to bring some much-needed focus to the debate around cell technology evolution, which is happening against the backdrop of break-neck growth in the solar industry worldwide.

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In this issue...

PVI Paper
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
The solar industry is going through the final stages of correcting its supply–demand imbalance, with the decision-making on technology choice for the next generation of GW-scale factory expansions becoming a key strategic issue for leading manufacturers. In contrast to previous capacity expansion phases – where new entrants largely copied known process flows and technology types – the next round of technology additions is seeing a broader range of influences, indicative of a new type of technology roadmap unfolding for the industry as a whole.
PVI Paper
Photovoltaics International Papers, PV Modules
The backsheet is the first barrier for ensuring the reliability and durability of PV modules for 25+ years. To reduce cost, backsheets with a variety of compositions and constructions have been developed and introduced in PV modules. For PV module manufacturers, a major challenge is choosing a low-cost backsheet that can maintain the current levels of high reliability and durability performance. In the work reported in this paper, the properties of several backsheets of various compositions and constructions were compared.
PVI Paper
Photovoltaics International Papers, PV Modules
This paper demonstrates that the future of the lowest-cost electricity generation from PV is not all about increasing cell and module efficiencies and minimizing cost/Wp, but rather squeezing the best out of a system using a few simple tricks, such as bifaciality, tracking and ground reflection improvements, to achieve the lowest cost/kWh.
PVI Paper
Photovoltaics International Papers, Thin Film
A critical failure mechanism for PV modules is the degradation in performance as a result of exposure to temperature and humidity. In the case of flexible PV modules, moisture-induced damage becomes a greater concern, since the moisture resistance of barriers and polymer packaging is expected to be lower than that for conventional glass–glass PV products. The work presented here is aimed at establishing, through the use of accelerated testing, the field lifetime of flexible PV modules with regard to moisture-induced degradation.
PVI Paper
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
Silicon heterojunction solar cells demonstrate key advantages of high conversion efficiency, maximum field performance and simplicity of processing. The dedicated materials, processes and technologies used for the metallization and interconnection of this type of cell are reviewed in this paper.
PVI Paper
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
This paper summarizes the status and potential of screen-printing technology, and describes the results and thoughts of ISC Konstanz relating to the present and future of metallization technology.
PVI Paper
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
Passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology has been forecast to become mainstream in the next few years, gaining around a 30% market share. This paper presents a novel PERC solar cell design in which a screen-printed rear aluminium (Al) finger grid is used instead of the conventional full-area Al rear layer, while implementing the same PERC manufacturing sequence. This novel cell concept, called ‘PERC+’, offers several advantages over PERC, explored in the paper.
PVI Paper
Materials, Photovoltaics International Papers
With the transition of the cell structure from aluminium back-surface field (Al-BSF) to passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC), the efficiency of multicrystalline silicon solar cells becomes more and more sensitive to variations in electrical material quality. Moreover, the variety of multicrystalline materials has increased with the introduction of high-performance multicrystalline silicon. For these reasons, a reliable and verifiable assessment of the electrical material quality of multicrystalline wafers gains importance: to this end, a rating procedure based on photoluminescence imaging has been developed.
PVI Paper
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
This report focuses on expansion announcements in the third quarter of 2015, which was expected to be the low point in new capacity expansion announcements. Momentum seen during the first half of the year, however, carried through, and so a full nine-month analysis is also provided, to further characterize developments in 2015.

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