PLANT PV launches ‘Silver-on-Aluminum’ paste with a 1% power output gain for c-Si solar cells

PLANT PV, has introduced its first major product to enable significant improvements in conventional solar cell power output. PLANT PV’s new ‘Silver-on-Aluminum’ paste is designed for easy implementation with no added investment cost for cell producers and is claimed to lead to a 1% increase in relative power output for c-Si solar cells. The company, which was incubated out of the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will present its Ag-on-Al paste concept and test results at the SNEC 11th International PV Power Generation Conference in Shanghai, China.

Singulus ‘GENERIS’ PVD system produces heterojunction cells above 22% conversion efficiencies

Singulus Technologies has launched its new ‘GENERIS’ PVD inline sputtering system for heterojunction (HJ) solar cells. The system is suited for challenging transparent conductive oxides (TCO) layers like ITO and AZO hat can produce HJ cells with conversion efficiencies of more than 22%, as well as reduce manufacturing costs. New system will be presented at SNEC 2017 in Shanghai, China.

Material choice matters for durable, high-efficiency PV modules

PV encapsulant films are crucial in the protection and long-term functionality of solar collection cells in PV modules. Dow's Andrew Yen discusses how choosing an alternative to EVA can lead to greater performance, improved yield and happier asset owners.

Yingli Green expects volume production of N-PERT IBC cells in 2018

China-based PV manufacturer Yingli Green Energy and industrial technology partners, Dutch research centre ECN and equipment manufacturer Tempress, a subsidiary of Amtech Systems have fabricated their first IBC (Interdigitated Back Contact) n-type solar cells on 6-inch monocrystalline wafers at the manufacturer's pilot line in China.

LONGi is the fastest growing PV manufacturer in the industry

Leading fully-integrated high-efficiency monocrystalline module manufacturer LONGi Green Energy Technology recently reported record total shipments and revenue for 2016, making it the fastest growing PV manufacturer in the industry.

Innovation for optical, electrical and economic improvement of thin-film PV technology

Innovation in the field of thin-film cells, in addition to economy of scale and the manufacturing learning curve, is an important element in keeping the price of this technology competitive. Most papers on these cells focus on their technology; however, the economic potential of the technology is also important. Of even greater significance, a realistic estimation of the potential, along with the associated costs, of advanced technology, is part of the equation for profitability. Two examples of technology – metallic grids and texturing – are given in this paper; the designs are discussed, and a brief economic analysis is presented for various scenarios of the technologies. Although the profitability of these technologies can be considerable, it is shown that one should be wary of basing decisions purely on potential and on ideal scenarios, and how the cost of a technology can turn a great prospect into a trade-off.

Technical progress in high-efficiency solar cells and modules

This paper focuses on the technical progress of high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells and modules, specifically with regard to passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) processes, module description and light induced degradation (LID) data. Through appropriate optimizations of the solar cell and module processes, the cell efficiency achieved in mass production is 21.3%, with module power exceeding 300W. To solve the LID problem, hydrogenation technology developed by UNSW is used, bringing the cell LID rate down to below 1%.

PV manufacturing capacity expansion plans in 2016 exceeded 55GW

In this quarterly report on global PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements we will provide a detailed analysis of 2016. Despite a significant slowdown in new announcements in the second half of the year, 2016 surpassed 2015 by around 16% to exceed a total of 55GW of thin-film, dedicated solar cell and module assembly and integrated PV expansion plans.

Progress in co-plating contacts for bifacial cells designed for multi-wire interconnection

For many applications, bifacial modules offer a cost-effective way of increasing energy yields, which explains why the interest in bifacial cells in the PV industry is steadily growing and is expected to continue. However, the metallization of bifacial cells creates new challenges, as the same materials and techniques developed for n surfaces are generally not directly, or simultaneously, applicable to p surfaces; this necessitates sequential metallization of each side, resulting in added cost and/or complexity. This paper introduces a simple co-plating approach with the objective of simplifying the metallization of bifacial cells in a cost-effective way, and which is designed for multi-wire module integration. The metallization route is described, and high cell efficiencies of up to 22.4% are demonstrated using this co-plating approach with bifacial nPERT+ cells (where ‘+’ signifies the bifacial nature of these cells). Initial thermal-cycling reliability data of test structures and 1-cell laminates is presented. Finally, cost-of-ownership (COO) estimates are given, which predict the co-plating approach to be ~40% cheaper than bifacial screen-printed metallization. It is shown that the combination of the high efficiency potential of nPERT+ cells and the reduced costs of co-plating has the potential to deliver module-level costs of ~$0.25/Wpe (glass–glass configuration).

19.31%-efficient multicrystalline silicon solar cells using MCCE black silicon technology

A novel nanoscale pseudo-pit texture has been formed on the surface of a multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) wafer by using a metal-catalysed chemical etching (MCCE) technique and an additional chemical treatment. A desirable nanoscale inverted-pyramid texture was created by optimizing the recipe of the MCCE solution and using a proprietary in-house chemical post-treatment; the depth and width of the inverted pyramid was adjustable within a 100–900nm range. MCCE black mc-Si solar cells with an average efficiency of 18.90% have been fabricated on CSI’s industrial production line, equating to an efficiency gain of ~0.4%abs. at the cell level. A maximum cell efficiency of 19.31% was achieved.

SolarWorld isn’t all mono yet!

Dedicated monocrystalline integrated PV module manufacturer SolarWorld believes 2017 is a transitional year for the company after announcing a switch to monocrystalline production at the expense of multicrystalline and a full-migration to PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) technology as ASP declines in the second-half of 2016 forced a major manufacturing rethink.

Canadian Solar placing major bet on next-gen p-type multi cell technology

In defiance of a significant trend by a growing number of leading PV manufacturers to either completely replace P-type multi c-Si cell technology with P-type mono c-Si with PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Contact) technology, or hedge their bets and do PERC on both wafer substrates, Silicon Module Super League member Canadian Solar is placing a potentially risky bet on pushing ahead with the migration to P-type multi c-Si PERC cell technology using diamond wire saw (DWS) and ‘Black Silicon’ texturing under its ‘ONYX’ cell branding.