Adapting conventional tabbing- stringing technology for back-contact solar cells and modules


By Tom Borgers, Si PV Group, IMEC; Jonathan Govaerts, Si PV Group, IMEC; Arvid van der Heide, Development and Research, Soltech; Stefan Dewallef, Engineer, Soltech; Ivan Gordon, Si PV Group Leader, IMEC; Jozef Szlufcik, PV Department Director and Si PV Programme Manager, IMEC; Jef Poortmans, Director of the Solar and Organic Technologies Department, IMEC

In anticipation of the expected increase in the use of back-contact cells in future PV modules, a number of different concepts have been proposed. This paper focuses on one approach that aims to stay close to conventional solder-based technology (tabbing - stringing) while still allowing the use of back-contact cells (which have more complex back-side metallization schemes). The advantages and disadvantages of such an approach are discussed, and the development of this technology is described in terms of process flow, materials, characterization and reliability.

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Looking back, 2014 was a year of convalescence for a PV industry still battered and bruised from a period of ferocious competition. End-market demand continued apace, with analysts towards the end of 2014 predicting the year would see between around 45 and 50GW of deployment. That has begun to feed through to the supplier end of the market, with all the main manufacturers announcing capacity expansions in 2015 and further ahead.

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