By Radovan Kopecek, Joris Libal, Andreas Halm, Haifeng Chu, Giuseppe Galbiati, Valentin D. Mihailetchi, Jens Theobald & Andreas Schneider, International Solar Energy Research Center (ISC) Konstanz, Germany
The back-contact (BC) technology currently available on the market is considered to be either highly efficient but extremely expensive (interdigitated back contact – IBC – from SunPower) or, if cost-effective, not very
efficient (metal wrap-through – MWT) compared with what is becoming today’s new standard: passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) technology. Something in between, such as low-cost, high-efficiency IBC cells
and modules, would therefore be desirable. This paper briefly describes the past, focuses on the present, and forecasts the possible future developments of BC technology in respect of efficiencies, costs and applications.