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Back-contacted high-efficiency silicon solar cells - opportunities for low-cost metallization and cell interconnection

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By Nils-Peter Harder, Head of the High-efficiency Silicon Solar Cells Group, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Agnes Merkle, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Till Brendemühl, Engineer, Developing Laser Processes, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Fabian Kiefer, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Ralf Gogolin, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Martin Lehr, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Frank Heinemeyer, Project Leader in the Process Technology Group, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Henning Schulte-Huxel, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Bianca Lim, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Verena Jung, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Sarah Kajari-Schröder, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Marc Köntges, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Rolf Brendel, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH)

This paper presents ISFH’s recent developments and advances in the field of back-contacted silicon solar cells. The efficiency potential of back-contacted solar cells is very high; nevertheless, in industrial production, back-contacted solar cells are decidedly the minority. In the field of back-contacted solar cells, ISFH has developed several cell concepts and new processing techniques, such as laser ablation for silicon structuring, contact opening through passivation layers, and hole drilling for emitter-wrap-through (EWT) solar cells. The latest results are presented regarding ISFH’s work on back-junction back-contacted solar cells and EWT solar cells, as well as on back-contacted solar cells employing an amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction. Also discussed are the advances in high-throughput evaporation of aluminium as a low-cost option for the metallization of back-contacted solar cells. Finally, a novel, silver-free cell interconnection technique is presented, which is based on the direct laser welding of a highly conductive, low-cost Al foil, as a cell interconnect, onto the rear side of back-contacted solar cells.

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The seventeenth edition of Photovoltaics International applauds new markets emerging to plug the deployment gaps left by countries such as Spain, the Czech Republic and Italy. Profitless prosperity is the way Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor at PV-Tech.org characterises the PV manufacturing supply chain at the moment. In this issue the Fraunhofer ISE presents an overview of MWT technologies and calls on manufacturers to “quickly bring these techniques to industrialisation”. Additionally back contact cells and modules are featured extensively with valuable contributions from IMEC/ECN and the ISFH.

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