By Ajeet Rohatgi, Founder and CTO, Suniva Corp.; Daniel Meier, Chief Scientist, Suniva Corp.
The workhorse of the photovoltaic industry, crystalline-silicon solar cells, continues to have additional headroom for conversion efficiency improvement as well as decreased production costs. As some companies have already demonstrated, clear pathways exist to bring about the achievement of >20%-efficient monocrystalline cells through the use of existing and novel production techniques. A newcomer to the solar cell and module sector, Suniva, has rapidly become a volume manufacturer using innovations originally developed at the University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics (UCEP) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. This paper discusses the company’s first- and second-generation production technologies, including the implementation of ion implantation as a high-volume process, as well as details of cell-making approaches in the development stage.