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Enhancing industrial c-Si cell efficiency by chemical treatment of the SiN layer

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By Yang Song, Senior Engineer, Chinalight Solar Co. Ltd.

The need for higher efficiency solar cells is becoming more and more urgent nowadays in the photovoltaic industry. In this paper, a new method of increasing efficiency is described whereby SiN is coated by a special commercial chemical after the final step of manufacturing, which is screen printing. No mask is required for this method, but a drying temperature of 200–400°C is mandatory to activate the SiN layer. It is shown that the efficiency of a crystalline solar cell can be increased by at least 0.16% (absolute value) on average. At the same time, modules made from these solar cells do not degrade after sun exposure, and have the potential to pass the stringent standards of a potential-induced degradation (PID) test. The total cost for all the equipment and the chemical is around US$300,000 for retrofitting two (30MW each) production lines.

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Our largest issue to date at 224 pages, the 13th edition of the Photovoltaics International journal features a focus on myriad topics including wafering and wire-sawing thermodynamics, the passivation benefits of ALD, reactive magnetron sputtering, PV module degradation and inverter certification. Contributors include imec, Fraunhofer IST, Motech Industries, PI Berlin, University of Toledo and CH2M HILL.

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