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.