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High-efficiency rear-passivated screenprinted silicon solar cells

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By Thorsten Dullweber, R&D Group Leader, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Sebastian Gatz, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Tom Falcon, DEK Printing Machines Ltd; Helge Hannebauer, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH)

Approximately 80% of today’s silicon solar cells industrially manufactured worldwide apply screen printing for the metallization of the silver front and aluminium rear contacts. In production, conversion efficiencies of ~18–18.5% are achieved using monocrystalline silicon wafers. A baseline process has been implemented at ISFH that is very similar to the industry-standard process, displaying conversion efficiencies of up to 18.5%. An analysis of the solar cells reveals that the conversion efficiency is limited in particular by the shadowing loss due to the silver front-side metallization, as well as infrared light being absorbed in the aluminium rear-side metallization. This paper summarizes recent developments at ISFH that resulted in a 19.4% efficient large-area screen-printed solar cell, when applying a print-on-print silver front-side metallization and an SiO2/SiNx rear-surface passivation.

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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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