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Improving cell efficiency and reducing costs: applying experiences in microelectronics

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By Kris Baert, R&D Project Manager, IMEC; Jozef Poortmans, Program Director, IMEC

The PV industry is expected to eventually reduce its manufacturing costs well below €1/Wp. Major technological changes lie ahead of us for manufacturing wafers, solar cells and modules if this cost target is to be met. In order to focus R&D efforts amongst the myriad options, and to speed up the learning curve, the PV industry (equipment vendors, material suppliers and PV manufacturers) may benefit from collaborative efforts guided by an ITRS-like roadmap. In this paper we present the IMEC roadmap, the target of which is to reduce drastically the amount of pure Si needed per Wp by combining efficiencies beyond 20% with aggressive reductions in wafer thicknesses.

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The seventh edition of Photovoltaics International was published in February 2010. This edition features a wafering focus from REC Wafer and SINTEF on how to improve cell efficiencies. In addition, EPIA provides in-depth analysis of feed-in-tariff schemes in our Market Watch; and in Cell Processing Fraunhofer ISE overcomes challenges in back-side metallization.

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