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Low-cost standard nPERT solar cells towards 23% efficiency and 700mV voltage using Al paste technology

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By Radovan Kopecek; Zih-Wei Peng; Thomas Buck; Corrado Comparotto; Valentin D. Mihailetchi; Lejo J. Koduvelikulathu; Joris Libal; Jan Lossen; Masahiro Nakahara; Kosuke Tsuji; Marwan Dhamrin; Wolfgang Jooss

Stable high voltages in solar cells and modules are becoming increasingly important as large PV systems are being set up in desert regions and are therefore exposed to high temperatures. High-voltage solar cells have lower temperature coefficients and thus produce a higher energy yield for such PV systems. Standard passivated emitter rear cell (PERC) devices have moderate voltages below 680mV, and also have the risk of degrading in such regions, because of light and elevated-temperature induced degradation (LeTID) effects and, in more recent observations, passivation degradation. This paper presents a solution for PERC producers to easily make the switch to n-type passivated emitter, rear totally diffused (nPERT) solar cells, which are capable of stable efficiencies above 22% and voltages close to 700mV, at almost no additional cost.

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With a recent spate of new solar cell records announced for PERC-based architectures pushing conversion efficiencies past 24%, it is a good time to reflect on the pioneering work at SolarWorld – the first to commercialise and ramp PERC to volume production. A special in-depth paper from former members of SolarWorld’s R&D and manufacturing team should be a compelling read and a leading reference paper in the future. Adding to the PERC-based theme is the paper from ISC Konstanz, providing further real world insight into achieving manufacturability of nPERT cells with conversion efficiencies approaching 23%.

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