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Luminescent encapsulation layers for multicrystalline silicon PV modules

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By Bryce S. Richards, Director of the Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research (SISER), Heriot-Watt University; Efthymios Klampaftis, Heriot-Watt University

This article highlights an alternative method for increasing short-wavelength external quantum efficiency (EQE) and hence overall conversion efficiency of mc-Si PV modules via luminescent down-shifting (LDS), a technique originally proposed by Hovel et al. [1] in 1979. The potential for efficiency enhancement via LDS has been either predicted or measured for a wide range of PV technologies (see [2] for a review). However, in this article, we will highlight how LDS can be incorporated into the existing encapsulation layer, avoiding any modification to well-established solar cell manufacturing processes and thus offering the potential of a production-ready technology.

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The eleventh edition of Photovoltaics International was published in February 2011 and features a special focus on PV modules from Fraunhofer CSP, SunPower and Heriot-Watt University. In addition, China Sunergy studies dark lines on mc-Si cells in Cell Processing and TU Freiburg looks at the challenges of the wire saw wafering process in Materials.

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