Opportunities for advanced chemicals and materials in solar cells and modules


By Mark Thirsk, Managing Partner, Linx Consluting LLC; Michael Corbett, Managing Partner, Linx Consluting LLC

The rapid growth of the solar energy industry owes its success to the development and production of mono- and multi-crystalline solar cells. This growth has been limited in recent years due to the lack of available supply of polysilicon, the key raw material for making the wafers that serve as the basis of the solar cell. As a result of this limitation, the price of polysilicon has increased dramatically and this has led to significant new and planned capacity expansions. These new capacity expansion announcements have been highly publicized, with little additional outside focus on other chemicals and materials.

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The first edition of the Photovoltaics International journal, published in August 2008, was created in response to what was deemed to be a growing need for an unbiased technical publication for the solar cell and module manufacturing industry. With this in mind, the first edition of Photovoltaics International saw the commissioning of papers from a wide range of sectors, such as NREL’s overview of the CPV sector, IMEC’s thin-film efficiency gains via plasma texturing, site selection with IBM PLI, Q-Cells on silicon nitride thin films and Navigant Consulting’s market overview.

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