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Opportunities for advanced chemicals and materials in solar cells and modules

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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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Photovoltaics International Archive
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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Photovoltaics International Archive
Photovoltaics International Papers, Thin Film
Two-terminal tandem solar cells based on perovskite/silicon (PK/ Si) technology represent one of the most exciting pathways towards pushing solar cell efficiencies beyond the thermodynamic limit of single-junction crystalline silicon devices. While laboratory efficiencies of these tandem cells have risen to very impressive levels, many important innovations towards enabling their eventual manufacturability have also been made in this rapidly evolving field. In this paper, a number of these processing innovations are highlighted in order to give a more complete view as to the viability of scaling up the processing of these devices. Specifically, the focus is placed on how today’s crystalline silicon process flows could be adapted in order to allow existing cell lines to produce PK/Si cells.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Photovoltaics International Papers, PV Modules
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Photovoltaics International Archive
Photovoltaics International Papers, PV Modules
Low-temperature interconnection processes for high-efficiency PV cells will be a key R&D topic in the coming years. In reality, to avoid significant deterioration of the surface passivation, the metallization and interconnection processes of silicon heterojunction (SHJ) cells are limited to temperatures below 200°C; tandem cells with a perovskite subcell demand an even greater reduction in process temperature, namely below 130°C. Moreover, to ensure the sustainability of PV production on a TW scale, the use of scarce materials, especially silver, needs to be reduced, as 10% of the world’s supply was already dedicated to PV in 2020. This paper addresses the results obtained in terms of reducing the silver consumption in interconnection technology based on electrical conductive adhesive (ECA) and Pb-free ribbons.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Photovoltaics International Papers, PV Modules
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Photovoltaics International Archive
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Photovoltaics International Archive
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
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