Technical Papers

Photovoltaics International Archive
Photovoltaics International Papers, Thin Film
Transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) are a special class of materials that can simultaneously be both optically transparent and electrically conducting and, as such, are a critical component in most thin-film photovoltaics. TCOs are generally based on a limited class of metal oxide semiconductors such In2O3, ZnO and SnO2, which are transparent due to their large band gap energy and can also tolerate very high electronic doping concentrations to yield conductivities of 1000S/cm or higher. However, these thee basic TCOs alone do not meet the TCO performance needs of emerging PV and other applications.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
Crystalline silicon solar cell fabrication involves many wet chemical process steps. Like most processes in solar cell manufacturing, many of these wet chemical processes were transferred from the semiconductor industry. In contrast to microchip fabrication with maximum throughputs of 100 wafers/hour, state-of-the-art solar cell equipment relies on several 1000 wafers/hour. Furthermore, specific processes have been developed for the texturisation of the wafer surface. Therefore, there is a need for dedicated methods of characterization of these wet chemical processes. Fraunhofer ISE has developed several analytical methods such as titration, ion chromatography and near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for the complete analysis of the chemical composition of wet chemical processes baths. These methods were compared considering the inline/online capability, measurement cycle and running costs, with the result that NIR spectroscopy was identified as a complex but very powerful tool for process characterization, as outlined in this paper.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Materials, Photovoltaics International Papers
Glass has been playing an ever more important role in photovoltaics, and with the increasing demand for solar modules, the glass industry will be pushed even more to the fore. As a result, the photovoltaics industry is fast becoming a field of business of increasing importance for some of the glass industry’s sectors. Mechanical engineering companies around the world are working to meet the demands of the solar industry, with the tremendous potential of glass, especially in the thin-film sector, at the epicentre of this effort. This paper presents the beneficial properties of glass for use in the photovoltaics industry, and the material’s potential for future applications.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Materials, Photovoltaics International Papers
Invented in their high efficiency version in the early 1990s, dye-sensitised solar cells (DSCs) entered the global market in 2007 with the first commercial modules based on this versatile, hybrid (organic-inorganic) technology. The 6-7% efficiency of the first modules is a result of their good performance in diffuse light conditions, allowing for the production of electricity both under cloudy conditions and indoors. These low-cost solar cells are manufactured by highly productive roll-to-roll printing methods over rigid or flexible substrates affording modules coloured in widely different tones. These attributes render DSC a photovoltaic technology particularly well suited for BIPV applications and for electrification in developing countries, as discussed in this paper.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Photovoltaics International Papers, Thin Film
In recent years, a new generation of solar electric products has emerged from the lab into the global market: thin-film technologies that employ approximately 1% of the active, expensive photovoltaic material used by standard crystalline-silicon cells. Through a combination of cost advantages and new product applications, CdTe, a-Si and CIGS thin-film PV have the potential to foster a paradigm shift toward distributed electricity generation at cost parity with other forms of energy. But until recently, the photoactive compound has not had a reliable, rapid manufacturing process that could scale effectively to multi-megawatt-scale volume production and provide significant amounts of electricity at the point of use. This article describes a novel process, known as field-assisted simultaneous synthesis and transfer (FASST) printing, a manufacturing approach that enables the rapid printing of microscale CIGS films with p- and n-type nanodomains that are critical for achieving the highest efficiencies possible.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Cell Processing, Photovoltaics International Papers
Formation of the pn-junction for charge carrier separation is one of the key processes of a modern high-volume solar cell production. In silicon wafer-based solar cell technology this is achieved by diffusion of phosphorus atoms in boron pre-doped wafers forming a sub-micron shallow n-type emitter in a 200µm-thick p-type base. In this contribution we discuss both the characteristics of emitter doping profiles and the diffusion process itself as required for optimal solar cell conversion efficiencies. In addition we give an overview on state-of-the-art industrial diffusion technologies and conclude with a brief outlook on their evolution.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
This review is based on primary research of global solar cell and thin-film manufacturing companies that are either currently manufacturing, expanding manufacturing, building facilities for manufacturing or progressing towards establishment of manufacturing facilities.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Photovoltaics International Papers, Power Generation
The past year was characterised by MW-range solar power plants and it was also a year with the highest market growth related to large-scale photovoltaic systems ever. Not only in Spain, where progress does not need to be commented upon at all, but also in some other countries where the cumulative installed power increased significantly. In the European Union progress was observed in among other countries Italy, Czech Republic and France; the German market however decreased slightly but in terms of capacity of installed power output Germany was, despite the market explosion in Spain, almost the same as in year 2007.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Photovoltaics International Papers, PV Modules
Photovoltaic modules and components, due to the nature of their employment, must be designed to withstand the most diverse of environments. The large spectrum of climatic conditions and mechanical stresses that these components must weather merit the application of some standards by which they can be tested for durability, reliability and safety. TÜV Rheinland operates several ISO 17025-accredited laboratories worldwide for type approval testing of flat plate as well as concentrating PV modules, PV components and solar thermal systems. Test data, collected over the past 20 years, shows that there is still a rather high failure rate when it comes to testing of PV modules, and also that there are different failure mechanisms for crystalline and thin-film PV modules. This paper presents data from these tests and draws some conclusions regarding the need for future standards development.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Market Watch, Photovoltaics International Papers
In the few years since the PV cell and module manufacturing industry first hit the radar, the identities of the winners and losers in the race to supply equipment have started to emerge. While some companies can genuinely claim to have been involved in the solar industry for some time, the majority are relatively new on the scene. This is hardly surprising, as the explosive growth in demand spurred any company with matching competences into action. In fact, over 300 equipment companies have been attracted to the industry since 2003 by the prospect of a share in a market valued at $4.4 billion in 2008. For the first time, a detailed analysis of the PV equipment suppliers has been compiled by VLSI Research. The Top 10 in this list are presented here and discussed in relation to their achievements in the industry and their outlook for 2009 and beyond.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal
Solar Media Events
April 25, 2022
Berlin, Germany