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Progress in cost reduction in silver pastes for crystalline silicon cells

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By Mark Thirsk

Silver paste is a key component of the design of nearly all silicon wafer solar cells manufactured in 2011. The high cost of the precious metal in the paste formulation means that silver paste is also the second-highest component of the total cost of materials. This article reviews the silver paste supply chain and the challenges in silver paste formulation and manufacture, and discusses some of the approaches for reducing or removing entirely the use of silver in crystalline silicon cell manufacture.

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Published in November 2011, the 14th edition of Photovoltaics International provides a variety of technical papers from some of the industry’s stalwarts. Features include: TÜV Rheinland on junction box testing; Laser Zentrum Hannover on laser edge isolation of mc-Si cells; Calisolar on the importance of traceability; Fraunhofer ISE on EWT cells; and EPIA on Europe’s LCOE.

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