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Snapshot of spot market for PV modules - quarterly report Q3 2009

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By pvXchange

Upgraded metallurgical-grade (UMG) silicon is a lower cost and lower quality form of solar-grade silicon that is capable of producing solar cells at over 16% efficiency. This paper presents some of the economic advantages and technical concerns and solutions associated with producing silicon based PV from UMG, as well as preliminary solar cell results using this material. Results are based on a comparison of cells made in a turnkey line (Schmid Group) using alloy blends of 10%, 20%, 30% and 100% UMG, mixed with solar-grade Si before ingot growth. Detailed characterization was carried out on these finished cells according to lifetime, LBIC, diffusion length and luminescence imaging to determine correlations of performance with basic parameters. Requirements for material cost and cell performance necessary for UMG solar cells to be cost competitive are also presented.

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The sixth edition of Photovoltaics International was published in November 2009 and includes a special BIPV focus. In addition, the Thin Film section offers a comparison of different ceramic Al-doped ZnO target materials by Fraunhofer IST, and Q-Cells unveils its production technology roadmap for boosting cell efficiences in Cell Processing.

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