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SOLENNA(3): The ultimate simplification of bifacial silicon technology, at a competitive cost/Wp

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By Raphaël Cabal, Thomas Blévin, Rémi Monna & Yannick Veschetti, CEA Tech-INES

The c-Si PV industry has been historically dominated by the conventional full Al-BSF cell architecture, applied to p-type silicon, because it has so far always yielded the lowest cost at the module level (€/Wp). At the system level (€/kWh), on the other hand, bifacial PV and related reference bifacial n-PERT technology seems to be a better option for cost reduction, but additional cell processing steps (and related costs) are inhibiting bifacial PV growth. This paper first introduces INES’ reference 20%-PERT technology ‘SOLENN’, which is based on a conventional gaseous diffusion process. Passivating/anti-reflective/doping SiOxNy:B and SiNx:P layers have been developed at INES, and the properties of these multifunctional layers are described in detail. By then capitalizing on the passivating and optical properties of the multifunctional layers, INES’ so-called ‘SOLENNA(3)’ technology is presented. Finally, the cost calculation based on a 100MW line capacity and on a comparison of SOLENNA(3) with reference technologies (such as Al-BSF, PERC and BBr3 PERT) was completed, without considering the potential gain from the bifacial properties.

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This issue of Photovoltaics International features an industry-first analysis of the rate at which manufacturing expansion announcements over the past two years are being turned into real nameplate production capacity. In another special report Finlay Colville characterises the nature of the current PV capex cycle as compared to the last. Whereas the previous spending cycle was notable for being “frantic”, the latest one has so far been more measured, with manufacturers focusing on strengthening their positions in specific segments of the value chain. Other highlights in this issue include a paper from researchers at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) exploring cell-to-module losses.

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