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Solving all bottlenecks for silicon heterojunction technology

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By Christophe Ballif; Mathieu Boccard; Antoine Descoeudres; Christophe Allebé; Antonin Faes; Olivier Dupré; Jan Haschke; Pierre-Jean Ribeyron; Matthieu Despeisse

Silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells are the archetypes of ‘fullsurface passivating contact’ solar cells; such contacts are required in order to achieve typical open-circuit voltages of up to 730–750mV. Although SHJ technology has fewer manufacturing steps and enables higher efficiencies than standard passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology, the market has been slow in taking it up. This paper discusses some of the obstacles that have been overcome in the last 10 years, and shows why the technology is now readier than ever for a competitive mass-market launch.

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With a recent spate of new solar cell records announced for PERC-based architectures pushing conversion efficiencies past 24%, it is a good time to reflect on the pioneering work at SolarWorld – the first to commercialise and ramp PERC to volume production. A special in-depth paper from former members of SolarWorld’s R&D and manufacturing team should be a compelling read and a leading reference paper in the future. Adding to the PERC-based theme is the paper from ISC Konstanz, providing further real world insight into achieving manufacturability of nPERT cells with conversion efficiencies approaching 23%.

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