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The road to industrializing PERC solar cells

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By Xusheng Wang, Canadian Solar Inc., Suzhou, China; Jian Wu, Canadian Solar Inc., Suzhou, China

The passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) cell design is gaining acceptance in solar cell manufacturing because of its potential for high efficiency with p-type wafers and its easy integration into existing production lines. In terms of PERC mass production, an effective and reliable AlOx deposition tool is the most important aspect that needs to be considered. Light-induced degradation (LID) is a cell efficiency bottleneck because of bulk recombination, even if the silicon surface is well passivated. This paper examines the combination of cell efficiency, AlOx tool choice and LID regeneration as a route to industrializing PERC technology

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Forecasting the evolution of a young, dynamic industry is by definition an uncertain business, and solar is no exception. Rarely, if ever, do the numbers broadcast by any of the various bodies involved in the PV prediction game tally, and even historical deployment rates remain the subject of hot debate. The paradox is that getting forecasts broadly right is going to become increasingly important over the next few years, particularly for those involved in producing the equipment that will support whatever levels of demand come to pass. As discussed by Gaëtan Masson, director of the Becquerel Institute, on p.110 of this issue of Photovoltaics International, although global PV demand appears in rude health, complex political and economic conditions in many individual markets mean the question of how vigorously it will continue to grow in the coming years is less than clear. Yet for the upstream part of the industry, correctly forecasting PV market developments will be critical to ensure the right investments are made along the value chain in technologies that will help spur PV to new levels of competitiveness and thus drive continued demand.

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