Varian Semiconductor reveals more details about DOE-backed advanced solar cells development project

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Just days after the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) revealed that Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates was a grant recipient in its SunShot program for the development of U.S solar technologies, the company has  expounded on the research and development that it is conducting, which led to the US$4.8 million award by the DOE.

As it currently happens, conventional solar cells have metal collectors on the front surface that are claimed to lead to lower efficiencies by blocking sunlight. On the other hand, Interdigitated backside contact (IDC) solar cells that use metallic conductors on the back of the cell are said to gather more energy since the front of the cell is completely exposed to the sun. Varian asserts that IBC solar cells generate more power per unit since they hold a higher efficiency, which leads to lower module cost, lower balance of system costs and an increase in the amount of power that can be generated.

Varian notes that more traditional manufacturing process have come to mean that IBC cells are more expensive to make, which has put a damper on the widespread use of IBC cells. For its R&D project, Varian is proposing an ion implant process that will allow cell makers to reduce the cost of IBC cell manufacturing by diminishing the number of process steps by 30% to 40%. Per the company, the ion implant process will also decrease manufacturing variability, cell handling, cell breakage and manufacturing cycle time while leading to an amplified production. Varian maintains that IBC solar cells made with this ion implant will not only have higher efficiencies, but also cost less per watt than current front-side contact technology.

Dr. Paul Sullivan, Varian's vice president of business development, stated, “We are pleased to be the recipient of this SunShot grant and to receive the only award focused on silicon cell technology and manufacturing. This award will support our development of technology to enable the manufacture of advanced high efficiency IBC cell structures with dramatically simplified processes that will ultimately enable the lowest manufacturing costs of solar panels.”

Varian has pointed to company customer, Suniva as having recently produced a 19% efficiency solar cell using the ion implant. The company feels that its technology is in a prime position to make 2011 revenue fall between US$20 to US$30 million.

9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.

Read Next

December 3, 2021
Norwegian module marketplace company Otovo has launched in Germany, with the company expecting 1,000 new customers over the next year
December 3, 2021
Solar investor and asset manager NextEnergy Capital Group (NEC) has secured backing from the UK Infrastructure Bank for a new fund that aims to raise £500 million (US$663 million) to invest in subsidy-free solar power plants in the UK.
December 3, 2021
Indian independent power producer (IPP) ReNew Power has signed an agreement with Indian engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to develop green hydrogen facilities, becoming the latest PV developer to do so after a string of recent announcements
December 3, 2021
Koch Engineered Solutions (KES) LLC has acquired US engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm DEPCOM, which specialises in utility-scale solar PV projects, for an undisclosed amount
December 3, 2021
Heterojunction cell and module manufacturer Meyer Burger has reduced module output at one of its production plants in Germany as COVID-19 is causing above-average workforce absences due to illness and quarantine orders.
December 3, 2021
Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor (TZS) has become the latest solar wafer manufacturer to cut prices, while also launching a new 218.2mm-size wafer.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal