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Piloting novel cost-competitive bifacial IBC technology for vertical integrated European GW scale PV production value chain

Project description

Demonstrating interdigitated back contact technology as most promising choice

Twenty-one partners from the photovoltaic sector are joining forces to develop bifacial cells and modules based on the interdigitated back contact (IBC) technology. The aim of the EU-funded IBC4EU project is to create a sustainable cost-effective process. Each partner has experience in different aspects of the production chain (ingots, wafers, cells and modules). The project will show that IBC technology is the best for a fast launch of grid integration scale photovoltaics production. One of the advantages of IBC technology is that it is based on existing production technology. The project will focus on improving existing processing steps, introducing novel equipment to reduce the cost of ownership, and employing Industry 4.0 solutions for predictive maintenance, quality control and traceability.

Objective

The IBC4EU project will develop cost effective and sustainable bifacial interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cell and module technology on pilot line level. Based on business cases from the whole value chain – ingot, wafer, cell and module – we will demonstrate that IBC technology is the most promising choice for a fast launch of GW scale PV production in the EU. Cost competitiveness not only against future heterojunction (HJT) and Tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) technology but also present-day PERC and PERC technology will be demonstrated for the polyZEBRA and POLO IBC cell designs. To reach this goal, cost-effective production equipment will be developed and eco-design approaches will be employed to reduce the need for scarce materials such as silicon metal and silver and to maintain indium-free design. Pilot lines, interlinked on all levels of production, will help to reach GW scale mass production not only on cell but also on ingot, wafer and module level until 2030. The advantage of the chosen IBC technology is that it is based on existing production technology. Thus, the project will focus on improving existing processing steps on already available equipment, introducing some novel equipment to reduce the cost of ownership, and employing Industry 4.0 solutions for predictive maintenance, quality control and traceability. The feasibility of the chosen technologies and the innovative products will be evaluated by business-related parameters as well as performance characteristics which will be tested according to the relevant standards and in demo sites. The environmental impact will be monitored closely and eco-design approaches will be used to reduce the CO2 footprint, increase the resource efficiency and recyclability and improve in terms of circularity potential.

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Coordinator

INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ENERGY RESEARCHCENTER KONSTANZ ISC EV
Net EU contribution
€ 1 523 250,00
Address
Rudolf diesel strasse 15
78467 Konstanz
Germany

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Region
Baden-Württemberg Freiburg Konstanz
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (16)

Partners (4)