Objectives and problems to be solved:
The EU programme on energy calls for mass production of PV systems with a cost target of <1€/Wp for the long term helping the PV industry reach the White Paper target of 3GWp capacity in 2010. Such programme will need supply of large quantity of Solar Grade Silicon for the production of crystalline silicon PVs. A shortage of silicon feedstock is expected in the years to come as long as the PV industry will rely on the off spec silicon waste stream from the semiconductor industry. The high cost of PV energy could be another barrier that could limit its global utilization. The main objectives of the project are to develop a thin film silicon solar cell/ module from low cost and abundant metallurgical silicon feedstock. This approach has also a potential to reducing the PV energy cost to meet the target goal.
Description of work:
Industrial partner will produce PV-Grade silicon by advanced metallurgy refining processes. The directional solidification ingots from this feedstock will be made and partner 2 will slice the grown ingots to wafers of about 300 m thick. A pilot apparatus will be used for batch growth of thin film by Liquid Phase Epitaxy. Thin film absorber will be made suing melt-back of substrate without the need for highly cost Electronic Grade Silicon. A new electrochemical texturisation will be applied for effective light trapping. Mono- and bifacial solar cells on the texturised epilayers will be made using low cost screen-printing. The material Characterisation will include the substrate, thin film growth, and solar cell using appropriate methods. The cost analysis for the emerging technology will be evaluated.
Expected Results and Exploitation Plans:
Mid-term target is to achieve 13% efficiency on 5x5 cm2 wafers. At the end of project the expected results include 14% solar cell efficiency on standard sizes wafer and 13% on a module of 36 cells. The expected achievement is a solar cell module cost of about 3€/Wp for monofacial and 2.5 €/Wp for bifacial soar cell module. A Technology Implementation Plan will describe the exploitation plan to implement the achieved results.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts