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Development of new production techniques for highly efficient polymorphous solar cells ('H-ALPHA SOLAR')

Objective

Objectives and problems to be solved: The general aim of the project consists in the development of industrially applicable production techniques for solar cells using polymorphous silicon with stable efficiencies above 10%, exploring in-line batch as well as continuous roll-to-roll techniques, aiming to ultimately obtain a system cost of 1 EUR/Watt-peak (1EUR/Wp). The module manufacturing cost reduction aimed at will be reached by simultaneously increasing the photovoltaic efficiency, improving the production yield, increasing the feedstock utilisation efficiency, and decreasing the cost of ownership by enhancing the growth rate. Description of the Work: In this project we will cover the two mainstreams of production technology: in-line batch processing and continuous roll-to-roll processing. On the one hand, the inline batch process allows for fast progress since the technology is mature. On the other hand, the continuous roll-to-roll process offers a perspective to dramatically reduced production costs, but it requires much more process development time. In both cases, the projected improvements will be obtained in existing deposition hardware, where only the operational protocols and the configuration will be modified. Applying robust plasma process monitors, which will be developed and calibrated during the project, will control this modification. The work will be divided in 6 work packages. Their titles are. Materials and devices (optimisation)2. Process monitor (for control and quality assessment during production)3. Batch pilot line (The present technology: high-quality low-throughput)4. Continuous pilot line (Future technology: high-throughput)5. Assessment (of industrial perspectives)6. Coordination Expected Results and Exploitation Plans: The take-off of the photovoltaic solar energy requires to broaden the accessible market base in the competition with other sources of electrical energy. This can only be achieved by a significant reduction of the cost/Wp of photovoltaic solar modules and by the development of thin film solar cell technologies. The effort has to be placed at three levels : increased conversion efficiency per unit area, lower manufacturing cost per unit area, and economy of scale by mass-production experience. The present project is in line with these three issues. By using polymorphous Si thin films instead of standard a-Sigh films, the long-lasting problem of the low stabilized efficiency of a-Sigh based solar cells could be overcome without increasing the complexity and cost of the device structure. Therefore, lowering of solar cell manufacturing costs and reaching economy of scales in mass production are possible by a strategy of reduction of the cost of ownership of the PECVD equipment, which can also have advantages for TFT-Displays technology. The project partners will be the first to exploit the results. The focus of the exploitation and dissemination will be in Europe.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

EINDHOVEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Address
2,Den Dolech 2
5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands

Participants (5)

AKZO NOBEL CHEMICALS BV
Netherlands
Address
76,Stationsplein 4
3818 LE Amersfoort
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Route De Saclay Ecole Polytechnique
91128 Palaiseau
COMPANHIA PORTUGUESA DE SISTEMAS FOTOVOLTAICOS, LDA
Portugal
Address
Estrada De Albarraque, Capa Rota Manique Cima, Km
2710-513 Sintra
INSTITUTO DE DESENVOLVIMENTO DE NOVAS TECNOLOGIAS
Portugal
Address
Quinta Da Torre
2825-114 Monte Da Caparica
THE UNIVERSITY OF ORLEANS
France
Address
Rue D'issoudun 14
45067 Orléans