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Monocrystalline solar cell cost-effective production technology



The major aim of this project is the development of a low cost, high efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cell process and the demonstration of its applicability in an industrial type environment. The project deals with a broad solar cell production cycle from crystallisation up to an encapsulated solar cell. The detailed objectives are as follows: - screening the current and future environmental regulations, - decrease amount of wet chemicals used in cell fabrication, - development of Czochralski monocrystalline silicon material with reduced oxygen content,
- determination of cost efficient wafer thickness and size, - achievement of 19% efficient large area (10x10cm2) encapsulated Czochralski monocrystalline silicon solar cells.

Technical Approach

The project is divided into 6 tasks, each with a task leader who organises experiments of limited duration, and takes care of their execution, complying with the time schedule and milestones.
1 Crystallisation and wafering: development of Cz-Si material with a low oxygen content, large and thin substrates with different bulk resistivities (Bayer).
2 Environmental issues, cleaning and etching: study the environmental restrictions and stimulate the development of solar cell processes with an unavoidable minimum of hazardous processing materials (Siemens Solar). 3 Design and optimisation of solar cell processes: development of a commercial process fulfilling requirements of
efficiency and low cost (IMEC).
4 Measurements and modelling: create a reliable basis for all possible characterisations and modelling of substrate
materials and solar cells developed during the project
(Univ. Napoli).
5 Cell-module interaction: studying the different encapsulating materials, accelerated stability tests and cell-module interaction (Soltech).
6 Implementation in a production line: implementation of developed processes in the BP Solar, Siemens Solar and Bayer production pilot lines, assessment of efficiency and cost (BP Solar).

Expected Achievements and Exploitation

The optimisation of materials and processing steps should result in a solar cell process compatible with mass production. An efficiency of 19% on large area (10x10cm2) Czochralski monocrystalline silicon should be achieved as well as a significant reduction of the hazardous materials both in the processing and waste materials. The project will result in a large reduction in the cost/Wp since it aims at significant increase of solar cells efficiency while involving only low cost, industrial type processing techniques and the solar cell processing itself only takes a relatively small fraction of the overall module cost. The optimised process will be implemented in the production lines of the industrial partners.

Call for proposal

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75,kapeldreef 75
3001 Heverlee

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EU contribution
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Participants (6)