Chalcopyrite (Copper-Indium-Selenide) based solar cells are attracting great interest for large scale photovoltaic applications because of their good stability, high efficiency and potential for low cost. This project continues and extends the successful work performed by the EUROCIS group in the JOULE programme. The experience of the different groups participating provides an efficient basis for research on this complex material.
The scientific and technological objectives of the project were fully met, and they represent results with significant potential in a very innovative and promising field. Record values of efficiencies were achieved. Minimodules with substrate areas up to 100 cm2 were constructed with a series connection of up to 15 cells on a glass substrate. The aperture area efficiency for small modules reached 12.4%, while larger modules of 100 cm2 were more than 10% efficient. The project team made significant progress in understanding basic material and device properties, and using this knowledge could then fabricate solar cells using CIS with efficiencies of more than 17%.
In order to introduce this promising technology on a production level it is necessary to take the first steps in upscaling and also to evaluate the future potential of this material by fundamental studies. The work on CuInSe2 and related semiconductors is carried out along 2 lines : A) Upscaling the most advanced technologies resulting from the previous EUROCIS programme.
A minimodule with the dimensions 7x7 cm2 with a series connection of 6-8 cells on a glass substrate will be realized. In this part of the project, deposition processes on larger areas and patterning and interconnects will be studied. The goal is an aperture area efficiency of more than 10 %.
B) Fundamental study of alternative low cost deposition processes and studies of chalcopyrite based materials and devices.
This part of the programme is intended to provide scientific support to the module fabrication program and to develop alternative possibly more advantages processes. Furthermore new device designs and new, related materials are investigated. The goals of this part are the development of low cost deposition processes and evaluation of their feasibility. By investigating new device structures and materials, devices with an efficiency of more 16% will be realized.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
NE1 8ST Newcastle Upon Tyne