Current production methods for thin film photovoltaics typically rely on costly, difficult to control (over large surfaces) vacuum-based deposition processes that are known for low material utilisation of 30-50%. NOVA-CI(G)S proposes alternative, non-vacuum ink-based simple and safe deposition processes for thin film CI(G)S photovoltaic cells. The low capital intensive, high throughput, high material yield processes will deliver large area uniformity and optimum composition of cells. The project objectives are to achieve competitive about 14% small area cell efficiency and to demonstrate the processes at high speed on rigid and flexible substrates while maintaining acceptably high efficiencies. The processes reduce cost of the CI(G)S layer by 75-80% in comparison to the evaporated CI(G)S, which translates into a 20-25% reduction of total module cost. Major scientific breakthroughs of the project include improved materials control in novel precursor materials by using nano-sized particles of specific chemical and structural characteristics and innovative ink formulation, to enable coating by simple processes while avoiding the use of toxic gases in subsequent process steps. This industry-led project constitutes the first essential step for a fully non-vacuum, roll-to-roll process aimed to achieve the solar module production cost below 0,8 €/Wp that will make photovoltaic directly competitive to traditional energy generation.
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