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Silicon solar cells show 19.4% conversion

Posted: 09 Sep 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon? solar cells? conversion efficiency?

IMEC reports that it has successfully produced large-area silicon cells with a conversion efficiency of 19.4 percent.

IMEC unveiled two types of cells at the 2010 European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference. With screen printed silver contacts, efficiencies of up to 19.1 percent were achieved; whereas 19.4 percent was achieved with copper-plated contacts.

The efficiencies were obtained due to a combination of factors including improved texture and optimized firing conditions. The results were achieved on large-area cells 148cm2 with 170?m thickness, proving the industrial viability of the process.

The silicon solar cells feature rear-side passivation, laser ablation and, local aluminum back-side field and screenprinted contacts or Cu-plated contacts on advanced emitter schemes.

"The fact that such efficiencies can be obtained by metallization schemes based on screen printed silver contacts enables compatibility with present industrial metallization practice in the solar cell industry. The copper-based front-side metallization is a step towards higher sustainability and lower cost, substituting Ag with Cu in future industrial production of crystalline silicon solar cells," said Joachim John, team manager for industrial solar cells at IMEC.

IMEC is targeting cells with greater than 20 percent efficiency on 40?m thick silicon.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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