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Crystal silicon raises efficiency of solar cell production

Posted: 16 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:crystal silicon? silicon cell? photovoltaic system?

The Institute for Photovoltaics at the University of Stuttgart has set a record for the highest degrees of efficiency for the production of photovoltaic systems. In a project funded by the Federal Environmental Ministry, success was achieved in manufacturing cells from crystal silicon with almost 22 per cent efficiency.

The secret of success lies in a laser process developed at the institute with which it is possible to manufacture rear side contact cells without any masking steps whatsoever. This means that only almost half of the process steps are necessary that were required up to now in the industrial production of such cells.

Jrgen Werner, manager at the Institute for Photovoltaics at the University of Stuttgart said: "We now have 22 per cent cell efficiency. Now the 23 per cent mark must be attempted, however especially the implementation in industry. The cell process should be able to be implemented in production relatively quickly."

Laser process makes it possible to manufacture rear side contact cells without any masking steps

Laser process makes it possible to manufacture rear side contact cells without any masking steps. Source: IPV Universit?t Stuttgart.

Standard silicon cells have front side contacts made of silver. These metal fingers obscure parts of the cells and reduce their efficiency. In contrast, "rear side contact" solar cells have no contacts on the front side; all contacts are on the rear side. This solar cell type, however, requires a very fine structuring of the doping and contacting of the rear side. Usually to manufacture the fine structures elaborate and expensive masking steps are then necessary. Through the laser process, these steps are no longer necessary: it enables the manufacturing of the various doping procedures with a resolution below three hundredth of a millimeter.





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