In 2017, a worldwide capacity of 100 GWp of PV was installed, a value which is expected to increase in the years to come. This is more than a prediction but a requirement to meet the renewable energy targets set by policy makers, and decarbonise future electricity generation. To increase te efficiency of solar cells, this project aims to show the viability of n-PERT at 24% applying 2-side passivating contacts with 2-side plated nickel/silver metallization.

 

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PV has an increasingly important role to play but needs to drive down the Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) further towards the level of 1 €ct/kWh. The LCOE of PV systems is becoming increasingly more dependent on cell efficiency. Recent advances in p-PERC have driven cell efficiencies towards 22%. This will continue to 23% by 2020. However, the path beyond 23% is not very clear using p-type wafers, and many expect that n-PERT is the only viable candidate. This project aims to show the viability of n-PERT at 24% applying 2-side passivating contacts with 2-side plated nickel/silver metallization.

Since the Achilles heel of PERC technology is contact recombination, a passivating contact technology can give the next boost in efficiency. The tunnel oxide/poly-Si contact is the most advanced and mature passivating contact technology but is still limited when combined with traditional screen-printing metallization. Therefore, this project aims at combining poly-Si passivating contacts with next-generation plating technology. Furthermore, the switch to n-type bifacial technology brings several advantages (stable efficiency, bifacial gain, improved reliability with glass/glass module) that can positively impact the LCOE.

The final goal of this project is the development of 23-24% plated bifacial n-type cells with poly-Si passivating contacts on both sides. Through the additional power contribution from the rear of the device (bifacial gain), effective efficiencies will be 15-20% (rel.) higher depending on the bi-faciality and the installation conditions. Furthermore, this project will define a clear business case to establish a large-scale n-PERT manufacturing cell and module facility, where cost and environmental concerns are addressed.

Eszter Voroshazi

Contact

Eszter Voroshazi

R&D team leader - PV Module Technologies at EnergyVille/imec