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Key takeways from SiliconPV 2023 – pv magazine International


The annual SiliconPV Convention arrived at TU Delft within the Netherlands final week and supplied an essential well being verify for the science and expertise behind photo voltaic vitality. pv journal be on website to listen to the newest from researchers who’ve achieved increased effectivity by way of tandem cells and different improvements, and are working to cut back the consumption of photo voltaic expertise in uncommon and costly methods supplies.

The SiliconPV convention introduced collectively many main photovoltaics researchers from Europe and past to debate a few of the key alternatives that should be exploited in order that photo voltaic stays on its path to symbolize a bigger share of vitality on the earth of the long run. years.

And the discussions of the occasion are carried out with urgency. This 12 months’s siliconPV coincides with the publication of Science in a paper written by lots of the main figures within the world photo voltaic business and analysis neighborhood, titled “Photovoltaics on the terawatt scale: Ready just isn’t an choice.”

Drawing on this publication in his opening speech, convention chair Arthur Weeber of the Dutch analysis group TNO famous that the world ought to have 75 TW of PV put in by 2050, and that this must be outlined by the EU as a expertise of excessive strategic significance. to facilitate efforts to revive your entire manufacturing worth chain to the area.

Weeber went on to notice that industrially, photo voltaic is at an inflection level with the present era of PERC expertise virtually all passed by 2025. And the n-type applied sciences which might be changing it are an enormous step ahead, however we want modules with no less than 30% effectivity to achieve the 2050 renewable vitality targets.

Industrial relations

The convention continued on this pressing word, and an in depth hyperlink between PV researchers and business was extra evident than in earlier years, the place the transition to a bigger scale felt like little greater than a dot. on the horizon.

A lot of the work introduced this 12 months, nonetheless, targeted on processes and options appropriate for industrial use. These that aren’t so clear are sometimes adopted by extra questions concerning the bigger dimension of the machine, industrial applicability, materials utilization and extra.

In some methods, the state of affairs is reversed – with researchers having to maintain up with the strikes made by the business quicker than anticipated. Gallium doping as an answer to cut back light-high temperature-induced degradation (extra on this later) has been adopted by virtually your entire business for a couple of 12 months, and researchers proceed to work on investigating attainable extra broad results. In the meantime, many laboratories appear to nonetheless work with outdated cell codecs of 166 mm or smaller, whereas right this moment’s industrial codecs are virtually all based mostly on 182 mm or 210 mm merchandise.

Supplies are essential

Persevering with the pattern of business consciousness, SiliconPV this 12 months revealed a powerful examine on the top of photo voltaic dependence on uncommon or costly supplies that don’t lend themselves to the commercial mannequin of rising scale and decreasing bills.

In Thursday morning’s session on heterojunction expertise, 4 of the six shows checked out methods to cut back or take away indium from the listing of supplies, with a wide range of modern options being supplied: Tristan Gageot of CEA Ines talks concerning the challenges of tempering indium tin oxide. layer from 20 nm to fifteen, 10 and even 5nm. And Anamaria Steinmetz of Fraunhofer ISE introduced a cell that may remove indium utterly. Each of those researchers relied on including a nanocrystalline silicon layer to the stack to realize this, which stays a promising method however one that’s troublesome to implement in a large-scale deposition course of.

Higher documented is the necessity to lower silver from all sorts of photo voltaic cells. Copper, or silver-plated copper, has seen a lot improvement as replacements. It’s attention-grabbing to notice this 12 months that extra work is targeted on aluminum pastes, which have the benefits of additional industrial improvement, and that they can be utilized in the identical display printing processes which have been used for a very long time of cell producers.

We’re removed from being completed with the degradation

In spotlight periods on the primary morning of the convention, Freiburg College’s Wolfram Kwapil described mild elevated temperature induced degradation (LETID) as “the phenomenon of the PERC period, and Manchester College’s Tarek Abdul Fattah outlined the present cutting-edge – we all know. that the LETID mechanism includes hydrogen atoms, and is affected by the properties of the dopant, however little is agreed upon.

Switching to gallium doping definitely makes the cells much less inclined to efficiency loss from LETID, however it can’t be mentioned to utterly remove it. Numerous modifications to the cell manufacturing firing course of have additionally been proven to enhance LETID efficiency, however extra must be completed.

Totally elucidating the mechanisms behind LETID has been a significant aim for PV researchers. A wide range of subtle fashions are additionally introduced to elucidate the lack of efficiency in addition to subtle imaging strategies geared toward monitoring the conduct of hydrogen atoms within the materials.

Bram Hoex, from the College of New South Wales, additionally shared new work on potential-induced degradation, noting that it is a rising downside in the previous few years due to bifacial modules and a degradation mechanism specifically which impacts the rear half. Hoex warns that the newer TOPcon and HJT modules may additionally be extra inclined to PID than the present era of modules and descriptions a brand new take a look at protocol to detect this early. .

Tandems are the long run (however not but)

In his keynote speech at this 12 months’s convention, Rutger Schlatmann of the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin famous that PV effectivity has elevated by a mean of 0.6% per 12 months because the first cells had been made within the Sixties. He described perovskite-silicon tandem cells as “the lacking hyperlink” to maintain the expertise on this trajectory, additional noting that the know-how to take action is basically in Europe.

A later analysis session on tandem cells revealed greater than the beforehand talked about nearer hyperlink with business. Many of the work right here is targeted on additional optimizing the processing of the silicon cell for the combination of one other high cell, with the addition of a nickel-oxide layer that some researchers have talked about as a possible helpful innovation.

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