19.4 per cent efficiency for solar photovoltaic cell

Paul Boughton
Partnering with the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH, Emmerthal, Germany), DEK Solar has, with its PVP1200 print platform, print-on-print process expertise and screens technology, helped enable a record crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) cell efficiency of 19.4 per cent.
 
As stated by ISFH, this efficiency level is record-breaking among Cz-silicon solar cells using a screen printing metallisation process. Through the use of a 200 nanometre Si02/SiNx double layer on the rear side of a standard PV cell in combination with DEK’s novel front-side metallisation process, ISFH was able to achieve this outstanding result.
 
“DEK Solar’s print-on-print technology and PVP1200 platform accuracy were key contributors to this major efficiency gain,” explains Dr Thorsten Dullweber, ISFH Group Leader for Solar Cell Production Processes. “The print-on-print process effectively increases contact finger height and reduces finger width, thus resulting in less shadowing loss and improved efficiency. Combined with our rear side cell modifications to increase the current and voltage of the cell, the DEK Solar technologies have helped facilitate this incredible nearly 1 per cent improvement over our previous 18.5 per cent efficiency level.”
 
On board DEK Solar’s PVP1200 print platform, which achieves six-sigma process capability at a resolution of ±12.5 micron for advanced levels of accuracy, ISFH implemented DEK Solar’s print-on-print technology for the cell front side metallisation. Utilising specialised DEK Solar screens, fired contact finger aspect ratios of 0.38 can be achieved via a print-on-print process. This, in combination with the accuracy of the PVP1200 metallisation system, enabled a reduction in shadowing losses and improved cell efficiency.
 
“Efficiency of 19.4 per cent on a silicon solar cell using high-volume screen printing techniques is a significant achievement,” explains Darren Brown, DEK Alternative Energy Business Manager. “This milestone just further underscores DEK Solar’s ability to leverage our print process expertise to make solar power a more affordable mainstream solution.  We were delighted to be able to work with the superbly experienced and professional team at ISFH on this project.”
 
Dullweber echoes these comments: “Achieving a nearly 1 per cent efficiency gain is a major step forward towards further reduction in the cost of photovoltaic electricity,” says Dullweber. “Our collaboration with DEK Solar has and continues to be a technical partnership that we believe will benefit all those who seek effective alternative energy solutions.”

For more information, visit www.deksolar.com

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