Solar PV R&DProject Hydrogenated Bifacial PERL Silicon PV Cells
This final report explores the promising cell and module results achieved during this project, which are expected to instill confidence in using plating metallization to overcome limitation in screen-printing thereby achieving higher efficiency at a low cost.
High efficiency industrial screen-printed passivated emitter and rear cells (PERC) face several performance and cost limitations. Firstly, PERC cells have significant metal/silicon interface recombination and high metal shading losses. Transforming PERC into passivated emitter, rear locally diffused (PERL) cells has the potential to increase cell efficiencies from 22% to 25% through addressing these performance limitations. Secondly, they are generally plagued by light-induced degradation (LID), which significantly affects performance and therefore increases costs. Additionally, PERC cells require expensive silver and aluminium pastes to form the metal contacts. This project addressed these performance and cost limitations of current PERC technology by enabling their transformation into a bifacial plated contact PERL structure through the integration of three proven UNSW technologies: 1) laser doping, 2) plating and 3) advanced hydrogenation. The aim of the project was to develop a breakthrough low-cost, next-generation high-efficiency industrial PERL cell technology and innovative, high-throughput commercial production processes and equipment, building on the successful technological outcomes of three previous ARENA projects.