Solar PV R&DProject Industry Ready N-Type Silicon Solar Cells
This report details how the project has successfully developed new technologies for n-type silicon solar cells with efficiencies well above 20%, and which are compatible with mass production.
This project has successfully developed new technologies for n-type silicon solar cells with efficiencies well above 20%, and which are compatible with mass production.
Transfer of these technologies to industry will therefore help to further drive down the cost of PV modules in terms of $/Watt, making solar electricity more affordable, and more competitive with conventional electricity sources.
Solar cell production worldwide is currently dominated by the use of p-type silicon wafers. However, it has been established than n-type wafers offer some important advantages in terms of wafer quality – namely, they are much less affected by the presence of the most important defects and impurities that occur in p-type wafers. This project sought to exploit this advantage by developing new production technologies that allow high efficiency n-type solar cells to be made using industrially suitable techniques. New n-type technologies using the standard two-sided contacting design have been developed in collaboration with Trina Solar, and new processing methods for simplified fabrication of all-rear contact n-type solar cells have been developed.