This project identifies and addresses the bottlenecks that currently prevent the silicon photovoltaic (Si PV) industry from reaching the SunShot target of six cents per kilowatt hour. Mainstream mono-Si PV modules are about 17% efficient, while more efficient technologies appear too expensive due to their numerous and complex processes. In order to meet the 2020 Sunshot goal, approximately 22% efficient Si PV modules should be produced at costs similar to today’s 17% modules. The project will enable high-throughput, lower-cost, higher-efficiency Si PV modules by advancing interdigitated back contact (IBC) n-Cz silicon cells, targeting 23% efficient cells.
The project will advance IBC n-Cz Si cells through defect reduction in the emitter area and under the contacts with lower cost, higher throughput, manufacturability-friendly methods. Researchers will develop robust, manufacturable passivated contacts that allow for more flexibly in dopant patterning to enable the IBC architecture.
The lower cost, higher throughput, manufacturability-friendly methods to defect reduction in the emitter area and under the contacts will advance the fundamentals of n-Cz Si PV technology. The project will develop and disseminate non-proprietary, high-efficiency Si PV technology, which would reduce the barriers for companies to have high-efficiency Si PV cells.