Principal investigator: Milan Vaněček
Title: Accelerated development and prototyping of nano-technology-based high-efficiency thin-film silicon solar modules
Acronym: FAST TRACK
Funding: CP-IP - Large-scale integrating project
Project RCN: 109417
Project ID: 283501
Time period: 01/03/2012 - 28/02/2015
Total costs: 12,882,464.92 EUR
EU contribution for Institute of Physics: 291,138 EUR
Coordinated in: Germany
In recent years, the effort in thin-film silicon (TFSi) was made at solving industrialization issues. In 2010, several companies demonstrated 10% stable modules (> 1 m²). The major “bricks” for efficient production are now in place. Next challenges are linked to the fact that TFSi multi-junction devices, allowing for higher efficiency, are complex devices, in which the substrate geometry and each layer have an impact on the full device. This explains why the first industrializations focused on “single technology” roads (e.g., Jülich-AMAT or EPFL-Oerlikon approaches).
This project focuses at bringing the next-generation technology to the market, using newly developed state-of-the art knowledge to solve the complex puzzle of achieving at the same time strong light in-coupling (high current) and good electrical properties (open-circuit voltage and fill factor). In a unique collaborative effort of the leading EU industries and research institutions in the field, the consortium will go beyond the current technology status by:
- Introducing novel materials, including multi-phase nanomaterials (such as doped nc-SiOx, high crystallinity nc-Si materials), stable top cell materials, nanoimprinted substrates and novel or adapted transparent conductive oxides;
- Designing and implementing ideal device structures, taking into account the full interaction of layers in multi-junction devices;
- Controlling the growth of active layers on textured materials;
- Working at processes that could allow a further extension of the technology such as very high rate nc-Si deposition or multi-step superstrate etching;
- Transferring processes, including static and dynamic plasma deposition, from the laboratory to pilot scale, with first trials in production lines.
The targets of the project is to achieve solar cells with 14% stable efficiency, leading to the demonstration of reliable production size prototypes module at 12% level. Potential cost below 0.5€/Wp should be demonstrated.
This project is financed by EU.