One of the most efficient ways of reducing the costs of photovoltaic power generation is to increase the efficiency of the solar cells used. Particularly in the case of silicon solar cells, in which the silicon material accounts for a significant proportion of the costs, targeted improvements in solar cell manufacture can yield major cost benefits. Optimizing industrial cell processes and developing new high efficiency cell structures are thus priorities in silicon photovoltaics.
There are two central laboratories available for this purpose at Fraunhofer ISE: On the one hand there is the clean room, in which new cell structures can be developed under ideal conditions, and on the other hand the Photovoltaic Technology Evalutation Center PV-TEC, in which industry-driven technology allows new concepts to be put efficiently into practice. Thanks to the combination of the two research platforms and a wide-ranging pool of characterization and simulation tools, Fraunhofer ISE is in the unique position worldwide of being able to assist its clients with all aspects of the entire chain, from basic development to production line implementation.