Production and Measurement Technology for Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

Input zone of a large-area, multi-chamber PECVD coater (plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition).

PV-TEC – Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center

The PV-TEC – Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center at Fraunhofer ISE was established in 2005 to fill the gap between laboratory research and industrial application. State-of-the-art processing and characterization equipment is available in this large laboratory for the development of silicon solar cells.

PV-TEC focuses on the following core topics in the fields of production and measurement technology for crystalline silicon solar cells:

  • Evaluation and development of production processes and processing technology componentsDevelopment and production of advanced industrial solar cell structures
  • Characterization and development of materials and solar cells
  • Further education and training for PV technology
  • Process transfer with on-site support
  • Economic cost studies

PV-TEC supports enterprises from all parts of the PV value chain, such as manufacturers of solar cells, modules, processing equipment and materials (silicon and processing materials).

PERC-Solar Cells

In PV-TEC at Fraunhofer ISE, we are working on continuous further development and optimization of the standard process to produce silicon solar cells, and extend this with innovative processes such as diffusion and laser processes to create selective emitters or printing processes for fine linear contacts with contact widths of less than 30 μm. This ensures that a high-quality, continually optimized baseline process is available in PV-TEC, which forms the reference for process development. PV-TEC is also able to use partly processed solar cells in all industrially widespread formats and to evaluate selected processes and processing sequences.

The current focus of work is on the PERC solar cell (passivated emitter and rear cell), which enables a significant increase in efficiency and is currently being introduced to the market by numerous companies. A further emphasis is on solar cells with passivated contacts with a potential efficiency value exceeding 25 %, which represent the next developmental step.

 

Technical Facilities

PV-TEC Front-End

Wet-chemical batch and inline equipment for texturing, purification and single-sided surface processing

Fully automated tubular furnace facility for diffusion, oxidation and deposition of polycrystalline Si layers

Fully and partly automated PECVD equipment to deposit dielectric and intrinsic and doped amorphous Si films

PVD (physical vapor deposition) equipment to deposit layers of metals and transparent conductive oxides (TCO)


PV-TEC back end

Printing and laser technology processing equipment

Inline furnaces equipped with very flexible cell testers

Fully automated screen-printing line including a dispensing unit for fine linear metal contacts on the front surface

Numerous partly automated printing processing systems: screen-printing, dispensing, ink-jet and rotary printing