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Title: Towards the next generation 23% efficient n-type cells with low cost manufacturing

Abstract

Suniva, Inc., in collaboration with the University Center for Excellence in Photovoltaics (UCEP) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) proposed this comprehensive three year program to enable the development of an advanced high performance product that will help the US regain its competitive edge in PV. This project was designed to overcome cost and efficiency barriers through advances in PV science, technology innovation, low-cost manufacturing and full production of ~22.5% efficient n-type Si cells in Norcross, GA. At the heart of the project is the desire to complement the technology being developed concurrently under the Solarmat and ARPAe initiatives to develop a differentiated product superior in both performance and cost effectiveness to the competing alternatives available on the market, and push towards achieving SunShot objectives while ensuring a sustainable business model based on US manufacturing. A significant reduction of the costs in modules produced today will need to combine reductions in wafer costs, cell processing costs as well as module fabrication costs while delivering a product that is not only more efficient under test conditions but also increases the energy yield in outdoor operations. This project will result in a differentiated high performance product and technology that is consistentmore » with sustaining PV manufacturing in the US for a longer term and further highlights the need for continued support for developing the next generation concepts that can keep US manufacturing thriving to support the growing demand for PV in the US and consistent with the US government’s mandates for energy independence.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Suniva Inc., Norcross, GA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Suniva Inc., Norcross, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1352321
Report Number(s):
DOE-Suniva-6815
DOE Contract Number:
ee0006815
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION

Citation Formats

Yelundur, Vijay. Towards the next generation 23% efficient n-type cells with low cost manufacturing. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1352321.
Yelundur, Vijay. Towards the next generation 23% efficient n-type cells with low cost manufacturing. United States. doi:10.2172/1352321.
Yelundur, Vijay. Wed . "Towards the next generation 23% efficient n-type cells with low cost manufacturing". United States. doi:10.2172/1352321. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1352321.
@article{osti_1352321,
title = {Towards the next generation 23% efficient n-type cells with low cost manufacturing},
author = {Yelundur, Vijay},
abstractNote = {Suniva, Inc., in collaboration with the University Center for Excellence in Photovoltaics (UCEP) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) proposed this comprehensive three year program to enable the development of an advanced high performance product that will help the US regain its competitive edge in PV. This project was designed to overcome cost and efficiency barriers through advances in PV science, technology innovation, low-cost manufacturing and full production of ~22.5% efficient n-type Si cells in Norcross, GA. At the heart of the project is the desire to complement the technology being developed concurrently under the Solarmat and ARPAe initiatives to develop a differentiated product superior in both performance and cost effectiveness to the competing alternatives available on the market, and push towards achieving SunShot objectives while ensuring a sustainable business model based on US manufacturing. A significant reduction of the costs in modules produced today will need to combine reductions in wafer costs, cell processing costs as well as module fabrication costs while delivering a product that is not only more efficient under test conditions but also increases the energy yield in outdoor operations. This project will result in a differentiated high performance product and technology that is consistent with sustaining PV manufacturing in the US for a longer term and further highlights the need for continued support for developing the next generation concepts that can keep US manufacturing thriving to support the growing demand for PV in the US and consistent with the US government’s mandates for energy independence.},
doi = {10.2172/1352321},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Apr 19 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Apr 19 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The development of renewable, affordable, and environmentally conscious means of generating energy on a global scale represents a grand challenge of our time. Due to the “permanence” of radiation from the sun, solar energy promises to remain a viable and sustainable power source far into the future. Established single-junction photovoltaic technologies achieve high power conversion efficiencies (pce) near 20% but require complicated manufacturing processes that prohibit the marriage of large-scale throughput (e.g. on the GW scale), profitability, and quality control. Our approach to this problem begins with the synthesis of nanocrystals of semiconductor materials comprising earth abundant elements and characterizedmore » by material and optoelectronic properties ideal for photovoltaic applications, namely Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 (CZTSSe). Once synthesized, such nanocrystals are formulated into an ink, coated onto substrates, and processed into completed solar cells in such a way that enables scale-up to high throughput, roll-to-roll manufacturing processes. This project aimed to address the major limitation to CZTSSe solar cell pce’s – the low open-circuit voltage (Voc) reported throughout literature for devices comprised of this material. Throughout the project significant advancements have been made in fundamental understanding of the CZTSSe material and device limitations associated with this material system. Additionally, notable improvements have been made to our nanocrystal based processing technique to alleviate performance limitations due to the identified device limitations. Notably, (1) significant improvements have been made in reducing intra- and inter-nanoparticle heterogeneity, (2) improvements in device performance have been realized with novel cation substitution in Ge-alloyed CZTGeSSe absorbers, (3) systematic analysis of absorber sintering has been conducted to optimize the selenization process for large grain CZTSSe absorbers, (4) novel electrical characterization analysis techniques have been developed to identify significant limitations to traditional electrical characterization of CZTSSe devices, and (5) the developed electrical analysis techniques have been used to identify the role that band gap and electrostatic potential fluctuations have in limiting device performance for this material system. The device modeling and characterization of CZTSSe undertaken with this project have significant implications for the CZTSSe research community, as the identified limitations due to potential fluctuations are expected to be a performance limitation to high-efficiency CZTSSe devices fabricated from all current processing techniques. Additionally, improvements realized through enhanced absorber processing conditions to minimize nanoparticle and large-grain absorber heterogeneity are suggested to be beneficial processing improvements which should be applied to CZTSSe devices fabricated from all processing techniques. Ultimately, our research has indicated that improved performance for CZTSSe will be achieved through novel absorber processing which minimizes defect formation, elemental losses, secondary phase formation, and compositional uniformity in CZTSSe absorbers; we believe this novel absorber processing can be achieved through nanocrystal based processing of CZTSSe which is an active area of research at the conclusion of this award. While significant fundamental understanding of CZTSSe and the performance limitations associated with this material system, as well as notable improvements in the processing of nanocrystal based CZTSSe absorbers, have been achieved under this project, the limitation of two years of research funding towards our goals prevents further significant advancements directly identified through pce. improvements relative to those reported herein. As the characterization and modeling subtask of this project has been the main driving force for understanding device limitations, the conclusions of this analysis have just recently been applied to the processing of nanocrystal based CZTSSe absorbers -- with notable success. We expect the notable fundamental understanding of device limitations and absorber sintering achieved under this project will lead to significant improvements in device performance for CZTSSe devices in the near future for devices fabricated from a variety of processing techniques« less
  • This project seeks to develop and deploy differentiated 21.5% efficient n-type Si solar cells while reaching the SunShot module cost goal of ≤ $0.50/W. This objective hinges on development of enabling low cost technologies that simplify the manufacturing process and reduce overall processing costs. These comprise of (1) Boron emitter formation and passivation; (2) Simplified processing process for emitter and BSF layers; and (3) Advanced metallization for the front and back contacts.
  • The goal of this project is to develop a low-cost and low-energy technology for production of photovoltaic devices based on InGaN materials. This project builds on the ongoing development by Structured Materials Industries (SMI), of novel thin film deposition technology for Group III-Nitride materials, which is capable of depositing Group-III nitride materials at significantly lower costs and significantly lower energy usage compared to conventional deposition techniques. During this project, SMI demonstrated deposition of GaN and InGaN films using metalorganic sources, and demonstrated compatibility of the process with standard substrate materials and hardware components.