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Title: A Techno-Economic Analysis and Cost Reduction Roadmap for III-V Solar Cells

Abstract

III-V materials have achieved the highest efficiency of any solar cell technology. They have been commercially available since the 1960s, and have been widely used in space applications where high performance is required. However, prices of III-V solar cells are currently 2 to 3 orders of magnitude higher than other technologies, prohibiting their use in mainstream photovoltaic (PV) markets outside of high concentration photovoltaic systems. In this report, we present bottom-up cost models for current III-V solar cell technology, and explore the reasons behind these high costs. Then, we examine the advances required to drive cost down, and present a roadmap illustrating potential pathways to reach costs that could enable III-Vs to be competitive in broader, terrestrial markets without concentration. We find that cell manufacturing costs of $0.40/W or below could be achieved in high volume production, but that this would require commercialization and scale-up of a low-cost epitaxial growth technique, implementation of alternative, low-cost metallization schemes, and, critically, significant research and development to address the high cost of the substrate.

Authors:
 [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1484349
Report Number(s):
NREL/TP-6A20-72103
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; III-Vs; solar cells; cost analysis; manufacturing; GaAs; HVPE; MOCVD; MOVPE; multi-junction solar cells

Citation Formats

Horowitz, Kelsey A, Remo, Timothy W, Ptak, Aaron J, and Smith, Brittany. A Techno-Economic Analysis and Cost Reduction Roadmap for III-V Solar Cells. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1484349.
Horowitz, Kelsey A, Remo, Timothy W, Ptak, Aaron J, & Smith, Brittany. A Techno-Economic Analysis and Cost Reduction Roadmap for III-V Solar Cells. United States. doi:10.2172/1484349.
Horowitz, Kelsey A, Remo, Timothy W, Ptak, Aaron J, and Smith, Brittany. Tue . "A Techno-Economic Analysis and Cost Reduction Roadmap for III-V Solar Cells". United States. doi:10.2172/1484349. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1484349.
@article{osti_1484349,
title = {A Techno-Economic Analysis and Cost Reduction Roadmap for III-V Solar Cells},
author = {Horowitz, Kelsey A and Remo, Timothy W and Ptak, Aaron J and Smith, Brittany},
abstractNote = {III-V materials have achieved the highest efficiency of any solar cell technology. They have been commercially available since the 1960s, and have been widely used in space applications where high performance is required. However, prices of III-V solar cells are currently 2 to 3 orders of magnitude higher than other technologies, prohibiting their use in mainstream photovoltaic (PV) markets outside of high concentration photovoltaic systems. In this report, we present bottom-up cost models for current III-V solar cell technology, and explore the reasons behind these high costs. Then, we examine the advances required to drive cost down, and present a roadmap illustrating potential pathways to reach costs that could enable III-Vs to be competitive in broader, terrestrial markets without concentration. We find that cell manufacturing costs of $0.40/W or below could be achieved in high volume production, but that this would require commercialization and scale-up of a low-cost epitaxial growth technique, implementation of alternative, low-cost metallization schemes, and, critically, significant research and development to address the high cost of the substrate.},
doi = {10.2172/1484349},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Nov 27 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Tue Nov 27 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}

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