c-Si at 20% by 2010: DuPont adds to Solamet portfolio and roadmap

DuPont Microcircuit Materials has developed a roadmap of proposed technology options to help enable C-Si PV cell conversion efficiency beyond 20% by 2012. Dupont has several new Solamet products in its development pipeline targeting better efficiency and lifetime of photovoltaic cells and modules, lowering total system costs, and driving to reach grid parity faster.

(September 9, 2010) — DuPont Microcircuit Materials has developed a roadmap of proposed technology options to help enable crystalline silicon (C-Si) PV cell conversion efficiency beyond 20% by 2012. Material and process technology improvements are made to the DuPont Solamet brand photovoltaic metallization pastes. Dupont has several new Solamet products in its development pipeline targeting better efficiency and lifetime of photovoltaic cells and modules, lowering total system costs, and driving to reach grid parity faster. 

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Innovative PV metallization materials and new cell structures can be combined to maximize solar cell efficency. DuPont presented its technology roadmap for PV metallization technology at the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC).
 
“In the race toward higher efficiency, both evolutionary and revolutionary changes are needed to win,” said Peter Brenner, global marketing manager, photovoltaics – DuPont Microcircuit Materials. “New photovoltaic metallization pastes are evolving now, and the development of more revolutionary metallization technologies ahead is key to achieving the industry goal of greater than 20% efficiency within the next couple of years.”

DuPont recently introduced Solamet PV16x series frontside silver paste system, which increases efficiency by up to 0.4%.

Other DuPont Solamet products include:

  • next generation frontside silver pastes, which are formulated to deliver higher efficiency performance through improved contact and series resistance. These new products, planned for late 2010, are designed to be compatible with high-speed printing processes, robust in processing, and fine line patterning.
  • Next generation lead-free* Solamet front side silver pastes
  • Solamet photovoltaic metallizations for double printing – developed to enable narrower and taller grid lines to be precisely printed in two or more layers, reducing the shadowing effect of wide grid lines on solar cells and improving electrical conductivity.
  • Solamet pastes for Non-contact Patterning – delivering higher aspect ratios through extrusion or other novel non-contact methods, and enabling the use of thin wafers (<180µm) without imparting mechanical stress.
  • Solamet photovoltaic metallization pastes for local back surface field (BSF) contact – a new cell architecture for rear side passivated crystalline silicon solar cell designs that outperforms conventional aluminum compositions by delivering up to 0.8% greater conversion efficiency for solar cells when used in local contact designs.
  • Solamet materials enabling Metal Wrap Through (MWT) – a specialized cell structure that transfers the bus bars on the frontside to the backside which reduces shading on the frontside of the cell. The connections are made through holes in the silicon with the same composition as the bus bars.
  • Solamet conductors for n-type silicon that offer significantly higher capacity for efficiency than p-type silicon.

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It is expected that many of these technologies can be combined to optimize efficiency for the future. Conductors enabled with future generation Solamet formulations for n-type silicon, combined with metal wrap through and non-contact printed fingers on the frontside could potentially reach 22-24% efficiency by 2015, which could represent a significant cost savings for the industry, and help make photovoltaic power more cost competitive with other forms of electricity generation.

Peter Brenner delivered a presentation outlining this technology roadmap, titled, “Metallization Solutions for c-Si Next Generation Technology” as part of the Exhibitor’s Forum on September 7, 2010, during the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (25th EU PVSEC) in Valencia, Spain.

DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallizations are part of a portfolio of products represented by DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions (DPVS), which connects science and technology from across the company on a global scale to help support the dramatic growth in the photovoltaic industry. To learn more, please visit http://photovoltaics.dupont.com. DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Learn more at www.dupont.com

* “Lead free” as used herein means that lead is not an intentional ingredient in and is not intentionally added to the referenced products. Trace amounts however may be present.

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