Solar cell

  • 26.1 % Record Efficiency for p-Type Crystalline Si Solar Cells

    Monocrystalline silicon solar cell with POLO-contacts for both polarities on the solar cell rear side. In the foreground the rear side of seven solar cells processed on one wafer can be seen. ISFH

    The Institute for Solar Energy Research Hameln (ISFH) and Leibniz Universität Hannover have developed a crystalline silicon solar cell with an independently confirmed efficiency of (26.10 +/- 0.31 %) under one sun. This is a world record for p-type Si material, which currently covers ~90% of the world photovoltaic market. The record cell uses a passivating electron-selective n+ type polysilicon on oxide (POLO) junction and a hole-selective p+ type POLO junction. It is the high selectivity of theses junctions that allow these high efficiencies. As an important step towards industrialization, laser ablation is used for the contact opening process.

  • 30.2 Percent Efficiency – New Record for Silicon-based Multi-junction Solar Cell

    Wafer-bonded III-V / Si multi-junction solar cell with 30.2 percent efficiency. ©Fraunhofer ISE/A. Wekkeli

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with the Austrian company EV Group (EVG) have successfully manufactured a silicon-based multi-junction solar cell with two contacts and an efficiency exceeding the theoretical limit of silicon solar cells. For this achievement, the researchers used a “direct wafer bonding” process to transfer a few micrometers of III-V semiconductor material to silicon, a well-known process in the microelectronics industry. After plasma activation, the subcell surfaces are bonded together in vacuum by applying pressure. The atoms on the surface of the III-V subcell form bonds with the silicon atoms, creating a monolithic device.

  • CalLab PV Modules Increases Measurement Precision to a Record 1.3 Percent

    Test stand developed at Fraunhofer ISE for measuring bifacial PV modules. Fraunhofer ISE

    The calibration laboratory at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has achieved a best value: Photovoltaic modules can now be calibrated with an even higher measurement precision of 1.3 percent. Repeatability lies at 0.4 percent. Measurement precision is a decisive factor for quality assurance in the module production and for investments in PV plants. For a volume of 10 MW, for example, each percentage point increase in measurement precision corresponds to a monetary value of about 60,000 euros. “Maximum measurement precision is not just an academic exercise, rather it greatly helps gain the confidence of investors,” says Dr. Harry Wirth, division director of Photovoltaic Modules, Systems and Reliability. Module manufacturers have to maintain their quality assurance at a high level daily and guarantee their sold output. Power plant operators must know the module power as exact as possible in order to minimize yield uncertainty.

  • Converts One-third of the Sunlight into Electricity: 33.3 % Silicon-based Multi-junction Solar Cell

    Silicon-based multi-junction solar cell consisting of III-V semiconductors and silicon. The record cell converts 33.3. percent of the incident sunlight into electricity. © Fraunhofer ISE/Photo: Dirk Mahler

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with the company EV Group (EVG) have developed a new silicon-based multi-junction solar cell, which can convert exactly one-third of the incident sunlight into useful electricity. This newest result is now published in the renowned scientific magazine Nature Energy.

  • How a FAU researcher disassembles molecules

    Prof.Dr. Andreas Hirsch, holder of the Chair of Organic Chemistry II at FAU, has received an ERC Advanced Grant for the second time. FAU/Boris Mijat

    The EU is granting the chemist Andreas Hirsch of Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) 2.49 million euros to conduct research into black phosphorus on the molecular level. The holder of the Chair of Organic Chemistry II at FAU aims to develop new areas for its application, for instance in the fields of electrical energy storage and solar cells. It could make batteries last longer or enable solar cells to produce more electrical energy. This is the second ERC Advanced Grant to be approved for a research project headed by Hirsch. That makes him the first FAU researcher to achieve this feat.

  • HZB Researchers are Used to Boost the Efficiency of Silicon Solar Cells

    Principle of a silicon singlet fission solar cell with incorporated organic crystalls. M. Künsting/HZB

    The efficiency of a solar cell is one of its most important parameters. It indicates what percentage of the solar energy radiated into the cell is converted into electrical energy. The theoretical limit for silicon solar cells is 29.3 percent due to physical material properties. In the journal Materials Horizons, researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and international colleagues describe how this limit can be abolished.

  • Industrial Maturity of Electrically Conductive Adhesives for Silicon Solar Cells Demonstrated

    Solar cells with three, four or five busbars can be interconnected in the adhesive stringer. © Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and teamtechnik, an international leader in production technology, report that it is now possible to connect high efficiency solar cells using electrically conductive adhesives in series production. The results of the joint research project »KleVer« show that the adhesive technology is ready for the market and can be used as an alternative to the widespread soft soldering interconnection technology. Due to the much lower process temperatures of this technology compared to soldering, temperature-sensitive high efficiency solar cells can be connected using adhesives in a gentle and material-saving process.

  • Molecules that Self-assemble into Monolayers for Efficient Perovskite Solar Cells

    The molecule organises itself on the electrode surface until a dense, uniform monolayer is formed. HZB/Saule Magomedoviene

    A team at the HZB has discovered a new method for producing efficient contact layers in perovskite solar cells. It is based on molecules that organise themselves into a monolayer. The study was published in Advanced Energy Materials and appeared on the front cover of the journal. In recent years, solar cells based on metal halide perovskites have achieved an exceptional increase in efficiency. These materials promise cost-effective and flexible solar cells, and can be combined with conventional PV materials such as silicon to form particularly efficient tandem solar cells.

  • Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cell with 21.9 % Efficiency: Fraunhofer ISE Again Holds World Record

    The multicrystalline world record solar cell made of n-type HPM silicon with an area of 2 cm x 2 cm. ©Fraunhofer ISE

    The potential of photovoltaics (PV) has not yet been exhausted. Both industry and research continue to work intensively on increasing the efficiency and reducing the costs of solar cells, the basic component of every PV power plant. Now researchers at Fraunhofer ISE have produced a multicrystalline silicon solar cell with 21.9 percent efficiency, successfully bringing the world record back to Freiburg. Higher efficiencies and optimized processing steps are decisive for decreasing the cost of solar electricity even further. Both of these are an integral part of the photovoltaic research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

  • OLED production facility from a single source

    Pilot plant for printed organic electronics at the Fraunhofer IAP in Potsdam-Golm. © Fraunhofer IAP, photo: Till Budde

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam and three other German companies have been commissioned by a Chinese producer to develop an OLED production facility for its site in China. The four development partners have formed the consortium GOTA - German OLED Technology Alliance – in order to develop, under one roof, the materials and technologies needed for printed electronics and machine engineering. The Fraunhofer IAP will present its know-how in the field of printed electronics at LOPEC, the international exhibition for printed electronics, which will be held in Munich from March 29 – 30, 2017.

  • Patented Nanostructure for Solar Cells: Rough Optics, Smooth Surface

    The nanostructure for capturing light is imprinted on silicon oxide (blue) and then "levelled" with titanium oxide (green). HZB

    Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

  • Printed in-situ Perovskite Solar Cells Save Resources and Can Be Produced Locally

    In-situ filling of a printed perovskite solar cell at Fraunhofer ISE. © Fraunhofer ISE

    Photovoltaics (PV) is one of the key technologies of a sustainable energy supply based on renewable energy. Besides silicon-based photovoltaics, which presently dominates the market, there are other materials, such as perovskite, that also show great potential. Scientists are testing the proof of concept of these new types of solar cells.

  • Rolling out solar cells: German-Danish project researches flexible organic energy technologies

    In the long run, flexible solar cells could be produced on a large scale by roll-to-roll printing presses. Photo/Copyright: NanoSYD

    Solar cells as thin as foil, and so flexible that they can be rolled out over various large surfaces such as house and vehicle roofs or glass fronts – that is one of the long-term goals of a German-Danish research project that is starting now. Those involved in the “RollFlex Innovation Project Centre” include the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), where the project is headquartered, Kiel University (CAU), the CAU-based start-up FUMT R&D Functional Materials GmbH, the Danish company Stensborg A/S, as well as numerous German and Danish network partners. The official kick-off event took place last week (Wednesday 14 December) in Sonderborg.

  • Silicon solar cell of ISFH yields 25% efficiency with passivating POLO contacts

    Monocrystalline 25%-silicon solar cell with POLO-contacts for both polarities on the rear side of the solar cell. ISFH

    The Lower Saxon‘ Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) achieved a solar cell efficiency of 25 % in collaboration with the Institute of Electronic Materials and Devices (MBE) of the Leibniz Universität Hannover. This high efficiency was accomplished with passivating "poly-Si on oxide" contacts (POLO) for both polarities, which avoid the otherwise high recombination beneath the metal contacts. The Lower Saxon‘ Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH), an affiliated institute of the “Leibniz Universität Hannover” in collaboration with the Institute of Electronic Materials and Devices (MBE) of the “Leibniz Universität Hannover” achieved a solar cell efficiency of 25 %. This result was confirmed by DAkkS-accredited independent calibration laboratory ISFH CalTeC and presented at the Asian conference PVSEC-26 in Singapore.

  • Solar cells: Optimised growth and sawing of crystals

    The produced wafers are ready for the next steps on the path to the module.  © SolarWorld GmbH

    The market for photovoltaic systems is highly competitive. In order to achieve higher efficiency and reduce costs, manufacturers are continuously optimising the production processes. The new BINE-Projektinfo brochure "Cheaper production of solar cells" (02/2017) presents two improved production processes. The first makes it possible to produce quasi-monocrystalline silicon with a significantly lower energy requirement and at the same time obtain a very pure, high-quality silicon. The second reduces the material losses when the silicon ingots are sawn into many thin slices (wafers). The new sawing technology will enable more wafers to be obtained from the same amount of silicon.

  • The Role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

    Dr. Torsten Schwarz, postdoctoral researcher at the MPIE, analyzed the local clustering and gradients of sodium with the atom probe (seen in the image). Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

     

    Green energy gained by photovoltaic amounts ca. 6% of Germany’s gross power production . The most common solar cells currently used are made out of silicon. So-called CIGS, solar cells out of copper, indium, gallium and selen (Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2, are a promising alternative with an efficiency of ca. 23%, which is the conversion rate of light to electricity. In comparison to conventional silicon solar cells, CIGS consumes less material and production energy and are thus cheaper in production and environmentally friendly.

  • Virtual Technology Center for Efficient Solar Cells

    For the cleanroom of Fraunhofer ISE, the consortium implemented a remote monitoring for cells in diffusion tube. Fraunhofer ISE

    Linking up systems to a virtual network in order to make solar cell production in Baden Württemberg more efficient – this was the aim of the “InES” research project. With a cloud infrastructure developed by Fraunhofer IPA and both mobile and browser-based applications, the consortium is now able to share the use of machines at different sites. Remote monitoring of processes and automated test data transfers were also implemented.