High-efficiency rear-passivated screenprinted silicon solar cells

Published: September 1, 2011

By Thorsten Dullweber, R&D Group Leader, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Sebastian Gatz, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH); Tom Falcon, DEK Printing Machines Ltd; Helge Hannebauer, Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH)

Approximately 80% of today’s silicon solar cells industrially manufactured worldwide apply screen printing for the metallization of the silver front and aluminium rear contacts. In production, conversion efficiencies of ~18–18.5% are achieved using monocrystalline silicon wafers. A baseline process has been implemented at ISFH that is very similar to the industry-standard process, displaying conversion efficiencies of up to 18.5%. An analysis of the solar cells reveals that the conversion efficiency is limited in particular by the shadowing loss due to the silver front-side metallization, as well as infrared light being absorbed in the aluminium rear-side metallization. This paper summarizes recent developments at ISFH that resulted in a 19.4% efficient large-area screen-printed solar cell, when applying a print-on-print silver front-side metallization and an SiO2/SiNx rear-surface passivation.

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