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Photovoltaic Manufacturing Companies Worldwide


Thin Films Solar Cells on Flexible Substrates

Group members:Dr. F.-J. Haug, E. Feuser,  X. Niquille, G. Nogay, J. St├╝ckelberger, M. St├╝ckelberger
Running projects:OFEN, Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), FP7-Fast-Trac

Keywords: flexible solar cells, plastic substrates, light trapping, embossing processes

Background

Thin film silicon solar cells are classified into p-i-n and n-i-p configurations which refer to their deposition sequence; n-i-p processing starts with the n-layer which is normally grown on a metallic back contact. Historically this configuration is connected to flexible substrates because it was used on opaque substrates or poorly transparent substrates like steel foils or high temperature polymers. However, the configuration is not limited to this choice, it is in fact compatible with any kind of substrates, such as rigid or flexible, transparent or opaque. Nevertheless, flexible substrates have remained the main application of n-i-p cells because roll-to-roll processing makes them very interesting to reduce the production costs as well as the energy payback time, particularly when low cost substrates like poly-ethylene are used.
The activities of the n-i-p group combine general aspects of thin film silicon solar cells with special requirements that are imposed by the deposition sequence and the desired compatibility with low temperature substrates. Two main lines of work can be distinguished:
.    Substrate texturing
.    Light scattering and absorption enhancement
These two combined lines result in, for example, high efficiency triple junctions cell on innovative flat light scattering substrate presented in the last section.
Towards a more fundamental understanding of absorption enhancement in solar cells, we fabricate cells on periodic gratings that permit the study of coupling into guided modes [1].
We obtained fully flexible solar cells on a low cost poly-ethylene substrate with a stabilized efficiency of 9.8% for 0.25cm2 laboratory cells [2].

Research highlights

Substrate texturing

Amorphous and microcrystalline silicon are poor absorbers, particularly for light with energies just above their respective band gaps. Some means of absorption enhancement is required which is commonly called light trapping. A common approach for n-i-p cells are back contacts made from so called "hot silver", which is the texture that silver develops by partial recrystallization during growth on a heated substrate.
It can be achieved by texturing of the interfaces.
Unfortunately this is too hot for poly-ethylene, we have to devise other ways. We investigate the incorporation of texture into the substrate itself, during cell fabrication this texture is carried into the other interfaces because of conformal coverage.
Periodic substrate textures
We obtained promising results on low cost poly-ethylene substrates like the one shown below. The substrate texture has been manufactured by a commercial manufacturer.
Source Article: http://pvlab.epfl.ch/thin_film_on_flexible_substrates

You Tube Channel Of Interest: https://www.youtube.com/user/rhandsom/videos


PV Production Lines in 2009, Technology, Capacity & Production
CompanyCountryTechnologyCapacity (MW)Production (MW)
20062007200820092006200720082009
BoschGermany--220260270-55143200
BP SolarSpainLaser buried grid2-80--1215401-
AustraliaMC Screen print-52--3335401-
Greenshine New EnergyUSA--43--2527301-
Canadian SolarCanada-0100270420040102.8200
China SunergyChina--192320320-80100-120194
ConergyGermany-0275110012500015011001
DelSolarTaiwan-50100120120-548388.8
China----60---0
E-Ton SolarTaiwan--200320320356297220
Evergreen Solar4USAString ribbon-1758.5145131626.5103.4
GermanyString ribbon-90--1550--
ChinaString ribbon--------
First SolarUSACdTe-119147160601191451143
GermanyCdTe0158196214081192192.5
MalaysiaCdTe0039285400167764.5
GintechTaiwan--210310660660180368
Grape SolarUSA--------
IsofotonSpain--130180140618713070
JA Solar HoldingsChina--22575080030132300520
JUST Solar Co.,Ltd.China-0120156205083156194
KyoceraJapan---360-1802207290400
Mitsubishi ElectricJapan--150220220111121148120
Mitsubishi HeavyJapan--1442681314401421
MotechTaiwan--240350470102176270296
China-00601300064
MX GroupItaly---6090--3767
Neo Solar PowerTaiwan--602102404361351201
Ningbo Solar ElectricChina--100250-270350-1001751260
PhotowattFrance--6060-33385849
Photovoltech NVBelgium--80808018298054
Q-CellsGermany--5167605003253389570551
MalaysiaCdTe---300---20
Germany (Calyxo)-08251001311
Germany (Solibro)-00303000514
Germany (Sontor)-0825-0113.6-
Renewable Energy CorporationNorway----150--80115
PanasonicJapan--2651345345155165215260
Schott SolarGermany-1181622053558374138218
USA-14-151513101111
SharpJapan--710710710434363473595
SolardayItaly--206090-303750
SolarPark KoreaSouth KoreaCrystalline silicon---170---90
SolarWorldGermany--1601300150017013520012001
USA-551-100250201351301501
SollandNetherlands--6017017018366080
SunPowerPhilippines--21441457463100237397
Malaysia---------
SuntechChina--5401000211001603365302704
SunwaysGermany--46116116253849601
Trina SolarChina--110350600-29210399
United Solar OvonicUSAThin Film Flexible amorphous silicon-118117811502848112.6123.4
YingliChina-20040060037145281.5525.3
Youtube Channel Of Interest


PV Production Lines in 2009, Technology, Capacity & Production
CompanyCountryTechnologyCapacity (MW)Production (MW)
20062007200820092006200720082009
BoschGermany--220260270-55143200
BP SolarSpainLaser buried grid2-80--1215401-
AustraliaMC Screen print-52--3335401-
Greenshine New EnergyUSA--43--2527301-
Canadian SolarCanada-0100270420040102.8200
China SunergyChina--192320320-80100-120194
ConergyGermany-0275110012500015011001
DelSolarTaiwan-50100120120-548388.8
China----60---0
E-Ton SolarTaiwan--200320320356297220
Evergreen Solar4USAString ribbon-1758.5145131626.5103.4
GermanyString ribbon-90--1550--
ChinaString ribbon--------
First SolarUSACdTe-119147160601191451143
GermanyCdTe0158196214081192192.5
MalaysiaCdTe0039285400167764.5
GintechTaiwan--210310660660180368
Grape SolarUSA--------
IsofotonSpain--130180140618713070
JA Solar HoldingsChina--22575080030132300520
JUST Solar Co.,Ltd.China-0120156205083156194
KyoceraJapan---360-1802207290400
Mitsubishi ElectricJapan--150220220111121148120
Mitsubishi HeavyJapan--1442681314401421
MotechTaiwan--240350470102176270296
China-00601300064
MX GroupItaly---6090--3767
Neo Solar PowerTaiwan--602102404361351201
Ningbo Solar ElectricChina--100250-270350-1001751260
PhotowattFrance--6060-33385849
Photovoltech NVBelgium--80808018298054
Q-CellsGermany--5167605003253389570551
MalaysiaCdTe---300---20
Germany (Calyxo)-08251001311
Germany (Solibro)-00303000514
Germany (Sontor)-0825-0113.6-
Renewable Energy CorporationNorway----150--80115
PanasonicJapan--2651345345155165215260
Schott SolarGermany-1181622053558374138218
USA-14-151513101111
SharpJapan--710710710434363473595
SolardayItaly--206090-303750
SolarPark KoreaSouth KoreaCrystalline silicon---170---90
SolarWorldGermany--1601300150017013520012001
USA-551-100250201351301501
SollandNetherlands--6017017018366080
SunPowerPhilippines--21441457463100237397
Malaysia---------
SuntechChina--5401000211001603365302704
SunwaysGermany--46116116253849601
Trina SolarChina--110350600-29210399
United Solar OvonicUSAThin Film Flexible amorphous silicon-118117811502848112.6123.4
YingliChina-20040060037145281.5525.3

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