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Posted: May 13, 2011
DEK Solar Helps Enable Record 19.4% Cell Efficiency at ISFH
(Nanowerk News) Partnering with the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH, Emmerthal, Germany), DEK Solar has, with its PVP1200 print platform, print-on-print process expertise and screens technology, helped enable a record crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) cell efficiency of 19.4%.
As stated by ISFH on March 8, 2011, this efficiency level is record-breaking among Cz-silicon solar cells using a screen printing metallization process. Through the use of a 200 nanometer Si02/SiNx double layer on the rear side of a standard PV cell in combination with DEK's novel front-side metallization process, ISFH was able to achieve this outstanding result.
"DEK Solar's print-on-print technology and PVP1200 platform accuracy were key contributors to this major efficiency gain," explains Dr. Thorsten Dullweber, ISFH Group Leader for Solar Cell Production Processes. "The print-on-print process effectively increases contact finger height and reduces finger width, thus resulting in less shadowing loss and improved efficiency. Combined with our rear side cell modifications to increase the current and voltage of the cell, the DEK Solar technologies have helped facilitate this incredible nearly 1% improvement over our previous 18.5% efficiency level."
On board DEK Solar's award-winning PVP1200 print platform, which achieves six-sigma process capability at a resolution of ±12.5 micron for advanced levels of accuracy, ISFH implemented DEK Solar's print-on-print technology for the cell front side metallization. Utilizing specialized DEK Solar screens, fired contact finger aspect ratios of 0.38 can be achieved via a print-on-print process. This, in combination with the accuracy of the PVP1200 metallization system, enabled a reduction in shadowing losses and improved cell efficiency.
"Efficiency of 19.4% on a silicon solar cell using high-volume screen printing techniques is a significant achievement," explains Darren Brown, DEK Alternative Energy Business Manager. "This milestone just further underscores DEK Solar's ability to leverage our print process expertise to make solar power a more affordable mainstream solution. We were delighted to be able to work with the superbly experienced and professional team at ISFH on this project."
Dullweber echoes these comments: "Achieving a nearly 1% efficiency gain is a major step forward towards further reduction in the cost of photovoltaic electricity," says Dullweber. "Our collaboration with DEK Solar has and continues to be a technical partnership that we believe will benefit all those who seek effective alternative energy solutions."
About DEK Solar
DEK is a global provider of next-generation technologies and process support to solar cell manufacturers with solutions that include modular metallization platforms, precision screens and materials applications used in back side field coating, current-collector pattern and termination deposition for photovoltaic substrate production. For more information, visit DEK Solar at www.deksolar.com.