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ECN publication
Development towards 20% efficient n-type Si MWT solar cells for low-cost industrial production
Guillevin, N.; Heurtault, B.; Bennett, I.J.; Guichoux, M.G.; Geerligs, L.J.; Weeber, A.W.; Jingfeng, Xiong ; Zhiyan, Hu ; Gaofei, Li ; Wenchao, Zhao; Yingle, Chen; Jianming, Wang; Ziqian, Wang; Jianhui, Chen
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 5-9-2011
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--11-009 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
6 Download PDF  

Low “Euros per Watt-peak” and ease of industrialization are the main drivers towards successful introduction on the market. In this regard, back-contact solar cells on n-type silicon offer significant benefits. The efficiency of back-contact cells, such as Metal Wrap Through (MWT) cells, compared to the traditional H-pattern cells is higher at cell level, thanks to the reduced shading losses, and is higher at module level, thanks to the reduced interconnection resistance losses. N-type silicon benefits from improved electrical properties of n-type silicon compared to p-type (higher minority carrier diffusion lengths, lower sensitivity to many impurities). Furthermore, the availability of an industrial cell process designed by ECN, resulting in bifacial cells (good rear surface passivation and light trapping), makes n-type silicon a perfect candidate for high efficiency solar cells and requires only modest changes to the current wafer and cell production processes. In order to reduce processing costs and increase module efficiencies, we have started two years ago the development of the Metal-Wrap-Through (MWT) solar cell technology on n-type mono-crystalline silicon wafers. Within the last year, efficiency of our MWT silicon solar cells manufactured from n-type Cz silicon wafers has been improved by 1% absolute. Based on common industrial cell processing steps such as diffusion, screen-printing metallization and firing through, we have obtained efficiencies up to 19.7% (in-house measurements) on large area wafers (239 cm², 5 ?cm), with clear potential for further improvement. In this article, we present a first direct comparison experiment between n-type bifacial MWT and non back-contact n-type bifacial H-pattern technologies, in which an efficiency gain of 0.30% absolute for MWT cells is demonstrated. At the moment, series resistance and, as a result, fill factor are still sub-optimal. Nevertheless, with current density (Jsc) values approaching 40 mA/cm2 and open circuit voltage of 644 mV, n-type MWT solar cells already outperform n-type H-pattern cells manufactured with a comparable process. Furthermore, first results on modules are presented.

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