Solar energy group REC is to collaborate with Fraunhofer ISE on the development of high-efficiency solar cells based on n-type monocrystalline wafers. N-type solar cells have a higher efficiency potential than traditional p-type solar cells. Moreover, they do not display the light induced degradation that conventional p-type solar cells suffer from. However, n-type cells are more complex to manufacture and traditionally require expensive silver contacts on both sides of the cell.

Fraunhofer ISE has developed a high-efficiency cell structure that avoids the use of an expensive silver contact grid on the back of the cell. Instead, this cell structure makes use of a combination of dielectric layers and localised contacts. REC, which is experienced in the development and optimisation of manufacturing processes, will work with Fraunhofer ISE to translate this technology from lab scale to a full production-ready concept. The new production process is expected to yield high-efficiency cells at competitive costs on proven production equipment. The latter will make it possible to implement this technology quickly in production once it is fully developed.

“The PassDop layer delivers excellent results on the conductivity of n-type solar cells. Through it, we can now achieve confirmed cell efficiency of 22.4%,” Dr. Stefan Glunz, division director solar cells – development and characterization at Fraunhofer ISE, says.

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