PLANT PV, a photovoltaic materials innovator, announced today at SNEC 2017 a breakthrough that enables solar cell manufacturers to capture substantially greater solar cell power output. PLANT PV’s new Silver-on-Aluminum™ paste is designed for easy implementation with no added investment cost for cell producers and leads to a 1 percent increase in relative power output for c-Si solar cells.
“For 20 years the industry has had to accept an efficiency loss from printing silver bus bars directly onto solar cells,” stated Dr. Craig Peters, CEO of PLANT PV. “Our Silver-on-Aluminum paste has been developed to directly address this problem and enable cell producers to eliminate these unnecessary efficiency losses in all conventional solar cells today.”
“Assuming full implementation on the 85-GW global production recently forecast for 2017 by GTM (Greentech Media), of which at least 50GW is back surface field (BSF), our technology would enable an estimated 500-MW more power to be developed by today’s PV module facilities, with no additional process steps or work process to be adopted,” added Peters.
Silver-on-Aluminum paste provides cell manufacturers with the ability to print the paste directly onto dried aluminum film, allowing them to cover the entire back of the wafer with aluminum paste and obtain the beneficial passivation of a continuous aluminum back-surface field.
PLANT PV recently demonstrated a 0.15% absolute efficiency gain over cells using conventional rear-tabbing pastes on multi-crystalline silicon solar cells at Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg, Germany. The company, which was incubated out of the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, presented its Ag-on-Al paste concept and test results at SNEC 11th International PV Power Generation Conference, Session 2: Silicon Wafer Solar Cells on Tuesday April 18.