MiLiCiA – IBC solar cells
Aim of the new MiLiCiA research project is to develop a low-concentration PV technology that can compete with conventional power generation without subsidies or feed-in tariffs.
LineSolar has the ambition to produce their Multi-Line Concentration (MLC) technology at 0.33 €/Wp manufacturing costs including solar cells.
As a bonus, the technology is environmentally friendly because silicon consumption is reduced with a factor 10 and silver with a factor of at least 5.
Wholesale prices vary from 0.5 €/Wp for low-cost commodity type modules up to 1.3 €/Wp for premium quality.
In high-efficiency modules, the solar cells dominate the production costs of a solar module. Concentration of sunlight is an elegant way of reducing the cost of high-efficiency solar cells.
Large cells will be cut up into smaller pieces while optics is applied to guide the sunlight towards the solar cell.
Rear-junction, IBC c-Si solar cells potentially have a number of advantages over conventional front-junction solar cells.
- The back surface of IBC solar cells can independently be optimized for low series resistance and high fill factors (FF), while the front surface is separately optimized for passivation and anti-reflection (AR) properties to achieve maximum optical coupling and high short circuit currents (JSC).
- Back contact solar cells are far easier to incorporate into a module with a higher packing factor since all the contacts are on one side of the wafer, and the interconnection strips do not have to pass from the front of one cell to the back of the next.
- Performance (no shading loss and avoiding the trade-off between series resistance and reflectance)
- Manufacturability (for example, ease of series connection for module and allowing for higher packing factor)
- Aesthetics (PV modules with more uniform appearance is desirable for architectural applications).
The MILICIA project consists of a technology co-development between LineSolar and ECN.
- ECN will develop application specific IBC solar cells for low concentration applications and prove its manufacturability
- LineSolar will develop the module manufacturing processes.
Commercialization of MLC technology is key.
- Therefore, a simple device architecture will be selected according to a validated cell production process.
- To prove the viability of the MLC technology, several prototype MLC modules will be built and tested within the project.
- Finally, the design of solar power plants using MLC modules will be delivered to generate electricity at 10-15% lower cost level when compared with competing technologies, bringing the cost of solar PV below the cost of coal fired power plants which is the cheapest form of power generation today.
01.09.2015 – 31.12.2016
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