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Sample records for commercial silicon solar

  1. On the performance limiting behavior of defect clusters in commercial silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Sopori, B.L.; Chen, W.; Jones, K.; Gee, J.

    1998-09-01

    The authors report the observation of defect clusters in high-quality, commercial silicon solar cell substrates. The nature of the defect clusters, their mechanism of formation, and precipitation of metallic impurities at the defect clusters are discussed. This defect configuration influences the device performance in a unique way--by primarily degrading the voltage-related parameters. Network modeling is used to show that, in an N/P junction device, these regions act as shunts that dissipate power generated within the cell.

  2. Development of Commercial Technology for Thin Film Silicon Solar Cells on Glass: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-07-209

    SciTech Connect

    Sopori, B.

    2013-03-01

    NREL has conducted basic research relating to high efficiency, low cost, thin film silicon solar cell design and the method of making solar cells. Two patents have been issued to NREL in the above field. In addition, specific process and metrology tools have been developed by NREL. Applied Optical Sciences Corp. (AOS) has expertise in the manufacture of solar cells and has developed its own unique concentrator technology. AOS wants to complement its solar cell expertise and its concentrator technology by manufacturing flat panel thin film silicon solar cell panels. AOS wants to take NREL's research to the next level, using it to develop commercially viable flat pane, thin film silicon solar cell panels. Such a development in equipment, process, and metrology will likely produce the lowest cost solar cell technology for both commercial and residential use. NREL's fundamental research capability and AOS's technology and industrial background are complementary to achieve this product development.

  3. Thin silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, R.B.; Bacon, C.; DiReda, V.; Ford, D.H.; Ingram, A.E.; Cotter, J.; Hughes-Lampros, T.; Rand, J.A.; Ruffins, T.R.; Barnett, A.M.

    1992-12-01

    The silicon-film design achieves high performance by using a dun silicon layer and incorporating light trapping. Optimally designed thin crystalline solar cells (<50 microns thick) have performance advantages over conventional thick devices. The high-performance silicon-film design employs a metallurgical barrier between the low-cost substrate and the thin silicon layer. Light trapping properties of silicon-film on ceramic solar cells are presented and analyzed. Recent advances in process development are described here.

  4. Multicrystalline silicon bifacial solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jimeno, J. C.; Luque, A.

    The results of several batches of multicrystalline silicon bifacial solar cells (HEM and cast) are analyzed. I-V curves are measured under front and back illuminations and also in the dark, at several temperatures. It is concluded that HEM wafers might be used to manufacture commercial bifacial cells, while the high base recombination prevents the use of cast wafers for this purpose.

  5. Solar silicon via the Dow Corning process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, L. P.; Dosaj, V. D.

    1979-01-01

    Technical feasibility for high volume production of solar cell-grade silicon is investigated. The process consists of producing silicon from pure raw materials via the carbothermic reduction of quartz. This silicon was then purified to solar grade by impurity segregation during Czochralski crystal growth. Commercially available raw materials were used to produce 100 kg quantities of silicon during 60 hour periods in a direct arc reactor. This silicon produced single crystalline ingot, during a second Czochralski pull, that was fabricated into solar cells having efficiencies ranging from 8.2 percent to greater than 14 percent. An energy analysis of the entire process indicated a 5 month payback time.

  6. Nanocrystalline silicon based thin film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Swati

    2012-06-01

    Amorphous silicon solar cells and panels on glass and flexible substrate are commercially available. Since last few years nanocrystalline silicon thin film has attracted remarkable attention due to its stability under light and ability to absorb longer wavelength portion of solar spectrum. For amorphous silicon/ nanocrystalline silicon double junction solar cell 14.7% efficiency has been achieved in small area and 13.5% for large area modules internationally. The device quality nanocrystalline silicon films have been fabricated by RF and VHF PECVD methods at IACS. Detailed characterizations of the materials have been done. Nanocrystalline films with low defect density and high stability have been developed and used as absorber layer of solar cells.

  7. Laser wafering for silicon solar.

    SciTech Connect

    Friedmann, Thomas Aquinas; Sweatt, William C.; Jared, Bradley Howell

    2011-03-01

    Current technology cuts solar Si wafers by a wire saw process, resulting in 50% 'kerf' loss when machining silicon from a boule or brick into a wafer. We want to develop a kerf-free laser wafering technology that promises to eliminate such wasteful wire saw processes and achieve up to a ten-fold decrease in the g/W{sub p} (grams/peak watt) polysilicon usage from the starting polysilicon material. Compared to today's technology, this will also reduce costs ({approx}20%), embodied energy, and green-house gas GHG emissions ({approx}50%). We will use short pulse laser illumination sharply focused by a solid immersion lens to produce subsurface damage in silicon such that wafers can be mechanically cleaved from a boule or brick. For this concept to succeed, we will need to develop optics, lasers, cleaving, and high throughput processing technologies capable of producing wafers with thicknesses < 50 {micro}m with high throughput (< 10 sec./wafer). Wafer thickness scaling is the 'Moore's Law' of silicon solar. Our concept will allow solar manufacturers to skip entire generations of scaling and achieve grid parity with commercial electricity rates. Yet, this idea is largely untested and a simple demonstration is needed to provide credibility for a larger scale research and development program. The purpose of this project is to lay the groundwork to demonstrate the feasibility of laser wafering. First, to design and procure on optic train suitable for producing subsurface damage in silicon with the required damage and stress profile to promote lateral cleavage of silicon. Second, to use an existing laser to produce subsurface damage in silicon, and third, to characterize the damage using scanning electron microscopy and confocal Raman spectroscopy mapping.

  8. Silicon concentrator solar cell research

    SciTech Connect

    Green, M.A.; Zhao, J.; Wang, A.; Dai, X.; Milne, A.; Cai, S.; Aberle, A.; Wenham, S.R.

    1993-06-01

    This report describes work conducted between December 1990 and May 1992 continuing research on silicon concentrator solar cells. The objectives of the work were to improve the performance of high-efficiency cells upon p-type substrates, to investigate the ultraviolet stability of such cells, to develop concentrator cells based on n-type substrates, and to transfer technology to appropriate commercial environments. Key results include the identification of contact resistance between boron-defused areas and rear aluminum as the source of anomalously large series resistance in both p- and n-type cells. A major achievement of the present project was the successful transfer of cell technology to both Applied Solar Energy Corporation and Solarex Corporation.

  9. Silicon Solar Cell Turns 50

    SciTech Connect

    Perlin, J.

    2004-08-01

    This short brochure describes a milestone in solar (or photovoltaic, PV) research-namely, the 50th anniversary of the invention of the first viable silicon solar cell by three researchers at Bell Laboratories.

  10. Investigation of the stability and 1.0 MeV proton radiation resistance of commercially produced hydrogenated amorphous silicon alloy solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lord, Kenneth R., II; Walters, Michael R.; Woodyard, James R.

    1994-01-01

    The radiation resistance of commercial solar cells fabricated from hydrogenated amorphous silicon alloys is reported. A number of different device structures were irradiated with 1.0 MeV protons. The cells were annealing at 200 C. The annealing time was dependent on proton fluence. Annealing devices for one hour restores cell parameters or fluences below 1(exp 14) cm(exp -2); fluences above 1(exp 14) cm(exp -2) require longer annealing times. A parametric fitting model was used to characterize current mechanisms observed in dark I-V measurements. The current mechanisms were explored with irradiation fluence, and voltage and light soaking times. The thermal generation current density and quality factor increased with proton fluence. Device simulation shows the degradation in cell characteristics may be explained by the reduction of the electric field in the intrinsic layer.

  11. Investigation of the Stability and 1.0 MeV Proton Radiation Resistance of Commercially Produced Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Alloy Solar Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lord, Kenneth R., II; Walters, Michael R.; Woodyard, James R.

    1994-01-01

    The radiation resistance of commercial solar cells fabricated from hydrogenated amorphous silicon alloys is reported. A number of different device structures were irradiated with 1.0 MeV protons. The cells were insensitive to proton fluences below 1E12 sq cm. The parameters of the irradiated cells were restored with annealing at 200 C. The annealing time was dependent on proton fluence. Annealing devices for one hour restores cell parameters for fluences below 1E14 sq cm fluences above 1E14 sq cm require longer annealing times. A parametric fitting model was used to characterize current mechanisms observed In dark I-V measurements. The current mechanism were explored with irradiation fluence, and voltage and light soaking times. The thermal generation current density and quality factor increased with proton fluence. Device simulation shows the degradation in cell characteristics may be explained by the reduction of the electric field in the intrinsic layer.

  12. Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Martin A.

    2015-10-01

    The following sections are included: * Overview * Silicon cell development * Substrate production * Cell processing * Cell costs * Opportunities for improvement * Silicon-supported thin films * Summary * Acknowledgement * References

  13. Low cost silicon solar arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ravi, K. V.; Serreze, H. B.; Bates, H. E.; Morrison, A. D.; Jewett, D. N.; Ho, J. C. T.; Schwuttke, G. H.; Ciszek, T. F.; Kran, A.

    1975-01-01

    Continuous growth methodology for silicon solar cell ribbons deals with capillary effects, die effects, thermal effects and crystal shape effects. Emphasis centers on the shape of the meniscus at the ribbon edge as a factor contributing to ribbon quality with respect to defect densities. Structural and electrical characteristics of edge defined, film-fed grown silicon ribbons are elaborated. Ribbon crystal solar cells produce AMO efficiencies of 6 to 10%.

  14. Silicon solar cell

    SciTech Connect

    Hovel, H.J.

    1983-03-01

    A high efficiency silicon solar cell may be constructed by providing a two-stage drift field emitter with a 1 micron thickness on a drift field base region with a back surface field region. The stage of the drift field emitter adjacent to the junction is moderately doped from 1018 to 1016 atoms/cc adjacent the junction to minimize bandgap shrin and to maximize carrier lifetime while the stage of the emitter adjacent the surface is highly doped at 1019 atoms/cc to minimize sheet resistance. The drift field is aiding in both the emitter and base regions. The size of the base is less than an effective diffusion length. There is a difference in doping level in the base depending on the conductivity type of the silicon. For n-conductivity type the base is doped 1013 atoms/cc at the pn junction, increasing to 1016 atoms/cc in the drift field region. For p-conductivity type the base is doped 1016 at the junction, increasing to 1018 atoms/cc in the drift field. A back surface field is provided adjacent the ohmic contact on the part of the base remote from the junction by doping to 1020 to 1021 atoms/cc. A passivating antireflective layer is added to the light incident surface. The 1 micron emitter region contains a 0.1 to 0.2 mu m thick high conducting region adjacent the antireflective coating on the light incident surface and a drift field region 0.3 to 0.9 mu m thick. The base region has a drift field region 20 to 100 mu m thick and the overall base region is 50 to 450 mu m thick. The back surface field region is 1 mu m thick.

  15. Silicon MINP solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olsen, L. C.; Addis, F. W.; Miller, W. A.

    1985-01-01

    The MINP solar cell concept refers to a cell structure designed to be a base region dominated device. Thus, it is desirable that recombination losses are reduced to the point that they occur only in the base region. The most unique feature of the MINP cell design is that a tunneling contact is utilized for the metallic contact on the front surface. The areas under the collector grid and bus bar are passivated by a thin oxide of tunneling thickness. Efforts must also be taken to minimize recombination at the surface between grid lines, at the junction periphery and within the emitter. Results of both theoretical and experimental studies of silicon MINP cells are given. Performance calculations are described which give expected efficiencies as a function of base resistivity and junction depth. Fabrication and characterization of cells are discussed which are based on 0.2 ohm-cm substrates, diffused emitters on the order of 0.15 to 0.20 microns deep, and with Mg MIS collector grids. A total area AM 1 efficiency of 16.8% was achieved. Detailed analyses of photocurrent and current loss mechanisms are presented and utilized to discuss future directions of research. Finally, results reported by other workers are discussed.

  16. Compensated amorphous silicon solar cell

    DOEpatents

    Devaud, Genevieve

    1983-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell including an electrically conductive substrate, a layer of glow discharge deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon over said substrate and having regions of differing conductivity with at least one region of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The layer of hydrogenated amorphous silicon has opposed first and second major surfaces where the first major surface contacts the electrically conductive substrate and an electrode for electrically contacting the second major surface. The intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon region is deposited in a glow discharge with an atmosphere which includes not less than about 0.02 atom percent mono-atomic boron. An improved N.I.P. solar cell is disclosed using a BF.sub.3 doped intrinsic layer.

  17. Impurities in silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    Metallic impurities, both singly and in combinations, affect the performance of silicon solar cells. Czochralski silicon web crystals were grown with controlled additions of secondary impurities. The primary electrical dopants were boron and phosphorus. The silicon test ingots were grown under controlled and carefully monitored conditions from high-purity charge and dopant material to minimize unintentional contamination. Following growth, each crystal was characterized by chemical, microstructural, electrical, and solar cell tests to provide a detailed and internally consistent description of the relationships between silicon impurity concentration and solar cell performance. Deep-level spectroscopy measurements were used to measure impurity concentrations at levels below the detectability of other techniques and to study thermally-induced changes in impurity activity. For the majority of contaminants, impurity-induced performance loss is due to a reduction of the base diffusion length. From these observations, a semi-empirical model which predicts cell performance as a function of metal impurity concentration was formulated. The model was then used successfully to predict the behavior of solar cells bearing as many as 11 different impurities.

  18. Method for processing silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Tsuo, Y.S.; Landry, M.D.; Pitts, J.R.

    1997-05-06

    The instant invention teaches a novel method for fabricating silicon solar cells utilizing concentrated solar radiation. The solar radiation is concentrated by use of a solar furnace which is used to form a front surface junction and back-surface field in one processing step. The present invention also provides a method of making multicrystalline silicon from amorphous silicon. The invention also teaches a method of texturing the surface of a wafer by forming a porous silicon layer on the surface of a silicon substrate and a method of gettering impurities. Also contemplated by the invention are methods of surface passivation, forming novel solar cell structures, and hydrogen passivation. 2 figs.

  19. Method for processing silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Tsuo, Y. Simon; Landry, Marc D.; Pitts, John R.

    1997-01-01

    The instant invention teaches a novel method for fabricating silicon solar cells utilizing concentrated solar radiation. The solar radiation is concentrated by use of a solar furnace which is used to form a front surface junction and back-surface field in one processing step. The present invention also provides a method of making multicrystallline silicon from amorphous silicon. The invention also teaches a method of texturing the surface of a wafer by forming a porous silicon layer on the surface of a silicon substrate and a method of gettering impurities. Also contemplated by the invention are methods of surface passivation, forming novel solar cell structures, and hydrogen passivation.

  20. Silicon film solar cell process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, R. B.; Mcneely, J. B.; Barnett, A. M.

    1984-01-01

    The most promising way to reduce the cost of silicon in solar cells while still maintaining performance is to utilize thin films (10 to 20 microns thick) of crystalline silicon. The method of solution growth is being employed to grow thin polycrystalline films of silicon on dissimilar substrates. The initial results indicate that, using tin as the solvent, this growth process only requires operating temperatures in the range of 800 C to 1000 C. Growth rates in the range of 0.4 to 2.0 microns per minute and grain sizes in the range of 20 to 100 microns were achieved on both quartz and coated steel substrates. Typically, an aspect ratio of two to three between the width and the Si grain thickness is seen. Uniform coverage of Si growth on quartz over a 2.5 x 2.5 cm area was observed.

  1. Silicon solar cells: Physical metallurgy principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauk, Michael G.

    2003-05-01

    This article reviews the physical metallurgy aspects of silicon solar cells. The production of silicon solar cells relies on principles of thermochemical extractive metallurgy, phase equilibria, solidification, and kinetics. The issues related to these processes and their impact on solar cell performance and cost are discussed.

  2. Inexpensive silicon sheets for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ciszek, T. F.; Schwuttke, G. H.

    1977-01-01

    Technique of producing silicon sheets by drawing gridlike or porous graphite gauze through silicon melt is readily adaptable to mass production, making process applicable to inexpensive manufacture of solar cell arrays.

  3. 22. 8% efficient silicon solar cell

    SciTech Connect

    Blakers, A.W.; Wang, A.; Milne, A.M.; Zhao, J.; Green, M.A. )

    1989-09-25

    A new silicon solar cell structure, the passivated emitter and rear cell, is described. The cell structure has yielded independently confirmed efficiencies of up to 22.8%, the highest ever reported for a silicon cell.

  4. Solar Cells From Metallurgical-Grade Silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daiello, R. V.; Robinson, P. H.

    1982-01-01

    Epitaxial deposition produces acceptable solar cells from metallurgicalgrade silicon. Instead of diffusing dopants into silicon to form pn junction, junction is formed by growing epitaxial layer--one having crystal structure continuous with that of substrate--on metallurgical-grade silicon. Less pure forms of silicon, such as metallurgical-grade, are less expensive than semiconductor-grade material and help to lower cost of solar cells.

  5. Commercialization of solar space power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pant, Alok; Sera, Gary

    1995-01-01

    The objective of this research is to help U.S. companies commercialize renewable energy in India, with a special focus on solar energy. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mid-Continent Technology Transfer Center (MCTTC) is working with ENTECH, Inc., a solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems manufacturer to form partnerships with Indian companies. MCTTC has conducted both secondary and primary market research and obtained travel funding to meet potential Indian partners face to face. MCTTC and ENTECH traveled to India during June 2-20, 1994, and visited New Delhi, Bombay, Pune and Calcutta. Meetings were held with several key government officials and premier Indian business houses and entrepreneurs in the area of solar energy. A firsthand knowledge of India's renewable energy industry was gained, and companies were qualified in terms of capabilities and commitment to the SPV business. The World Bank has awarded India with 280 million to commercialize renewable energies, including 55 million for SPV. There is a market in India for both small-scale (kW) and large SPV (MW) applications. Each U.S. company needs to form a joint venture with an Indian firm and let the latter identify the states and projects with the greatest business potential. Several big Indian companies and entrepreneurs are planning to enter the SPV business, and they currently are seeking foreign technology partners. Since the lager companies have adopted a more conservative approach, however, partnerships with entrepreneurs might offer the quickest route to market entry in India.

  6. High Efficiency, Low Cost Solar Cells Manufactured Using 'Silicon Ink' on Thin Crystalline Silicon Wafers

    SciTech Connect

    Antoniadis, H.

    2011-03-01

    Reported are the development and demonstration of a 17% efficient 25mm x 25mm crystalline Silicon solar cell and a 16% efficient 125mm x 125mm crystalline Silicon solar cell, both produced by Ink-jet printing Silicon Ink on a thin crystalline Silicon wafer. To achieve these objectives, processing approaches were developed to print the Silicon Ink in a predetermined pattern to form a high efficiency selective emitter, remove the solvents in the Silicon Ink and fuse the deposited particle Silicon films. Additionally, standard solar cell manufacturing equipment with slightly modified processes were used to complete the fabrication of the Silicon Ink high efficiency solar cells. Also reported are the development and demonstration of a 18.5% efficient 125mm x 125mm monocrystalline Silicon cell, and a 17% efficient 125mm x 125mm multicrystalline Silicon cell, by utilizing high throughput Ink-jet and screen printing technologies. To achieve these objectives, Innovalight developed new high throughput processing tools to print and fuse both p and n type particle Silicon Inks in a predetermined pat-tern applied either on the front or the back of the cell. Additionally, a customized Ink-jet and screen printing systems, coupled with customized substrate handling solution, customized printing algorithms, and a customized ink drying process, in combination with a purchased turn-key line, were used to complete the high efficiency solar cells. This development work delivered a process capable of high volume producing 18.5% efficient crystalline Silicon solar cells and enabled the Innovalight to commercialize its technology by the summer of 2010.

  7. Amorphous silicon solar cell allowing infrared transmission

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1979-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell with a layer of high index of refraction material or a series of layers having high and low indices of refraction material deposited upon a transparent substrate to reflect light of energies greater than the bandgap energy of the amorphous silicon back into the solar cell and transmit solar radiation having an energy less than the bandgap energy of the amorphous silicon.

  8. Low-cost industrial technologies of crystalline silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Szlufcik, J.; Sivoththaman, S.; Nijs, J.F.; Mertens, R.P.; Overstraeten, R. van

    1997-05-01

    Approximately 2 billion people, mainly in Third World countries, are not connected to an electric grid. The standard, centralized grid development is too expensive and time consuming to solve the energy demand problem. Therefore, there is a need for decentralized renewable energy sources. The main attractiveness of solar cells is that they generate electricity directly from sunlight and can be mounted in modular, stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systems. Particular attention is paid in this paper to crystalline silicon solar cells, since bulk silicon solar-cell (mono and multi) modules comprise approximately 85% of all worldwide PV module shipments. Energy conversion efficiency as high as 24% has been achieved on laboratory, small-area monocrystalline silicon cells, whereas the typical efficiency of industrial crystalline silicon solar cells is in the range of 13--16%. The market price of PV modules has remained for the last few years in the range of $3.5--4.5/watt peak (Wp). For the photovoltaic industry, the biggest concern is to improve the efficiency and decrease the price of the commercial PV modules. Efficiency-enhancement techniques of commercial cells are described in detail. Adaptation of many high-efficiency features to industrially fabricated solar cells resulted in efficiencies above 17% for multicrystalline and above 18% for monocrystalline silicon solar cells. The latest study shows that increasing the PV market size toward 500 MWp/y and accounting for realistic industrial improvements can lead to a drastic PV module price reduction down to $1/Wp. 120 refs.

  9. Silicon Carbide Solar Cells Investigated

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailey, Sheila G.; Raffaelle, Ryne P.

    2001-01-01

    The semiconductor silicon carbide (SiC) has long been known for its outstanding resistance to harsh environments (e.g., thermal stability, radiation resistance, and dielectric strength). However, the ability to produce device-quality material is severely limited by the inherent crystalline defects associated with this material and their associated electronic effects. Much progress has been made recently in the understanding and control of these defects and in the improved processing of this material. Because of this work, it may be possible to produce SiC-based solar cells for environments with high temperatures, light intensities, and radiation, such as those experienced by solar probes. Electronics and sensors based on SiC can operate in hostile environments where conventional silicon-based electronics (limited to 350 C) cannot function. Development of this material will enable large performance enhancements and size reductions for a wide variety of systems--such as high-frequency devices, high-power devices, microwave switching devices, and high-temperature electronics. These applications would supply more energy-efficient public electric power distribution and electric vehicles, more powerful microwave electronics for radar and communications, and better sensors and controls for cleaner-burning, more fuel-efficient jet aircraft and automobile engines. The 6H-SiC polytype is a promising wide-bandgap (Eg = 3.0 eV) semiconductor for photovoltaic applications in harsh solar environments that involve high-temperature and high-radiation conditions. The advantages of this material for this application lie in its extremely large breakdown field strength, high thermal conductivity, good electron saturation drift velocity, and stable electrical performance at temperatures as high as 600 C. This behavior makes it an attractive photovoltaic solar cell material for devices that can operate within three solar radii of the Sun.

  10. Tandem junction amorphous silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Hanak, Joseph J.

    1981-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell has an active body with two or a series of layers of hydrogenated amorphous silicon arranged in a tandem stacked configuration with one optical path and electrically interconnected by a tunnel junction. The layers of hydrogenated amorphous silicon arranged in tandem configuration can have the same bandgap or differing bandgaps.

  11. Solar cell with silicon oxynitride dielectric layer

    SciTech Connect

    Shepherd, Michael; Smith, David D

    2015-04-28

    Solar cells with silicon oxynitride dielectric layers and methods of forming silicon oxynitride dielectric layers for solar cell fabrication are described. For example, an emitter region of a solar cell includes a portion of a substrate having a back surface opposite a light receiving surface. A silicon oxynitride (SiO.sub.xN.sub.y, 0silicon oxynitride dielectric layer.

  12. Theory of bifacial sunlit silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasparyan, Ferdinand V.; Aroutiounian, Vladimir M.

    2001-11-01

    Bifacial sunlit solar cells made of silicon p+nn+ structures are investigated theoretically. It is shown that the short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill-factor and efficiency strongly depend on both p+n junction parameters and n+n isojunction. Possibilities of manufacturing high-efficiency bifacial solar cells using silicon p+nn+ structures are discussed.

  13. NREL Success Stories - Quest for Inexpensive Silicon Solar Cells

    ScienceCinema

    Branz, Howard

    2013-05-29

    Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) share their story about a successful partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Ampulse Corporation and how support from the US Department of Energy's Technology Commercialization & Deployment Fund has helped it and their silicon solar cell research thrive.

  14. NREL Success Stories - Quest for Inexpensive Silicon Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Branz, Howard

    2010-01-01

    Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) share their story about a successful partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Ampulse Corporation and how support from the US Department of Energy's Technology Commercialization & Deployment Fund has helped it and their silicon solar cell research thrive.

  15. First solar cells on silicon wafers doped using sprayed boric acid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, J. A.; Brito, Miguel C.; Costa, Ivo; Alves, Jorge Maia; Serra, João; Vallêra, António

    2010-11-01

    A new method for boron bulk doping of silicon ribbons is developed. The method is based on the spraying of the ribbons with a boric acid solution and is particularly suited for silicon ribbons that require a zone-melting recrystallization step. To analyse the quality of the material thus obtained, multicrystalline silicon samples doped with this doping process were used as substrate for solar cells and compared with solar cells made on commercial multicrystalline silicon wafers. The values obtained for the diffusion length and the IV curve parameters show that the method of doping with the boric acid solution is suitable to produce p-doped silicon ribbons for solar cell applications.

  16. High-efficiency silicon concentrator cell commercialization

    SciTech Connect

    Sinton, R.A.; Swanson, R.M.

    1993-05-01

    This report summarizes the first phase of a forty-one month program to develop a commercial, high-efficiency concentrator solar cell and facility for manufacturing it. The period covered is November 1, 1990 to December 31, 1991. This is a joint program between the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Sandia National Laboratories. (This report is also published by EPRI as EPRI report number TR-102035.) During the first year of the program, SunPower accomplished the following major objectives: (1) a new solar cell fabrication facility, which is called the Cell Pilot Line (CPL), (2) a baseline concentrator cell process has been developed, and (3) a cell testing facility has been completed. Initial cell efficiencies are about 23% for the baseline process. The long-range goal is to improve this efficiency to 27%.

  17. Transmutation doping of silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, R. F.; Westbrook, R. D.; Young, R. T.; Cleland, J. W.

    1977-01-01

    Normal isotopic silicon contains 3.05% of Si-30 which transmutes to P-31 after thermal neutron absorption, with a half-life of 2.6 hours. This reaction is used to introduce extremely uniform concentrations of phosphorus into silicon, thus eliminating the areal and spatial inhomogeneities characteristic of chemical doping. Annealing of the lattice damage in the irradiated silicon does not alter the uniformity of dopant distribution. Transmutation doping also makes it possible to introduce phosphorus into polycrystalline silicon without segregation of the dopant at the grain boundaries. The use of neutron transmutation doped (NTD) silicon in solar cell research and development is discussed.

  18. Intermediate Bandgap Solar Cells From Nanostructured Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Black, Marcie

    2014-10-30

    This project aimed to demonstrate increased electronic coupling in silicon nanostructures relative to bulk silicon for the purpose of making high efficiency intermediate bandgap solar cells using silicon. To this end, we formed nanowires with controlled crystallographic orientation, small diameter, <111> sidewall faceting, and passivated surfaces to modify the electronic band structure in silicon by breaking down the symmetry of the crystal lattice. We grew and tested these silicon nanowires with <110>-growth axes, which is an orientation that should produce the coupling enhancement.

  19. Fabricating solar cells with silicon nanoparticles

    DOEpatents

    Loscutoff, Paul; Molesa, Steve; Kim, Taeseok

    2014-09-02

    A laser contact process is employed to form contact holes to emitters of a solar cell. Doped silicon nanoparticles are formed over a substrate of the solar cell. The surface of individual or clusters of silicon nanoparticles is coated with a nanoparticle passivation film. Contact holes to emitters of the solar cell are formed by impinging a laser beam on the passivated silicon nanoparticles. For example, the laser contact process may be a laser ablation process. In that case, the emitters may be formed by diffusing dopants from the silicon nanoparticles prior to forming the contact holes to the emitters. As another example, the laser contact process may be a laser melting process whereby portions of the silicon nanoparticles are melted to form the emitters and contact holes to the emitters.

  20. Develop Silicone Encapsulation Systems for Terrestrial Silicon Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The results for Task 3 of the Low Cost Solar Array Project are presented. Task 3 is directed toward the development of a cost effective encapsulating system for photovoltaic modules using silicon based materials. The technical approach of the contract effort is divided into four special tasks: (1) technology review; (2) generation of concepts for screening and processing silicon encapsulation systems; (3) assessment of encapsulation concepts; and (4) evaluation of encapsulation concepts. The candidate silicon materials are reviewed. The silicon and modified silicon resins were chosen on the basis of similarity to materials with known weatherability, cost, initial tangential modulus, accelerated dirt pick-up test results and the ratio of the content of organic phenyl substitution of methyl substitution on the backbone of the silicon resin.

  1. Gap/silicon Tandem Solar Cell with Extended Temperature Range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A. (Inventor)

    2006-01-01

    A two-junction solar cell has a bottom solar cell junction of crystalline silicon, and a top solar cell junction of gallium phosphide. A three (or more) junction solar cell has bottom solar cell junctions of silicon, and a top solar cell junction of gallium phosphide. The resulting solar cells exhibit improved extended temperature operation.

  2. Inexpensive transparent nanoelectrode for crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Qiang; Pei, Ke; Han, Bing; Li, Ruopeng; Zhou, Guofu; Liu, Jun-Ming; Kempa, Krzysztof; Gao, Jinwei

    2016-06-01

    We report an easily manufacturable and inexpensive transparent conductive electrode for crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells. It is based on a silver nanoparticle network self-forming in the valleys between the pyramids of a textured solar cell surface, transformed into a nanowire network by sintering, and subsequently "buried" under the silicon surface by a metal-assisted chemical etching. We have successfully incorporated these steps into the conventional c-Si solar cell manufacturing process, from which we have eliminated the expensive screen printing and firing steps, typically used to make the macro-electrode of conducting silver fingers. The resulting, preliminary solar cell achieved power conversion efficiency only 14 % less than the conventionally processed c-Si control cell. We expect that a cell with an optimized processing will achieve at least efficiency of the conventional commercial cell, but at significantly reduced manufacturing cost.

  3. Inexpensive transparent nanoelectrode for crystalline silicon solar cells.

    PubMed

    Peng, Qiang; Pei, Ke; Han, Bing; Li, Ruopeng; Zhou, Guofu; Liu, Jun-Ming; Kempa, Krzysztof; Gao, Jinwei

    2016-12-01

    We report an easily manufacturable and inexpensive transparent conductive electrode for crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells. It is based on a silver nanoparticle network self-forming in the valleys between the pyramids of a textured solar cell surface, transformed into a nanowire network by sintering, and subsequently "buried" under the silicon surface by a metal-assisted chemical etching. We have successfully incorporated these steps into the conventional c-Si solar cell manufacturing process, from which we have eliminated the expensive screen printing and firing steps, typically used to make the macro-electrode of conducting silver fingers. The resulting, preliminary solar cell achieved power conversion efficiency only 14 % less than the conventionally processed c-Si control cell. We expect that a cell with an optimized processing will achieve at least efficiency of the conventional commercial cell, but at significantly reduced manufacturing cost. PMID:27356559

  4. Large area Czochralski silicon for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rea, S. N.; Wakefield, G. F.

    1976-01-01

    A detailed model of a typical Czochralski silicon crystal puller is utilized to predict maximum crystal growth rate as a function of various furnace parameters. Results of this analysis, when combined with multiblade slurry sawing, indicate that the Czochralski process is highly attractive for achieving near-term cost reduction of solar cell silicon.

  5. Research on crystalline silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Milstein, J.B.; Tsuo, Y.S.

    1984-06-01

    Since the 16th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, the focus of the Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell Task at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) has narrowed somewhat. Responsibility for silicon material preparation and ribbon growth were consolidated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the end of FY 1983. Five subcontracts were awarded under RFP No. RB-2-02090, Research on Basic Understanding of High Efficiency in Silicon Solar Cells. JPL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are also working on high-efficiency solar cell research under SERI subcontract. Reports of past solar cell improvements have prompted appreciable interest in the physical, chemical, and electrical transport properties of grain boundaries and other electrically active defects. Studies to achieve better understanding of the hydrogen passivation process are being conducted at various subcontractors, and our in-house research continues. This paper presents the results of these efforts as well as future directions.

  6. Epitaxial silicon growth for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daiello, R. V.; Robinson, P. H.; Richman, D.

    1979-01-01

    The epitaxial procedures, solar cell fabrication, and evaluation techniques are described. The development of baseline epitaxial solar cell structures grown on high quality conventional silicon substrates is discussed. Diagnostic layers and solar cells grown on four potentially low cost silicon substrates are considered. The crystallographic properties of such layers and the performance of epitaxially grown solar cells fabricated on these materials are described. An advanced epitaxial reactor, the rotary disc, is described along with the results of growing solar cell structures of the baseline type on low cost substrates. The add on cost for the epitaxial process is assessed and the economic advantages of the epitaxial process as they relate to silicon substrate selection are examined.

  7. Arrays of ultrathin silicon solar microcells

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, John A.; Rockett, Angus A.; Nuzzo, Ralph; Yoon, Jongseung; Baca, Alfred

    2015-08-11

    Provided are solar cells, photovoltaics and related methods for making solar cells, wherein the solar cell is made of ultrathin solar grade or low quality silicon. In an aspect, the invention is a method of making a solar cell by providing a solar cell substrate having a receiving surface and assembling a printable semiconductor element on the receiving surface of the substrate via contact printing. The semiconductor element has a thickness that is less than or equal to 100 .mu.m and, for example, is made from low grade Si.

  8. Arrays of ultrathin silicon solar microcells

    DOEpatents

    Rogers, John A; Rockett, Angus A; Nuzzo, Ralph; Yoon, Jongseung; Baca, Alfred

    2014-03-25

    Provided are solar cells, photovoltaics and related methods for making solar cells, wherein the solar cell is made of ultrathin solar grade or low quality silicon. In an aspect, the invention is a method of making a solar cell by providing a solar cell substrate having a receiving surface and assembling a printable semiconductor element on the receiving surface of the substrate via contact printing. The semiconductor element has a thickness that is less than or equal to 100 .mu.m and, for example, is made from low grade Si.

  9. Manufacture of silicon carbide using solar energy

    DOEpatents

    Glatzmaier, Gregory C.

    1992-01-01

    A method is described for producing silicon carbide particles using solar energy. The method is efficient and avoids the need for use of electrical energy to heat the reactants. Finely divided silica and carbon are admixed and placed in a solar-heated reaction chamber for a time sufficient to cause a reaction between the ingredients to form silicon carbide of very small particle size. No grinding of silicon carbide is required to obtain small particles. The method may be carried out as a batch process or as a continuous process.

  10. Dip-coated sheet silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heaps, J. D.; Maciolek, R. B.; Zook, J. D.; Scott, M. W.

    1976-01-01

    A cost-effective method is being developed for producing solar cell quality sheet silicon by dip coating inexpensive ceramic substrates with a thin layer of large grain silicon. Mullite (Aluminum Silicate) ceramic substrates coated with a thin layer of graphite have been dipped into molten silicon to produce 20-150 micron thick layers having grain sizes as large as .4 cm x 4 cm. With these silicon layers photovoltaic diodes have been fabricated with measured and inherent conversion efficiencies of 4% and 7%, respectively.

  11. Develop Silicone Encapsulation Systems for Terrestrial Silicon Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The results of a study for Task 3 of the Low Cost Solar Array Project, directed toward the development of a cost effective encapsulation system for photovoltaic modules using silicon based materials, are reported. Results of the following are discussed: (1) weather-ometer stressing vs. weathering history of silicon and silicon modified materials; (2) humidity/temperature cycling exposure; (3) exposure at high humidity/high temperature; (4) outdoor exposure stress; (5) thermal cycling stress; and (6) UV screening agents. The plans for the next quarter are outlined.

  12. Three dimensional amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Kaschmitter, James L.

    1996-01-01

    Three dimensional deep contact amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon (a-Si/.mu.c-Si) solar cells which use deep (high aspect ratio) p and n contacts to create high electric fields within the carrier collection volume material of the cell. The deep contacts are fabricated using repetitive pulsed laser doping so as to create the high aspect p and n contacts. By the provision of the deep contacts which penetrate the electric field deep into the material where the high strength of the field can collect many of the carriers, thereby resulting in a high efficiency solar cell.

  13. Three dimensional amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Kaschmitter, J.L.

    1996-07-23

    Three dimensional deep contact amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon (a-Si/{micro}c-Si) solar cells are disclosed which use deep (high aspect ratio) p and n contacts to create high electric fields within the carrier collection volume material of the cell. The deep contacts are fabricated using repetitive pulsed laser doping so as to create the high aspect p and n contacts. By the provision of the deep contacts which penetrate the electric field deep into the material where the high strength of the field can collect many of the carriers, thereby resulting in a high efficiency solar cell. 4 figs.

  14. Solar energy innovation and Silicon Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammen, Daniel M.

    2015-03-01

    The growth of the U. S. and global solar energy industry depends on a strong relationship between science and engineering innovation, manufacturing, and cycles of policy design and advancement. The mixture of the academic and industrial engine of innovation that is Silicon Valley, and the strong suite of environmental policies for which California is a leader work together to both drive the solar energy industry, and keep Silicon Valley competitive as China, Europe and other area of solar energy strength continue to build their clean energy sectors.

  15. Degradation of bulk diffusion length in CZ silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Reiss, J.H.; King, R.R.; Mitchell, K.W.

    1995-08-01

    Commercially-produced, unencapsulated, CZ silicon solar cells can lose 3 to 4% of their initial efficiency after exposure to light. After this initial, rapid ( < 30 min.) decrease, the cell power output remains stable. The cell performance recovers in a matter of hours in the dark at room temperature, and degrades again under light exposure. The different conditions under which CZ silicon cells degrade, and the reverse process, annealing, are characterized with the methods of spectral response and current-voltage (I-V) measurements. Iron impurities are a possible cause of this effect.

  16. Microcrystalline silicon and micromorph tandem solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keppner, H.; Meier, J.; Torres, P.; Fischer, D.; Shah, A.

    ``Micromorph'' tandem solar cells consisting of a microcrystalline silicon bottom cell and an amorphous silicon top cell are considered as one of the most promising new thin-film silicon solar-cell concepts. Their promise lies in the hope of simultaneously achieving high conversion efficiencies at relatively low manufacturing costs. The concept was introduced by IMT Neuchâtel, based on the VHF-GD (very high frequency glow discharge) deposition method. The key element of the micromorph cell is the hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon bottom cell that opens new perspectives for low-temperature thin-film crystalline silicon technology. According to our present physical understanding microcrystalline silicon can be considered to be much more complex and very different from an ideal isotropic semiconductor. So far, stabilized efficiencies of about 12% (10.7% independently confirmed) could be obtained with micromorph solar cells. The scope of this paper is to emphasize two aspects: the first one is the complexity and the variety of microcrystalline silicon. The second aspect is to point out that the deposition parameter space is very large and mainly unexploited. Nevertheless, the results obtained are very encouraging and confirm that the micromorph concept has the potential to come close to the required performance criteria concerning price and efficiency.

  17. Efficient silicon solar cells with dopant-free asymmetric heterocontacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, James; Hettick, Mark; Geissbühler, Jonas; Ong, Alison J.; Allen, Thomas; Sutter-Fella, Carolin M.; Chen, Teresa; Ota, Hiroki; Schaler, Ethan W.; de Wolf, Stefaan; Ballif, Christophe; Cuevas, Andrés; Javey, Ali

    2016-03-01

    A salient characteristic of solar cells is their ability to subject photo-generated electrons and holes to pathways of asymmetrical conductivity—‘assisting’ them towards their respective contacts. All commercially available crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells achieve this by making use of doping in either near-surface regions or overlying silicon-based films. Despite being commonplace, this approach is hindered by several optoelectronic losses and technological limitations specific to doped silicon. A progressive approach to circumvent these issues involves the replacement of doped-silicon contacts with alternative materials which can also form ‘carrier-selective’ interfaces on c-Si. Here we successfully develop and implement dopant-free electron and hole carrier-selective heterocontacts using alkali metal fluorides and metal oxides, respectively, in combination with passivating intrinsic amorphous silicon interlayers, resulting in power conversion efficiencies approaching 20%. Furthermore, the simplified architectures inherent to this approach allow cell fabrication in only seven low-temperature (≤200 ∘C), lithography-free steps. This is a marked improvement on conventional doped-silicon high-efficiency processes, and highlights potential improvements on both sides of the cost-to-performance ratio for c-Si photovoltaics.

  18. Towards stable silicon nanoarray hybrid solar cells

    PubMed Central

    He, W. W.; Wu, K. J.; Wang, K.; Shi, T. F.; Wu, L.; Li, S. X.; Teng, D. Y.; Ye, C. H.

    2014-01-01

    Silicon nanoarray hybrid solar cells benefit from the ease of fabrication and the cost-effectiveness of the hybrid structure, and represent a new research focus towards the utilization of solar energy. However, hybrid solar cells composed of both inorganic and organic components suffer from the notorious stability issue, which has to be tackled before the hybrid solar cells could become a viable alternative for harvesting solar energy. Here we show that Si nanoarray/PEDOT:PSS hybrid solar cells with improved stability can be fabricated via eliminating the water inclusion in the initial formation of the heterojunction between Si nanoarray and PEDOT:PSS. The Si nanoarray hybrid solar cells are stable against rapid degradation in the atmosphere environment for several months without encapsulation. This finding paves the way towards the real-world applications of Si nanoarray hybrid solar cells. PMID:24430057

  19. Inverted amorphous silicon solar cell utilizing cermet layers

    DOEpatents

    Hanak, Joseph J.

    1979-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell incorporating a transparent high work function metal cermet incident to solar radiation and a thick film cermet contacting the amorphous silicon opposite to said incident surface.

  20. Harmful Shunting Mechanisms Found in Silicon Solar Cells (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-05-01

    Scientists developed near-field optical microscopy for imaging electrical breakdown in solar cells and identified critical electrical breakdown mechanisms operating in industrial silicon and epitaxial silicon solar cells.

  1. Commercializing solar for industry in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yudelson, J.

    1980-10-01

    The State of California has begun a commercialization program for increasing the rate of solar applications in industry. The components of this program include low interest loans, tax credits, revenue bonds and educational efforts. Many California industries appear to be likely candidates for solar systems, but as yet only a few companies have elected to install them. The various barriers to solar use by industry are primarily perceptual and financial. The emphasis of the state program for commercialization is turning increasingly towards educational seminars for industry groups and development of creative financial tools and arrangements. There are a few remaining legislative changes at state and federal levels, primarily involving leasing and tax laws which, if enacted, would overcome all of the remaining financial barriers to widespread adoption of solar applications by industry.

  2. NASA Solar Array Demonstrates Commercial Potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Gray

    2006-01-01

    A state-of-the-art solar-panel array demonstration site at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center provides a unique opportunity for studying the latest in high-efficiency solar photovoltaic cells. This five-kilowatt solar-array site (see Figure 1) is a technology-transfer and commercialization success for NASA. Among the solar cells at this site are cells of a type that was developed in Dryden Flight Research Center s Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program for use in NASA s Helios solar-powered airplane. This cell type, now denoted as A-300, has since been transferred to SunPower Corporation of Sunnyvale, California, enabling mass production of the cells for the commercial market. High efficiency separates these advanced cells from typical previously commercially available solar cells: Whereas typical previously commercially available cells are 12 to 15 percent efficient at converting sunlight to electricity, these advanced cells exhibit efficiencies approaching 23 percent. The increase in efficiency is due largely to the routing of electrical connections behind the cells (see Figure 2). This approach to increasing efficiency originated as a solution to the problem of maximizing the degree of utilization of the limited space available atop the wing of the Helios airplane. In retrospect, the solar cells in use at this site could be used on Helios, but the best cells otherwise commercially available could not be so used, because of their lower efficiencies. Historically, solar cells have been fabricated by use of methods that are common in the semiconductor industry. One of these methods includes the use of photolithography to define the rear electrical-contact features - diffusions, contact openings, and fingers. SunPower uses these methods to produce the advanced cells. To reduce fabrication costs, SunPower continues to explore new methods to define the rear electrical-contact features. The equipment at the demonstration site includes

  3. Low cost solar array project. Experimental process system development unit for producing semiconductor-grade silicon using the silane-to-silicon process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1980-03-01

    Technical activities are reported in the design of process, facilities, and equipment for producing silicon at a rate and price comensurate with production goals for low cost solar cell modules. The silane-silicone process has potential for providing high purity poly-silicon on a commercial scale at a price of fourteen dollars per kilogram by 1986, (1980 dollars). Commercial process, economic analysis, process support research and development, and quality control are discussed.

  4. Low cost solar array project. Experimental process system development unit for producing semiconductor-grade silicon using the silane-to-silicon process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Technical activities are reported in the design of process, facilities, and equipment for producing silicon at a rate and price comensurate with production goals for low cost solar cell modules. The silane-silicone process has potential for providing high purity poly-silicon on a commercial scale at a price of fourteen dollars per kilogram by 1986, (1980 dollars). Commercial process, economic analysis, process support research and development, and quality control are discussed.

  5. Silicon solar photovoltaic power stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chowaniec, C. R.; Ferber, R. R.; Pittman, P. F.; Marshall, B. W.

    1977-01-01

    Modular design of components and arrays, cost estimates for modules and support structures, and cost/performance analysis of a central solar photovoltaic power plant are discussed. Costs of collector/reflector arrays are judged the dominant element in the total capital investment. High-concentration solar tracking arrays are recommended as the most economic means for producing solar photovoltaic energy when solar cells costs are high ($500 per kW generated). Capital costs for power conditioning subsystem components are itemized and system busbar energy costs are discussed at length.

  6. Aluminum doping improves silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    Aluminum doped silicon solar cells with resistivities in the 10- to 20-ohm centimeter range have broad spectral response, high efficiency and long lifetimes in nuclear radiation environments. Production advantages include low material rejection and increased production yields, and close tolerance control.

  7. Silicon solar cells improved by lithium doping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berman, P. A.

    1970-01-01

    Results of conference on characteristics of lithium-doped silicon solar cells and techniques required for fabrication indicate that output of cells has been improved to point where cells exhibit radiation resistance superior to those currently in use, and greater control and reproducibility of cell processing have been achieved.

  8. Low cost silicon solar cell array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bartels, F. T. C.

    1974-01-01

    The technological options available for producing low cost silicon solar cell arrays were examined. A project value of approximately $250/sq m and $2/watt is projected, based on mass production capacity demand. Recommendations are included for the most promising cost reduction options.

  9. Metal electrode for amorphous silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Williams, Richard

    1983-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell having an N-type region wherein the contact to the N-type region is composed of a material having a work function of about 3.7 electron volts or less. Suitable materials include strontium, barium and magnesium and rare earth metals such as gadolinium and yttrium.

  10. Silicon nanowires for photovoltaic solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Peng, Kui-Qing; Lee, Shuit-Tong

    2011-01-11

    Semiconductor nanowires are attracting intense interest as a promising material for solar energy conversion for the new-generation photovoltaic (PV) technology. In particular, silicon nanowires (SiNWs) are under active investigation for PV applications because they offer novel approaches for solar-to-electric energy conversion leading to high-efficiency devices via simple manufacturing. This article reviews the recent developments in the utilization of SiNWs for PV applications, the relationship between SiNW-based PV device structure and performance, and the challenges to obtaining high-performance cost-effective solar cells. PMID:20931630

  11. New Method of Solar Grade Silicon Production

    SciTech Connect

    Zadde, V. V.; Pinov, A. B.; Strebkov, D. S.; Belov, E. P.; Efimov, N. K.; Lebedev, E. N.; Korobkov, E. I.; Blake, D.; Touryan, K.

    2002-08-01

    One of the main advantages of photovoltaic solar cells (PVC) is their ecological clarity of direct conversion of solar energy to electricity. For wide spreading of PV technologies it is necessary to ensure that there is no environment pollution at the stage of PVC-s manufacturing, beginning from producing of polysilicon feedstock. The objective of this project is creation of ecologically clean method for production of solar grade polysilicon feedstock (SGPF) as raw material for PVCs, and also raw material for producing monocrystalline silicon, which is used in electronic industry.

  12. Silicon heterojunction solar cell and crystallization of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Meijun

    The rapid growth of photovoltaics in the past decade brings on the soaring price and demand for crystalline silicon. Hence it becomes necessary and also profitable to develop solar cells with over 20% efficiency, using thin (˜100mum) silicon wafers. In this respect, diffused junction cells are not the best choice, since the inescapable heating in the diffusion process not only makes it hard to handle thin wafers, but also reduces carriers' bulk lifetime and impairs the crystal quality of the substrate, which could lower cell efficiency. An alternative is the heterojunction cells, such as amorphous silicon/crystalline silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cell, where the emitter layer can be grown at low temperature (<200°C). In first part of this dissertation, I will introduce our work on front-junction SHJ solar cell, including the importance of intrinsic buffer layer; the discussion on the often observed anomalous "S"-shaped J-V curve (low fill factor) by using band diagram analysis; the surface passivation quality of intrinsic buffer and its relationship to the performance of front-junction SHJ cells. Although the a-Si:H is found to help to achieve high efficiency in c-Si heterojuntion solar cells, it also absorbs short wavelength (<600 nm) light, leading to non-ideal blue response and lower short circuit currents (JSC) in the front-junction SHJ cells. Considering this, heterojunction with both a-Si:H emitter and base contact on the back side in an interdigitated pattern, i.e. interdigitated back contact silicon heterojunction (IBC-SHJ) solar cell, is developed. This dissertation will show our progress in developing IBC-SHJ solar cells, including the structure design; device fabrication and characterization; two dimensional simulation by using simulator Sentaurus Device; some special features of IBC-SHJ solar cells; and performance of IBC-SHJ cells without and with back surface buffer layers. Another trend for solar cell industry is thin film solar cells, since

  13. Indium oxide/n-silicon heterojunction solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Feng, Tom; Ghosh, Amal K.

    1982-12-28

    A high photo-conversion efficiency indium oxide/n-silicon heterojunction solar cell is spray deposited from a solution containing indium trichloride. The solar cell exhibits an Air Mass One solar conversion efficiency in excess of about 10%.

  14. High efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sah, C. Tang

    1986-01-01

    A review of the entire research program since its inception ten years ago is given. The initial effort focused on the effects of impurities on the efficiency of silicon solar cells to provide figures of maximum allowable impurity density for efficiencies up to about 16 to 17%. Highly accurate experimental techniques were extended to characterize the recombination properties of the residual imputities in the silicon solar cell. A numerical simulator of the solar cell was also developed, using the Circuit Technique for Semiconductor Analysis. Recent effort focused on the delineation of the material and device parameters which limited the silicon efficiency to below 20% and on an investigation of cell designs to break the 20% barrier. Designs of the cell device structure and geometry can further reduce recombination losses as well as the sensitivity and criticalness of the fabrication technology required to exceed 20%. Further research is needed on the fundamental characterization of the carrier recombination properties at the chemical impurity and physical defect centers. It is shown that only single crystalline silicon cell technology can be successful in attaining efficiencies greater than 20%.

  15. Silicon Solar Cell Fabrication Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stafsudd, O. M.

    1980-01-01

    Device fabrication and photoconductive lifetime decay measurements were used to characterize single and polycrystalline silicon substracts. The device characterization of the processed materials was done by spectral response measurements and absolute quantum efficiency at a single wavelength. The results were then reduced to yield the diffusion length of the various samples. The photoconductive lifetime decay method was implemented in order to determine the minority carrier lifetime in unprocessed wafers.

  16. Laser doping for high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jäger, Ulrich; Wolf, Andreas; Steinhauser, Bernd; Benick, Jan; Nekarda, Jan; Preu, Ralf

    2012-10-01

    Selective laser doping is a versatile tool for the local adaption of doping profiles in a silicon substrate. By adjusting the laser fluence as well as the pulse width the maximum melt depth in the silicon can be controlled. Longer pulses lead to lower temperatures in the material and can help to enlarge the process window as ablation sets in at higher fluencies. For the fabrication of highly efficient silicon solar cells, laser doping can be used for efficiency improvement and process simplification. In passivated emitter and rear cells (PERC), selective laser doping can be used for selective emitter formation. Employing such a process, an efficiency boost of Δ ƞ= 0.4%abs was observed on commercial Cz-Si material. Laser doping was also used for process simplification for the fabrication of locally doped point contacts at the rear of a solar cell. A simple approach employing a doped passivation layer and a laser doping process allows for efficiencies beyond 22% on high quality n-type silicon.

  17. Bifacial space silicon solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobl, G.; Kasper, C.; Rasch, K.-D.; Roy, K.

    A bifacial light sensitive solar cell for use in space solar generators is presented. A bifacial cell is almost transparent for infrared radiation, resulting in a low solar absorptance (0.63 for a bare cell). The operating temperature in space is estimated to be 10-20 C lower than for BSR cells. This advantage holds for both LEO and GEO missions. In addition to the direct sun radiation the bifacial cell converts the albedo radiation reflected by the earth and illuminates the back side of the bifacial cell. This is particularly important for LEO missions. The efficiency of experimental cells, 50 to 180 microns thick, was found to be up to 40 percent higher than for conventional BSFR cells.

  18. Initial results for the silicon monolithically interconnected solar cell product

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinetta, L. C.; Shreve, K. P.; Cotter, J. E.; Barnett, A. M.

    1995-10-01

    This proprietary technology is based on AstroPower's electrostatic bonding and innovative silicon solar cell processing techniques. Electrostatic bonding allows silicon wafers to be permanently attached to a thermally matched glass superstrate and then thinned to final thicknesses less than 25 micron. These devices are based on the features of a thin, light-trapping silicon solar cell: high voltage, high current, light weight (high specific power) and high radiation resistance. Monolithic interconnection allows the fabrication costs on a per watt basis to be roughly independent of the array size, power or voltage, therefore, the cost effectiveness to manufacture solar cell arrays with output powers ranging from milliwatts up to four watts and output voltages ranging from 5 to 500 volts will be similar. This compares favorably to conventionally manufactured, commercial solar cell arrays, where handling of small parts is very labor intensive and costly. In this way, a wide variety of product specifications can be met using the same fabrication techniques. Prototype solar cells have demonstrated efficiencies greater than 11%. An open-circuit voltage of 5.4 volts, fill factor of 65%, and short-circuit current density of 28 mA/sq cm at AM1.5 illumination are typical. Future efforts are being directed to optimization of the solar cell operating characteristics as well as production processing. The monolithic approach has a number of inherent advantages, including reduced cost per interconnect and increased reliability of array connections. These features make this proprietary technology an excellent candidate for a large number of consumer products.

  19. Initial results for the silicon monolithically interconnected solar cell product

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dinetta, L. C.; Shreve, K. P.; Cotter, J. E.; Barnett, A. M.

    1995-01-01

    This proprietary technology is based on AstroPower's electrostatic bonding and innovative silicon solar cell processing techniques. Electrostatic bonding allows silicon wafers to be permanently attached to a thermally matched glass superstrate and then thinned to final thicknesses less than 25 micron. These devices are based on the features of a thin, light-trapping silicon solar cell: high voltage, high current, light weight (high specific power) and high radiation resistance. Monolithic interconnection allows the fabrication costs on a per watt basis to be roughly independent of the array size, power or voltage, therefore, the cost effectiveness to manufacture solar cell arrays with output powers ranging from milliwatts up to four watts and output voltages ranging from 5 to 500 volts will be similar. This compares favorably to conventionally manufactured, commercial solar cell arrays, where handling of small parts is very labor intensive and costly. In this way, a wide variety of product specifications can be met using the same fabrication techniques. Prototype solar cells have demonstrated efficiencies greater than 11%. An open-circuit voltage of 5.4 volts, fill factor of 65%, and short-circuit current density of 28 mA/sq cm at AM1.5 illumination are typical. Future efforts are being directed to optimization of the solar cell operating characteristics as well as production processing. The monolithic approach has a number of inherent advantages, including reduced cost per interconnect and increased reliability of array connections. These features make this proprietary technology an excellent candidate for a large number of consumer products.

  20. Solar silicon from directional solidification of MG silicon produced via the silicon carbide route

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rustioni, M.; Margadonna, D.; Pirazzi, R.; Pizzini, S.

    1986-01-01

    A process of metallurgical grade (MG) silicon production is presented which appears particularly suitable for photovoltaic (PV) applications. The MG silicon is prepared in a 240 KVA, three electrode submerged arc furnace, starting from high grade quartz and high purity silicon carbide. The silicon smelted from the arc furnace was shown to be sufficiently pure to be directionally solidified to 10 to 15 kg. After grinding and acid leaching, had a material yield larger than 90%. With a MG silicon feedstock containing 3 ppmw B, 290 ppmw Fe, 190 ppmw Ti, and 170 ppmw Al, blended with 50% of off grade electronic grade (EG) silicon to reconduct the boron content to a concentration acceptable for solar cell fabrication, the 99% of deep level impurities were concentrated in the last 5% of the ingot. Quite remarkably this material has OCV values higher tham 540 mV and no appreciable shorts due to SiC particles.

  1. Amorphous Silicon-Carbon Nanostructure Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schriver, Maria; Regan, Will; Loster, Matthias; Zettl, Alex

    2011-03-01

    Taking advantage of the ability to fabricate large area graphene and carbon nanotube networks (buckypaper), we produce Schottky junction solar cells using undoped hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films and nanostructured carbon films. These films are useful as solar cell materials due their combination of optical transparency and conductance. In our cells, they behave both as a transparent conductor and as an active charge separating layer. We demonstrate a reliable photovoltaic effect in these devices with a high open circuit voltage of 390mV in buckypaper devices. We investigate the unique interface properties which result in an unusual J-V curve shape and optimize fabrication processes for improved solar conversion efficiency. These devices hold promise as a scalable solar cell made from earth abundant materials and without toxic and expensive doping processes.

  2. Optical models for silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Marshall, T.; Sopori, B.

    1995-08-01

    Light trapping is an important design feature for high-efficiency silicon solar cells. Because light trapping can considerably enhance optical absorption, a thinner substrate can be used which, in turn, can lower the bulk carrier recombination and concommitantly increase open-circuit voltage, and fill factor of the cell. The basic concepts of light trapping are similar to that of excitation of an optical waveguide, where a prism or a grating structure increases the phase velocity of the incoming optical wave such that waves propagated within the waveguide are totally reflected at the interfaces. Unfortunately, these concepts break down because the entire solar cell is covered with such a structure, making it necessary to develop new analytical approaches to deal with incomplete light trapping in solar cells. This paper describes two models that analyze light trapping in thick and thin solar cells.

  3. Efficiency of silicon solar cells containing chromium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, A. M. (Inventor)

    1982-01-01

    Efficiency of silicon solar cells containing about one quadrillon atoms cu cm of chromium is improved about 26% by thermal annealing of the silicon wafer at a temperature of 200 C to form chromium precipitates having a diameter of less than 1 Angstrom. Further improvement in efficiency is achieved by scribing laser lines onto the back surface of the wafer at a spacing of at least 0.5 mm and at a depth of less than 13 micrometers to preferentially precipitate chromium near the back surface and away from the junction region of the device. This provides an economical way to improve the deleterious effects of chromium, one of the impurities present in metallurgical grade silicon mateial.

  4. Efficiency of silicon solar cells containing chromium

    DOEpatents

    Frosch, Robert A. Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space; Salama, Amal M.

    1982-01-01

    Efficiency of silicon solar cells containing about 10.sup.15 atoms/cm.sup.3 of chromium is improved about 26% by thermal annealing of the silicon wafer at a temperature of 200.degree. C. to form chromium precipitates having a diameter of less than 1 Angstrom. Further improvement in efficiency is achieved by scribing laser lines onto the back surface of the wafer at a spacing of at least 0.5 mm and at a depth of less than 13 micrometers to preferentially precipitate chromium near the back surface and away from the junction region of the device. This provides an economical way to improve the deleterious effects of chromium, one of the impurities present in metallurgical grade silicon material.

  5. Commercial dissemination approaches for solar home systems

    SciTech Connect

    Terrado, E.

    1997-12-01

    The author discusses the issue of providing solar home systems to primarily rural areas from the perspective of how to commercialize the process. He considers two different approaches, one an open market approach and the other an exclusive market approach. He describes examples of the exclusive market approach which are in process in Argentina and Brazil. Coming from a banking background, the business aspects are discussed in detail. He points out the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches toward developing such systems.

  6. Ultrathin silicon solar cell assembly technology

    SciTech Connect

    Matsui, Y.; Kamimura, K.; Sakurai, K.; Kaminishi, S.; Matsutani, T.

    1985-01-01

    The assembly technology of newly developed ultrathin silicon solar cells was studied. The fundamental technology of welding interconnectors to 50-micron-thick, 2 x 4-cm solar cells, CIC (connector integrated cell) fabrication, module fabrication and of integrating these modules to substrates was developed, and thus the production process was established. In order to verify this production process, testing panels were fabricated and thermal cycling tests were performed. The test results showed that these panels had no visual damage and no electrical degradation.

  7. Origami-enabled deformable silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Rui; Huang, Hai; Liang, Hanshuang; Liang, Mengbing; Tu, Hongen; Xu, Yong; Song, Zeming; Jiang, Hanqing; Yu, Hongyu

    2014-02-24

    Deformable electronics have found various applications and elastomeric materials have been widely used to reach flexibility and stretchability. In this Letter, we report an alternative approach to enable deformability through origami. In this approach, the deformability is achieved through folding and unfolding at the creases while the functional devices do not experience strain. We have demonstrated an example of origami-enabled silicon solar cells and showed that this solar cell can reach up to 644% areal compactness while maintaining reasonable good performance upon cyclic folding/unfolding. This approach opens an alternative direction of producing flexible, stretchable, and deformable electronics.

  8. Environmentally benign silicon solar cell manufacturing

    SciTech Connect

    Tsuo, Y.S.; Gee, J.M.; Menna, P.; Strebkov, D.S.; Pinov, A.; Zadde, V.

    1998-09-01

    The manufacturing of silicon devices--from polysilicon production, crystal growth, ingot slicing, wafer cleaning, device processing, to encapsulation--requires many steps that are energy intensive and use large amounts of water and toxic chemicals. In the past two years, the silicon integrated-circuit (IC) industry has initiated several programs to promote environmentally benign manufacturing, i.e., manufacturing practices that recover, recycle, and reuse materials resources with a minimal consumption of energy. Crystalline-silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which accounted for 87% of the worldwide module shipments in 1997, are large-area devices with many manufacturing steps similar to those used in the IC industry. Obviously, there are significant opportunities for the PV industry to implement more environmentally benign manufacturing approaches. Such approaches often have the potential for significant cost reduction by reducing energy use and/or the purchase volume of new chemicals and by cutting the amount of used chemicals that must be discarded. This paper will review recent accomplishments of the IC industry initiatives and discuss new processes for environmentally benign silicon solar-cell manufacturing.

  9. Fracture strength of silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, C. P.

    1979-01-01

    A test program was developed to determine the nature and source of the flaw controlling the fracture of silicon solar cells and to provide information regarding the mechanical strength of cells. Significant changes in fracture strengths were found in seven selected in-process wafer-to-cell products from a manufacturer's production line. The fracture strength data were statistically analyzed and interpreted in light of the exterior flaw distribution of the samples.

  10. Substrate for thin silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Ciszek, T.F.

    1995-03-28

    A photovoltaic device for converting solar energy into electrical signals comprises a substrate, a layer of photoconductive semiconductor material grown on said substrate, wherein the substrate comprises an alloy of boron and silicon, the boron being present in a range of from 0.1 to 1.3 atomic percent, the alloy having a lattice constant substantially matched to that of the photoconductive semiconductor material and a resistivity of less than 1{times}10{sup {minus}3} ohm-cm. 4 figures.

  11. MIS silicon solar cells: potential advantages

    SciTech Connect

    Cheek, G.; Mertens, R.

    1981-05-01

    Recent progress with silicon solar cells based on the MIS or SIS structure is reviewed. To be competitive with pn junction technology in the near term, these cells must be much cheaper or have a higher efficiency in a production environment. Apparently, the minority carrier MIS cells have the greatest potential for large-scale applications. The data currently indicate that all types of MIS/SIS cells have some inherent instability problems.

  12. High efficiency silicon solar cell review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Godlewski, M. P. (Editor)

    1975-01-01

    An overview is presented of the current research and development efforts to improve the performance of the silicon solar cell. The 24 papers presented reviewed experimental and analytic modeling work which emphasizes the improvment of conversion efficiency and the reduction of manufacturing costs. A summary is given of the round-table discussion, in which the near- and far-term directions of future efficiency improvements were discussed.

  13. Substrate for thin silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Ciszek, Theodore F.

    1995-01-01

    A photovoltaic device for converting solar energy into electrical signals comprises a substrate, a layer of photoconductive semiconductor material grown on said substrate, wherein the substrate comprises an alloy of boron and silicon, the boron being present in a range of from 0.1 to 1.3 atomic percent, the alloy having a lattice constant substantially matched to that of the photoconductive semiconductor material and a resistivity of less than 1.times.10.sup.-3 ohm-cm.

  14. Strength distribution in commercial silicon carbide materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dutta, Sunil

    1988-01-01

    Four-point flexural strength testing has been conducted in order to establish the baseline strength and reliability of four different commercial SiC types, in conjunction with reliable Weibull modulus values. Average strength of the samples ranged from 380 to 482 MPa at room temperature and 307 to 470 MPa at 1370 C. The strength scatter reflects the effect of flaw variability, which must be minimized to improve reliability in sintered SiC.

  15. Comparison of the surface charge behavior of commercial silicon nitride and silicon carbide powders

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitman, Pamela K.; Feke, Donald L.

    1988-01-01

    The adsorption and desorption of protons from aqueous solution onto the surfaces of a variety of commercial silicon carbide and silicon nitride powders has been examined using a surface titration methodology. This method provides information on some colloidal characteristics, such as the point of zero charge (pzc) and the variation of proton adsorption with dispersion pH, useful for the prediction of optimal ceramic-processing conditions. Qualitatively, the magnitude of the proton adsorption from solution reveals small differences among all of the materials studied. However, the results show that the pzc for the various silicon nitride powders is affected by the powder synthesis route. Complementary investigations have shown that milling can also act to shift the pzc exhibited by silicon nitride powder. Also, studies of the role of the electrolyte in the development of surface charge have indicated no evidence of specific adsorption of ammonium ion on either silicon nitride or silicon carbide powders.

  16. Solar Cell Production using UMG Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Hovel, Harold; Prettyman, Kevin

    2009-09-21

    Materials studies and solar cells made from various blends of UMG Si are compared with reference solar (PV) grade in terms of efficiencies, voltages, currents, diffusion lengths, minority carrier lifetimes and compositions. The UMG material used in this study performed unexpectedly well when used in cells manufactured both in a lab environment and on a commercial PV line. The limited number of cells of each composition does not support a full statistical analysis. However in comparing solar efficiencies, it is clear that a relatively minor delta exists between UMG blends and the particular PV grade material used in this study. That delta is between zero and 0.5 percentage points.

  17. Low cost silicon-on-ceramic photovoltaic solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koepke, B. G.; Heaps, J. D.; Grung, B. L.; Zook, J. D.; Sibold, J. D.; Leipold, M. H.

    1980-01-01

    A technique has been developed for coating low-cost mullite-based refractory substrates with thin layers of solar cell quality silicon. The technique involves first carbonizing one surface of the ceramic and then contacting it with molten silicon. The silicon wets the carbonized surface and, under the proper thermal conditions, solidifies as a large-grained sheet. Solar cells produced from this composite silicon-on-ceramic material have exhibited total area conversion efficiencies of ten percent.

  18. Comparison of silicon oxide and silicon carbide absorber materials in silicon thin-film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walder, Cordula; Kellermann, Martin; Wendler, Elke; Rensberg, Jura; von Maydell, Karsten; Agert, Carsten

    2015-02-01

    Since solar energy conversion by photovoltaics is most efficient for photon energies at the bandgap of the absorbing material the idea of combining absorber layers with different bandgaps in a multijunction cell has become popular. In silicon thin-film photovoltaics a multijunction stack with more than two subcells requires a high bandgap amorphous silicon alloy top cell absorber to achieve an optimal bandgap combination. We address the question whether amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC:H) or amorphous silicon oxide (a-SiO:H) is more suited for this type of top cell absorber. Our single cell results show a better performance of amorphous silicon carbide with respect to fill factor and especially open circuit voltage at equivalent Tauc bandgaps. The microstructure factor of single layers indicates less void structure in amorphous silicon carbide than in amorphous silicon oxide. Yet photoconductivity of silicon oxide films seems to be higher which could be explained by the material being not truly intrinsic. On the other hand better cell performance of amorphous silicon carbide absorber layers might be connected to better hole transport in the cell.

  19. Development of standardized specifications for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott-Monck, J. A.

    1977-01-01

    A space silicon solar cell assembly (cell and coverglass) specification aimed at standardizing the diverse requirements of current cell or assembly specifications was developed. This specification was designed to minimize both the procurement and manufacturing costs for space qualified silicon solar cell assembilies. In addition, an impact analysis estimating the technological and economic effects of employing a standardized space silicon solar cell assembly was performed.

  20. Solar silicon via improved and expanded metallurgical silicon technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, L. P.; Dosaj, V. D.; Mccormick, J. R.

    1977-01-01

    A completed preliminary survey of silica sources indicates that sufficient quantities of high-purity quartz are available in the U.S. and Canada to meet goals. Supply can easily meet demand for this little-sought commodity. Charcoal, as a reductant for silica, can be purified to a sufficient level by high-temperature fluorocarbon treatment and vacuum processing. High-temperature treatment causes partial graphitization which can lead to difficulty in smelting. Smelting of Arkansas quartz and purified charcoal produced kilogram quantities of silicon having impurity levels generally much lower than in MG-Si. Half of the goal was met of increasing the boron resistivity from 0.03 ohm-cm in metallurgical silicon to 0.3 ohm-cm in solar silicon. A cost analysis of the solidification process indicate $3.50-7.25/kg Si for the Czochralski-type process and $1.50-4.25/kg Si for the Bridgman-type technique.

  1. Studies of silicon PN junction solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.

    1975-01-01

    Silicon pn junction solar cells made with low-resistivity substrates show poorer performance than traditional theory predicts. The purpose of this research was to identify and characterize the physical mechanisms responsible for the discrepancy. Attention was concentrated on the open circuit voltage in shallow junction cells of 0.1 ohm-cm substrate resistivity. A number of possible mechanisms that can occur in silicon devices were considered. Two mechanisms which are likely to be of main importance in explaining the observed low values of open-circuit voltage were found: (1) recombination losses associated with defects introduced during junction formation, and (2) inhomogeneity of defects and impurities across the area of the cell. To explore these theoretical anticipations, various diode test structures were designed and fabricated and measurement configurations for characterizing the defect properties and the areal inhomogeneity were constructed.

  2. Determination of a Definition of Solar Grade Silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, D. E.; Gutsche, H. W.

    1975-01-01

    A definition of solar grade silicon was determined by investigating the singular and the combined effect of the impurities usually found in metallurgical grade silicon on solar cell device performance. The impurity matrix was defined by Jet Propulsion Laboratory Technical Direction Memorandum. The initial work was focussed on standardizing the solar cell process and test procedure, growing baseline crystals, growing crystals contaminated with carbon, iron, nickel, zirconium, aluminum and vanadium, solar blank preparation, and material characterization.

  3. Nonlinear behaviours of bifacial silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, J. M.

    A theoretical model to account for superlinear spectral photocurrent-irradiance characteristics of solar cells is presented. The model is applied to bifacial BSF silicon cells under separate front and posterior illumination modes. Simple formulas for the internal quantum efficiencies of the base region are obtained. Ohmic electric field as well as trap-filling effects are considered to be responsible for superlinear characteristics under low-injection conditions, but usually correspond to separate ranges of influence. High-injection effects only change this behavior at very high irradiances. Back-illuminated cells are found to be much more sensible to nonlinearities than conventional front-illuminated cells.

  4. Thin-film polycrystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funghnan, B. W.; Blanc, J.; Phillips, W.; Redfield, D.

    1980-08-01

    Thirty-four new solar cells were fabricated on Wacker Sislo substrates and the AM-1 parameters were measured. A detailed comparison was made between the measurement of minority carrier diffusion length by the OE method and the penetrating light laser scan grain boundary photoresponse linewidth method. The laser scan method has more experimental uncertainty and agrees within 10 to 50% with the QE method. It allows determination of L over a large area. Atomic hydrogen passivation studies continued on Wacker material by three techniques. A method of determining surface recombination velocity, s, from laser scan data was developed. No change in s in completed solar cells after H-plasma treatment was observed within experimental error. H-passivation of bare silicon cars as measured by the new laser scan photoconductivity technique showed very large effects.

  5. LSSA (Low-cost Silicon Solar Array) project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The Photovoltaic Conversion Program was established to find methods of economically generating enough electrical power to meet future requirements. Activities and progress in the following areas are discussed: silicon-refinement processes; silicon-sheet-growth techniques; encapsulants; manufacturing of off-the-shelf solar arrays; and procurement of semistandardized solar arrays.

  6. LSSA (Low-cost Silicon Solar Array) project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Methods are explored for economically generating electrical power to meet future requirements. The Low-Cost Silicon Solar Array Project (LSSA) was established to reduce the price of solar arrays by improving manufacturing technology, adapting mass production techniques, and promoting user acceptance. The new manufacturing technology includes the consideration of new silicon refinement processes, silicon sheet growth techniques, encapsulants, and automated assembly production being developed under contract by industries and universities.

  7. Solar-grade silicon prepared by carbothermic reduction of silica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aulich, H. A.; Schulze, F. W.; Urbach, H. P.; Lerchenberger, A.

    1986-01-01

    An advanced carbothermic reduction (ACR) process was developed to produce solar grade (SC) silicon from high purity silica and carbon. Preparation of starting materials and operation of the arc furnace to product high purity silicon is described. Solar cells prepared from single crystal SG-Si had efficiencies of up to 12.3% practically identical to cells made from electronic grade silicon. The ACR process is not in the pilot stage for further evaluation.

  8. Amorphous silicon/polycrystalline thin film solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ullal, H.S.

    1991-03-13

    An improved photovoltaic solar cell is described including a p-type amorphous silicon layer, intrinsic amorphous silicon, and an n-type polycrystalline semiconductor such as cadmium sulfide, cadmium zinc sulfide, zinc selenide, gallium phosphide, and gallium nitride. The polycrystalline semiconductor has an energy bandgap greater than that of the amorphous silicon. The solar cell can be provided as a single-junction device or a multijunction device.

  9. Photothermal Characteristics of Novel Flexible Black Silicon for Solar Thermal Receiver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Wei; Zhu, Yong; Wang, Ning; Mei, Hao; Yin, Stuart

    2012-11-01

    In this article, a novel type of flexible black silicon used for enhancing the absorption of a solar thermal receiver is reported. The optical absorption properties of this kind of flexible black silicon with three different sizes of conical microstructure are analyzed using the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method and the heat transfer properties are studied using the COMSOL multiphysics heat transfer solver. The results show that flexible black silicon with small-size microstructure has the highest optical absorptance and heat transfer speed. A commercial silicon-on-insulator wafer is irradiated by an auto-scanning femtosecond laser system and then split by etching out its middle layer in 52 % hydrofluoric acid to fabricate the flexible black silicon. The obtained flexible black silicon presents very good flexibility, and its photothermal characteristics are investigated. The optical absorption spectrum test results indicate that the absorptance of the flexible black silicon is as high as 97 % in the visible spectral region and is higher than that of anodized aluminum in a broad spectral range from 250 nm to 2500 nm. The light radiation heating experiment results show that the energy absorption efficiency of the water covered with flexible black silicon is improved 13 % compared with that of the water covered with anodized aluminum. It is confirmed that as a light-absorbing and heat-transferring layer the flexible black silicon has an important potential application in exploring solar energy.

  10. Alternative designs for nanocrystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhavan, Atul

    Nanocrystalline silicon is an attractive material for solar cells. It has very small grains, about 20 nm, and yet its electronic properties are very similar to those of crystalline silicon. The material exhibits smaller mobilities than crystalline Silicon, but the minority carrier lifetimes are reasonable. It is known that the properties of the material depend critically upon deposition parameters, in particular, the degree of grain boundary passivation achieved during growth and grain size. Previous work has shown that as the material grows, the grains tend to agglomerate into a cluster, and the development of this cluster leads to poorer electronic properties. The traditional method for overcoming such clustering has been to change the hydrogen to silane dilution ratio as the material grows, keeping the material near its crystalline to amorphous transition zone. However, this method is dependent upon the precise growth chemistry and is not suitable for mass production. In this project, we develop a new device design, a superlattice comprising alternating layers of amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon, which allows one to precisely control the agglomeration of grains without having to resort to hydrogen profiling techniques. We study structural properties such as grain size and the degree of crystallnity, and electronic properties such as carrier diffusion lengths and defect densities. We show that an appropriate design of the superlattice allows one to minimize defect densities and maximize carrier diffusion lengths. We also study how to reduce series resistance in solar cells, and show that an appropriate combination of superlattice and contacts can lead to devices with high fill factors and good solar cell efficiencies. We also report on a new discovery, namely that the optical absorption itself depends critically upon grain size. Larger grain sizes, up to 50 nm, lead to increased optical absorption, a totally unexpected and very useful discovery for devices

  11. Spraylon fluorocarbon encapsulation for silicon solar cell arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A development program was performed for evaluating, modifying, and optimizing the Lockheed formulated liquid transparent filmforming Spraylon fluorocarbon protective coating for silicon solar cells and modules. The program objectives were designed to meet the requirements of the low-cost automated solar cell array fabrication process. As part of the study, a computer program was used to establish the limits of the safe working stress in the coated silicon solar cell array system under severe thermal shock.

  12. Process development for single-crystal silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohra, Mihir H.

    Solar energy is a viable, rapidly growing and an important renewable alternative to other sources of energy generation because of its abundant supply and low manufacturing cost. Silicon still remains the major contributor for manufacturing solar cells accounting for 80% of the market share. Of this, single-crystal solar cells account for half of the share. Laboratory cells have demonstrated 25% efficiency; however, commercial cells have efficiencies of 16% - 20% resulting from a focus on implementation processes geared to rapid throughput and low cost, thereby reducing the energy pay-back time. An example would be the use of metal pastes which dissolve the dielectric during the firing process as opposed to lithographically defined contacts. With current trends of single-crystal silicon photovoltaic (PV) module prices down to 0.60/W, almost all other PV technologies are challenged to remain cost competitive. This presents a unique opportunity in revisiting the PV cell fabrication process and incorporating moderately more expensive IC process practices into PV manufacturing. While they may drive the cost toward a 1/W benchmark, there is substantial room to "experiment", leading to higher efficiencies which will help maintain the overall system cost. This work entails a turn-key process designed to provide a platform for rapid evaluation of novel materials and processes. A two-step lithographic process yielding a baseline 11% - 13% efficient cell is described. Results of three studies have shown improvements in solar cell output parameters due to the inclusion of a back-surface field implant, a higher emitter doping and also an additional RCA Clean.

  13. Effect of copper impurity on polycrystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daud, T.; Koliwad, K. M.

    1978-01-01

    The presence of copper impurity, up to 10 to the 15th atoms/cc, in single crystal silicon has been shown to have no deleterious effect on the p-n junction solar cell performance. However, in polycrystalline silicon, copper atoms tend to migrate to the defect sites because of the structural sensitive properties of copper. This study was undertaken to investigate the influence of this behavior of copper impurity on the performance of p-n junction solar cells fabricated from structurally imperfect silicon. Two sets of polycrystalline silicon substrates containing copper were examined. In one set of samples, copper was incorporated during growth, whereas in the other, copper was diffused. Solar cells were fabricated on both the sets of substrates by a standard process. Dark and light I-V and spectral response characteristics of the cells were measured and compared with copper-free polycrystalline silicon solar cells. The results and the model are discussed.

  14. Black metallurgical silicon for solar energy conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaopeng; Lee, Jung-Ho; Sprafke, Alexander N.; Wehrspohn, Ralf B.

    2016-01-01

    Metal impurities are known to create deep traps in the silicon (Si) bandgap, significantly reducing the minority carrier lifetime and consequently deteriorating the efficiency of a Si-based solar conversion system. Traditional purification methods via ‘Siemens’ and metallurgical routes involve complex and energy-intensive processes. Therefore, it is highly desirable to develop novel Si treatment technologies. With the radical evolution of nanotechnology in the past decades, new nano-approaches are offering opportunities to diminish the detrimental impacts of metal impurities or upgrade low quality Si in a cost-effective and energy-saving way. Here we review various recently developed dry and wet chemical etching methods including reactive ion etching, electrochemical etching, stain etching and metal assisted chemical etching. The current progress and the application prospects of those methods in nanostructure creation and Si upgrading are given and discussed in detail.

  15. Thin silicon solar cell performance characteristics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gay, C. F.

    1978-01-01

    Refined techniques for surface texturizing, back surface field and back surface reflector formation were evaluated for use with shallow junction, single-crystal silicon solar cells. Each process was characterized individually and collectively as a function of device thickness and bulk resistivity. Among the variables measured and reported are open circuit voltage, short circuit current and spectral response. Substantial improvements were obtained by the utilization of a low cost aluminum paste process to simultaneously remove the unwanted n(+) diffused region, form the back surface field and produce an ohmic contact metallization. The highly effective BSF which results from applying this process has allowed fabrication of cells 0.05 mm thick with initial outputs as high as 79.5 mW/4 sq cm (28 C, AM0) and superior electron radiation tolerance. Cells of 0.02 mm to 0.04 mm thickness have been fabricated with power to mass ratios well in excess of 2 watts per gram.

  16. Silicon solar cells: state of the art.

    PubMed

    Green, Martin A

    2013-08-13

    The vast majority of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells produced to date have been based on silicon wafers, with this dominance likely to continue well into the future. The surge in manufacturing volume over the last decade has resulted in greatly decreased costs. Multiple companies are now well below the US$1 W⁻¹ module manufacturing cost benchmark that was once regarded as the lowest possible with this technology. Despite these huge cost reductions, there is obvious scope for much more, as the polysilicon source material becomes more competitively priced, the new 'quasi-mono' and related controlled crystallization directional solidification processes are brought fully online, the sizes of ingot produced this way increase, wafer slicing switches to much quicker diamond impregnated approaches and cell conversion efficiencies increase towards the 25 per cent level. This makes the US Government's 'SunShot' target of US$1 W⁻¹ installed system cost by 2020 very achievable with silicon PVs. Paths to lower cost beyond this point are also explored. PMID:23816904

  17. Silicon solar cell process development, fabrication and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minahan, J. A.

    1981-01-01

    The fabrication of solar cells from several unconventional silicon materials is described, and cell performance measured and analyzed. Unconventional materials evaluated are edge defined film fed grown (EFG), heat exchanger method (HEM), dendritic web grown, and continuous CZ silicons. Resistivity, current voltage, and spectral sensitivity of the cells were measured. Current voltage was measured under AM0 and AM1 conditions. Maximum conversion efficiencies of cells fabricated from these and other unconventional silicons were compared and test results analyzed. The HEM and continuous CZ silicon were found to be superior to silicon materials considered previously.

  18. Solar cell structure incorporating a novel single crystal silicon material

    DOEpatents

    Pankove, Jacques I.; Wu, Chung P.

    1983-01-01

    A novel hydrogen rich single crystal silicon material having a band gap energy greater than 1.1 eV can be fabricated by forming an amorphous region of graded crystallinity in a body of single crystalline silicon and thereafter contacting the region with atomic hydrogen followed by pulsed laser annealing at a sufficient power and for a sufficient duration to recrystallize the region into single crystal silicon without out-gassing the hydrogen. The new material can be used to fabricate semiconductor devices such as single crystal silicon solar cells with surface window regions having a greater band gap energy than that of single crystal silicon without hydrogen.

  19. New high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daud, T.; Crotty, G. T.

    1985-01-01

    A design for silicon solar cells was investigated as an approach to increasing the cell open-circuit voltage and efficiency for flat-plate terrestrial photovoltaic applications. This deviates from past designs, where either the entire front surface of the cell is covered by a planar junction or the surface is textured before junction formation, which results in an even greater (up to 70%) junction area. The heavily doped front region and the junction space charge region are potential areas of high recombination for generated and injected minority carriers. The design presented reduces junction area by spreading equidiameter dot junctions across the surface of the cell, spaced about a diffusion length or less from each other. Various dot diameters and spacings allowed variations in total junction area. A simplified analysis was done to obtain a first-order design optimization. Efficiencies of up to 19% can be obtained. Cell fabrication involved extra masking steps for selective junction diffusion, and made surface passivation a key element in obtaining good collection. It also involved photolithography, with line widths down to microns. A method is demonstrated for achieving potentially high open-circuit voltages and solar-cell efficiencies.

  20. Fabricating amorphous silicon solar cells by varying the temperature _of the substrate during deposition of the amorphous silicon layer

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1982-01-01

    An improved process for fabricating amorphous silicon solar cells in which the temperature of the substrate is varied during the deposition of the amorphous silicon layer is described. Solar cells manufactured in accordance with this process are shown to have increased efficiencies and fill factors when compared to solar cells manufactured with a constant substrate temperature during deposition of the amorphous silicon layer.

  1. Defect behavior of polycrystalline solar cell silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Schroder, D.K.; Park, S.H.; Hwang, I.G.; Mohr, J.B.; Hanly, M.P.

    1993-05-01

    The major objective of this study, conducted from October 1988 to September 1991, was to gain an understanding of the behavior of impurities in polycrystalline silicon and the influence of these impurities on solar cell efficiency. The authors studied edge-defined film-fed growth (EFG) and cast poly-Si materials and solar cells. With EFG Si they concentrated on chromium-doped materials and cells to determine the role of Cr on solar cell performance. Cast poly-Si samples were not deliberately contaminated. Samples were characterized by cell efficiency, current-voltage, deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS), surface photovoltage (SPV), open-circuit voltage decay, secondary ion mass spectrometry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy measurements. They find that Cr forms Cr-B pairs with boron at room temperature and these pairs dissociate into Cr{sub i}{sup +} and B{sup {minus}} during anneals at 210{degrees}C for 10 min. Following the anneal, Cr-B pairs reform at room temperature with a time constant of 230 h. Chromium forms CrSi{sub 2} precipitates in heavily contaminated regions and they find evidence of CrSi{sub 2} gettering, but a lack of chromium segregation or precipitation to grain boundaries and dislocations. Cr-B pairs have well defined DLTS peaks. However, DLTS spectra of other defects are not well defined, giving broad peaks indicative of defects with a range of energy levels in the band gap. In some high-stress, low-efficiency cast poly-Si they detect SiC precipitates, but not in low-stress, high-efficiency samples. SPV measurements result in nonlinear SPV curves in some materials that are likely due to varying optical absorption coefficients due to locally varying stress in the material.

  2. Development of high-efficiency solar cells on silicon web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohatgi, A.; Meier, D. L.; Campbell, R. B.; Seidensticker, R. G.; Rai-Choudhury, P.

    1984-01-01

    The development of high efficiency solar cells on a silicon web is discussed. Heat treatment effects on web quality; the influence of twin plane lamellae, trace impurities and stress on minority carrier lifetime; and the fabrication of cells are discussed.

  3. Heavy doping effects in high efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.

    1984-01-01

    Several of the key parameters describing the heavily doped regions of silicon solar cells are examined. The experimentally determined energy gap narrowing and minority carrier diffusivity and mobility are key factors in the investigation.

  4. Novel duplex vapor electrochemical method for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kapur, V.; Sancier, K. M.; Sanjurjo, A.; Leach, S.; Westphal, S.; Bartlett, R.; Nanis, L.

    1978-01-01

    Progress in the development of low-cost solar arrays is reported. Topics covered include: (1) development of a simplified feed system for the Na used in the Na-SiF4 reactor; (2) production of high purity silicon through the reduction of sodium fluosilicate with sodium metal; (3) the leaching process for recovering silicon from the reaction products of the SiF4-Na reaction; and (4) silicon separation by the melting of the reaction product.

  5. Development of a high efficiency thin silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.

    1977-01-01

    Preparation for full scale operation of the pilot line included reduction of the back metallization coverage to reduce the differential thermal expansion of very thin cells, mapping excess injection current at low dark forward voltage, determining the radius of curvature for fracture as a function of silicon thickness, and determining absorptance/emittance ratios for thin silicon solar cells.

  6. Improved High/Low Junction Silicon Solar Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neugroschel, A.; Pao, S. C.; Lindholm, F. A.; Fossum, J. G.

    1986-01-01

    Method developed to raise value of open-circuit voltage in silicon solar cells by incorporating high/low junction in cell emitter. Power-conversion efficiency of low-resistivity silicon solar cell considerably less than maximum theoretical value mainly because open-circuit voltage is smaller than simple p/n junction theory predicts. With this method, air-mass-zero opencircuit voltage increased from 600 mV level to approximately 650 mV.

  7. A silicon sheet casting experiment. [for solar cell water production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bickler, D. B.; Sanchez, L. E.; Sampson, W. J.

    1980-01-01

    The casting of silicon blanks for solar cells directly without slicing is an exciting concept. An experiment was performed to investigate the feasibility of developing a machine that casts wafers directly. A Czochralski furnace was modified to accept a graphite ingot-simulating fixture. Silicon was melted in the middle of the ingot simulator in a boron nitride mold. Sample castings showed reasonable crystal size. Solar cells were made from the cast blanks. The performance is reported.

  8. Buried contact multijunction thin film silicon solar cell

    SciTech Connect

    Green, M.

    1995-08-01

    In early 1994, the Center for Photovoltaic Devices and Systems announced the filing of patent applications on an improved silicon thin film photovoltaic module approach. With material costs estimated to be about 20 times lower than those in present silicon solar cell modules along with other production advantages, this technology appears likely to make low cost, high performance solar modules available for the first time. This paper describes steps involved in making a module and module performance.

  9. Economic analysis of commercial solar water-heating systems

    SciTech Connect

    1980-09-23

    A brief description is given of a typical commercial solar water heating system, outlining typical cost and performance levels. The economic performance of solar energy systems is described through the use of Cash Flow Diagrams. The economic performance of solar energy systems is described through the calculation of equivalent Return-On-Investment (ROI). Appendices are included that enable one to calculate the ROI for any particular solar hot water system investment. (MHR)

  10. Plasma Texturing of Silicon Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Narayanan, Mohan; Roy, Madhu; Ruby, Douglas S.; Zaidi, Saleem H.

    1999-07-20

    Surface texture promotes enhanced light absorption in Si solar cells. The quality of lower cost multicrystalline-silicon (mc-Si) has increased to the point that its cell performance is close to that of single c-Si cells, with the major difference resulting from the inability to texture mc-Si affordably. This has reduced the cost-per-watt advantage of mc-Si. Surface texturing aimed at enhanced absorption in Si has been historically obtained by creating multimicrometer-sized pyramids using anisotropic wet etchants on single-crystalline silicon that take advantage of its single crystalline orientation. Since the surface feature sizes are several times the length of the incident solar wavelengths involved, the optical analysis of the reflected and absorbed light can be understood using geometrical optics. Geometrical textures reduce reflection and improve absorption by double-bounce and oblique light coupling into the semiconductor. However, geometrical texturing suffers from several disadvantages that limit its effectiveness. Some of these are listed below: (a) Wet-chemical anisotropic etching used to form random pyramids on <100> crystal orientation is not effective in the texturing of low-cost multicrystalline wafers, (b) Anti-reflection films deposited on random features to reduce reflection have a resonant structure limiting their effectiveness to a narrow range of angles and wavelengths. Various forms of surface texturing have been applied to mc-Si in research, including laser-structuring, mechanical grinding, porous-Si etching, and photolithographically defined etching. However, these may be too costly to ever be used in large-scale production. A Japanese firm has reported the development of an RIE process using Cl{sub 2} gas, which textures multiple wafers per batch, making it attractive for mass-production [1]. Using this process, they have produced a 17.1% efficient 225-cm{sup 2} mc-Si cell, which is the highest efficiency mc-Si cell of its size ever reported

  11. Demonstration of the feasibility of automated silicon solar cell fabrication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, W. E.; Schwartz, F. M.

    1975-01-01

    A study effort was undertaken to determine the process, steps and design requirements of an automated silicon solar cell production facility. Identification of the key process steps was made and a laboratory model was conceptually designed to demonstrate the feasibility of automating the silicon solar cell fabrication process. A detailed laboratory model was designed to demonstrate those functions most critical to the question of solar cell fabrication process automating feasibility. The study and conceptual design have established the technical feasibility of automating the solar cell manufacturing process to produce low cost solar cells with improved performance. Estimates predict an automated process throughput of 21,973 kilograms of silicon a year on a three shift 49-week basis, producing 4,747,000 hexagonal cells (38mm/side), a total of 3,373 kilowatts at an estimated manufacturing cost of $0.866 per cell or $1.22 per watt.

  12. Silicon solar cell process. Development, fabrication and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Tanner, D. P.

    1978-01-01

    Solar cells were fabricated from unconventional silicon sheets, and the performances were characterized with an emphasis on statistical evaluation. A number of solar cell fabrication processes were used and conversion efficiency was measured under AMO condition at 25 C. Silso solar cells using standard processing showed an average efficiency of about 9.6%. Solar cells with back surface field process showed about the same efficiency as the cells from standard process. Solar cells from grain boundary passivation process did not show any improvements in solar cell performance.

  13. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-01

    Amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphous silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300 °C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.

  14. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-14

    With this study, amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphousmore » silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300°C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.« less

  15. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-14

    With this study, amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphous silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300°C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.

  16. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-14

    Amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphous silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300 °C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.

  17. An economic model for passive solar designs in commercial environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, J. W.

    1980-06-01

    The model incorporates a life cycle costing approach that focuses on the costs of purchase, installation, maintenance, repairs, replacement, and energy. It includes a detailed analysis of tax laws affecting the use of solar energy in commercial buildings. Possible methods of treating difficult to measure benefits and costs, such as effects of the passive solar design on resale value of the building and on lighting costs, rental income from the building, and the use of commercial space, are presented. The model is illustrated in two case examples of prototypical solar design for low rise commercial buildings in an urban setting.

  18. Low cost silicon solar array project silicon materials task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A program was established to develop a high temperature silicon production process using existing electric arc heater technology. Silicon tetrachloride and a reductant will be injected into an arc heated mixture of hydrogen and argon. Under these high temperature conditions, a very rapid reaction is expected to occur and proceed essentially to completion, yielding silicon and gaseous sodium chloride. Techniques for high temperature separation and collection of the molten silicon will be developed using standard engineering approaches, and the salt vapor will later be electrolytically separated into its elemental constituents for recycle. Preliminary technical evaluations and economic projections indicate not only that this process appears to be feasible, but that it also has the advantages of rapid, high capacity production of good quality molten silicon at a nominal cost.

  19. Radiation characteristics of low resistivity float zone silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crotty, G. T.; Kachare, R.; Anspaugh, B. E.

    1987-01-01

    The effects of 1-MeV electron irradiation on silicon solar cells with AM0 efficiencies ranging from 17 to 17.7 percent are described. These cells were processed on low-resistivity FZ substrates using techniques recently developed for high-efficiency terrestrial silicon solar cells. Results indicate that these cells are more susceptible to radiation damage. However, they do maintain a greater overall power output than conventional cells to which they were compared. These cells do not demonstrate post-electron-irradiation photon decay as has been described for cells processed on 1-10 ohm-cm FZ silicon.

  20. Development of Solar Grade (SoG) Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Joyce, David B; Schmid, Frederick

    2008-01-18

    The rapid growth of the photovoltaics (PV) industry is threatened by the ongoing shortage of suitable solar grade (SoG) silicon. Until 2004, the PV industry relied on the off spec polysilicon from the electronics industry for feedstock. The rapid growth of PV meant that the demand for SoG silicon predictably surpassed this supply. The long-term prospects for PV are very bright as costs have come down, and efficiencies and economies of scale make PV generated electricity ever more competitive with grid electricity. However, the scalability of the current process for producing poly silicon again threatens the future. A less costly, higher volume production technique is needed to supply the long-term growth of the PV industry, and to reduce costs of PV even further. This long-term need was the motivation behind this SBIR proposal. Upgrading metallurgical grade (MG) silicon would fulfill the need for a low-cost, large-scale production. Past attempts to upgrade MG silicon have foundered/failed/had trouble reducing the low segregation coefficient elements, B, P, and Al. Most other elements in MG silicon can be purified very efficiently by directional solidification. Thus, in the Phase I program, Crystal Systems proposed a variety of techniques to reduce B, P, and Al in MG silicon to produce a low cost commercial technique for upgrading MG silicon. Of the variety of techniques tried, vacuum refining and some slagging and additions turned out to be the most promising. These were pursued in the Phase II study. By vacuum refining, the P was reduced from 14 to 0.22 ppmw and the Al was reduced from 370 ppmw to 0.065 ppmw. This process was scaled to 40 kg scale charges, and the results were expressed in terms of half-life, or time to reduce the impurity concentration in half. Best half-lives were 2 hours, typical were 4 hours. Scaling factors were developed to allow prediction of these results to larger scale melts. The vacuum refining required the development of new crucibles

  1. Design considerations for silicon HLE solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.; Neugroschel, A.; Pao, S. C.; Fossum, J. G.; Sah, C. T.

    1978-01-01

    The high-low (H-L) junction in the emitter region that defines the high-low-junction emitter (HLE) solar cell suppresses the dark emitter recombination current J sub E so that the base recombination current dominates in determining the open-circuit voltage. For silicon cells this enables the achievement of considerably larger values of open-circuit voltage than those achievable in conventional structures. This paper describes experiments that demonstrate the achievement of J sub E suppression (to less than 5 x 10 to the -14th A/sq cm) and large open-circuit voltage (640 mV) in HLE test cells of two distinct types. In the first type (the diffused HLE structure) impurity diffusion forms the H-L junction in the emitter; in the second type (the oxide-charge-induced HLE structure) the H-L junction is formed in emitter material of relatively low doping concentration by an oxide-charge-induced electron accumulation layer.

  2. Endurance testing of first generation /Block I/ commercial solar cell modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anagnostou, E.; Forestieri, A. F.

    1978-01-01

    NASA-LeRC has conducted outdoor endurance tests on modules commercially produced as part of the 46-kW purchase of first generation (Block I) modules by the JPL Low Cost Silicon Solar Array Project. Block I modules from four manufacturers were installed at commercial testing sites in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Arizona and at noncommercial sites in Cleveland, Ohio. The conditions endured by these modules included hot and dry, hot and humid, tropical rain forest, sea-air, urban industrial and urban clean; exposures were for periods up to one year. Test results are presented and discussed.

  3. Silicon-film{trademark} on ceramic solar cells. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, R.B.; Bacon, C.; DiReda, V.; Ford, D.H.; Ingram, A.E.; Lampo, S.M.; Rand, J.A.; Ruffins, T.R.; Barnett, A.M.

    1993-02-01

    The Silicon-Film{trademark} design achieves high performance through the use of a thin silicon layer. Optimally designed thin crystalline solar cells (<50 microns thick) have performance advantages over conventional thick devices. The enhancement in performance requires the incorporation of back-surface passivation and light trapping. The high-performance Silicon-Film{trademark} design employs a metallurgical barrier between the low-cost substrate and the thin silicon layer. The properties of the metallurgical barrier must be engineered to implement specific device requirements, such as high back-surface reflectivity. Recent advances in process development are described here.

  4. Light-Induced Degradation of Thin Film Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamelmann, F. U.; Weicht, J. A.; Behrens, G.

    2016-02-01

    Silicon-wafer based solar cells are still domination the market for photovoltaic energy conversion. However, most of the silicon is used only for mechanical stability, while only a small percentage of the material is needed for the light absorption. Thin film silicon technology reduces the material demand to just some hundred nanometer thickness. But even in a tandem stack (amorphous and microcrystalline silicon) the efficiencies are lower, and light-induced degradation is an important issue. The established standard tests for characterisation are not precise enough to predict the performance of thin film silicon solar cells under real conditions, since many factors do have an influence on the degradation. We will show some results of laboratory and outdoor measurements that we are going to use as a base for advanced modelling and simulation methods.

  5. Bilayer structures optimization as antireflective coating for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuccon, S.; Zuppella, P.; Corso, A. J.; Pelizzo, M. G.

    2014-10-01

    The optimization of a silicon solar cell involves also the design of a proper antireflective coating (AR). We have considered different bilayer structures. The use of bilayers is oriented to have an antireflective effect on a broader range of wavelengths compared to single film AR. The materials considered include silicon oxide, magnesium fluoride, silicon nitride and titanium oxide. The thickness of each film in each structure has been optimized by theoretical calculations in order to minimize the weighted reflectivity, Rw. This is calculated taking into account the optical reflectivity, the internal quantum efficiency of the silicon solar cell and the solar flux on all the range of wavelengths of interest. Some of these optimized structures have been realized by e-beam vapor deposition as first tests. The improved optical performance of the samples have been verified at the UV-vis-NIR spectrophotometer.

  6. Silicon Solar Cell Process Development, Fabrication and Analysis, Phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Tanner, D. P.

    1979-01-01

    Solar cells from RTR ribbons, EFG (RF and RH) ribbons, dendritic webs, Silso wafers, cast silicon by HEM, silicon on ceramic, and continuous Czochralski ingots were fabricated using a standard process typical of those used currently in the silicon solar cell industry. Back surface field (BSF) processing and other process modifications were included to give preliminary indications of possible improved performance. The parameters measured included open circuit voltage, short circuit current, curve fill factor, and conversion efficiency (all taken under AM0 illumination). Also measured for typical cells were spectral response, dark I-V characteristics, minority carrier diffusion length, and photoresponse by fine light spot scanning. the results were compared to the properties of cells made from conventional single crystalline Czochralski silicon with an emphasis on statistical evaluation. Limited efforts were made to identify growth defects which will influence solar cell performance.

  7. Applications of ion implantation for high efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minnucci, J. A.; Kirkpatrick, A. R.

    1977-01-01

    Ion implantation is utilized for the dopant introduction processes necessary to fabricate a silicon solar cell. Implantation provides a versatile powerful tool for development of high efficiency cells. Advantages and problems of implantation and the present status of developmental use of the technique for solar cells are discussed.

  8. Photocurrent images of amorphous-silicon solar-cell modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Q.; Shumka, A.; Trask, J.

    1985-01-01

    Results obtained in applying the unique characteristics of the solar cell laser scanner to investigate the defects and quality of amorphous silicon cells are presented. It is concluded that solar cell laser scanners can be effectively used to nondestructively test not only active defects but also the cell quality and integrity of electrical contacts.

  9. Silicon solar cells by ion implantation and pulsed energy processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, A. R.; Minnucci, J. A.; Shaughnessy, T. S.; Greenwald, A. C.

    1976-01-01

    A new method for fabrication of silicon solar cells is being developed around ion implantation in conjunction with pulsed electron beam techniques to replace conventional furnace processing. Solar cells can be fabricated totally in a vacuum environment at room temperature. Cells with 10% AM0 efficiency have been demonstrated. High efficiency cells and effective automated processing capabilities are anticipated.

  10. Photovoltaics for commercial solar power applications; Proceedings of the Meeting, Cambridge, MA, Sept. 18, 19, 1986

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler, David

    1986-01-01

    Papers are presented on efficient multijunction monolithic cascade solar cells, high efficiency silicon solar cells, point contact silicon cells, and space solar cell research. Also considered are photovoltaic power plants, the reliability of photovoltaic modules, the continuous fabrication of amorphous silicon solar cells on polymer substrates, and the density of states of amorphous silicon. Other topics include breaking the efficiency-stability-production barrier in amorphous photovoltaics, the development of flexible a-SiC/a-Si heterojunction solar cells and stable a-SiC/a-Si tandem cells with blocking barriers, and performance aspects for thin-film-silicon-hydrogen solar cells.

  11. Cz-Silicon Produced from Solar-Grade and Recycled Materials. Part II: Investigating Performances of Solar Cell Produced from Solar-Grade Cz-Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Song; Øvrelid, Eivind Johannes; Di Sabtino, Marisa; Juel, Mari; Tranell, Gabriella

    2015-03-01

    This paper is the second of two, investigating the properties of P-type Cz-silicon materials and solar cells produced with recycled silicon and Elkem Solar Silicon (ESS) materials. While the focus on the first work was on the bulk properties and grown defects of the material, the current study focuses on the solar cell performances. In the processing of the solar cells, the phosphorous diffusion process was optimized to improve the bulk properties and thus to maximize the final solar cell characteristics. Results from the characterization of material defects suggest that the performances of the experimental ingots are limited by the activated grown-in defects, which should be strictly controlled during crystal growth and solar cell processing. The solar cells produced from the investigated ingots showed efficiency values up to 18.5 pct and fill factor values up to 79 pct, comparable to conventional silicon produced from poly silicon. Solar cells produced from mixed recycled and ESS material exhibit a better performance than 100 pct recycled material. Boron and oxygen concentration levels and net doping level showed a concurrent effect on light-induced degradation (LID). Appropriate compensation was finally demonstrated to be an efficient way to improve solar cells efficiency of Cz-silicon produced from recycled silicon, even though higher dopant concentration incurred relatively faster LID.

  12. Develop Silicone Encapsulation Systems for Terrestrial Silicon Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    A cost effective encapsulant system was identified and a silicone acrylic cover material containing a durable ultraviolet screening agent was prepared. The effectiveness of the cover material in protecting photo-oxidatively sensitive polymers was demonstrated.

  13. Commercial Development Of Ovonic Thin Film Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ovshinsky, Stanford R.

    1983-09-01

    One square foot Ovonic amorphous photovoltaic devices are already in commercial production and are manufactured through a continuous web process. The next levels of commercialization required to achieve a large-volume power market will be discussed, and the device specifications correlated with the chemical and electronic properties of the materials that we are developing to achieve even higher efficiencies. It has been long considered a utopian dream to harness the energy of the sun to create electricity that would be competitive in cost to that produced from the conventional sources of energy such as oil, gas, and uranium. The impact on our society of stand-alone power generators without moving parts using the continually available, ubiquitous energy of the sun could certainly lead to a new age with consequences comparable to the first introduction of electricity which greatly accelerated the Industrial Revolution. Low cost, nonpolluting energy not dependent upon or limited by transmission costs could again make DC electricity a realistic option. The relatively young field of photovoltaics suffers from certain dogmas that are just now being questioned. For example, it is thought by many that solar cells utilizing crys-talline materials have inherently higher efficiencies than those using amorphous materials, and that somehow crystalline solar cells, whether fabricated from single crystals or polycrystalline material, in round or rectangular geometries, grown from the melt or by a rib-bon process, can be reduced in cost sufficiently that the economics become attractive enough for large-scale terrestrial generation of power. In this paper, we shall show that amorphous materials can have much higher efficiencies than do crystalline and that the answer to our power generation needs lies not in crystalline but in amorphous technology. At Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD), we have designed and built a production machine (described by my colleague, Dr. Izu, in a

  14. Studies of silicon p-n junction solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neugroschel, A.; Lindholm, F. A.

    1979-01-01

    To provide theoretical support for investigating different ways to obtain high open-circuit voltages in p-n junction silicon solar cells, an analytical treatment of heavily doped transparent-emitter devices is presented that includes the effects of bandgap narrowing, Fermi-Dirac statistics, a doping concentration gradient, and a finite surface recombination velocity at the emitter surface. Topics covered include: (1) experimental determination of bandgap narrowing in the emitter of silicon p-n junction devices; (2) heavily doped transparent regions in junction solar cells, diodes, and transistors; (3) high-low-emitter solar cell; (4) determination of lifetimes and recombination currents in p-n junction solar cells; (5) MOS and oxide-charged-induced BSF solar cells; and (6) design of high efficiency solar cells for space and terrestrial applications.

  15. Silver nanoparticles-coated glass frits for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yingfen; Gan, Weiping; Li, Biyuan

    2016-04-01

    Silver nanoparticles-coated glass frit composite powders for silicon solar cells were prepared by electroless plating. Silver colloids were used as the activating agent of glass frits. The products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. The characterization results indicated that silver nanoparticles with the melting temperature of 838 °C were uniformly deposited on glass frit surface. The particle size of silver nanoparticles could be controlled by adjusting the [Ag(NH3)2]NO3 concentration. The as-prepared composite powders were applied in the front side metallization of silicon solar cells. Compared with those based on pure glass frits, the solar cells containing the composite powders had the denser silver electrodes and the better silver-silicon ohmic contacts. Furthermore, the photovoltaic performances of solar cells were improved after the electroless plating.

  16. Response of silicon solar cell to pulsed laser illumination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willowby, D.; Alexander, D.; Edge, T.; Herren, K.

    1993-01-01

    The response of silicon solar cell(s) to pulsed laser illumination is discussed. The motivation was due to the interest of Earth to space/Moon power beaming applications. When this work began, it was not known if solar cells would respond to laser light with pulse lengths in the nanosecond range and a repetition frequency in the kHz range. This is because the laser pulse would be shorter than the minority carrier lifetime of silicon. A 20-nanosecond (ns) full width half max (FWHM) pulse from an aluminum-gallium/arsenide (Al-Ga-As) diode laser was used to illuminate silicon solar cells at a wavelength of 885 nanometers (nm). Using a high-speed digital oscilloscope, the response of the solar cells to individual pulses across various resistive loads was observed and recorded.

  17. Alternative Architecture for Commercial Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, Seth

    2000-01-01

    This presentation discuss the space solar power (SSP) concept. It takes us step by step through the process: the use of sunlight and solar cells to create power, the conversion of the sunlight into electricity, the conversion of electricity to microwaves, and finally the from microwaves back to electricity by the Rectennas on Earth.

  18. III-V/Silicon Lattice-Matched Tandem Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Geisz, J.; Olson, J.; Friedman, D.; Kurtz, S.; McMahon, W.; Romero, M.; Reedy, R.; Jones, K.; Norman, A.; Duda, A.; Kibbler, A.; Kramer, C.; Young, M.

    2005-01-01

    A two-junction device consisting of a 1.7-eV GaNPAs junction on a 1.1-eV silicon junction has the theoretical potential to achieve nearly optimal efficiency for a two-junction tandem cell. We have demonstrated a monolithic III-V-on-silicon tandem solar cell in which most of the III-V layers are nearly lattice-matched to the silicon substrate. The cell includes a GaNPAs top cell, a GaP-based tunnel junction (TJ), and a diffused silicon junction formed during the epitaxial growth of GaNP on the silicon substrate. To accomplish this, we have developed techniques for the growth of high crystalline quality lattice-matched GaNPAs on silicon by metal-organic vapor-phase epitaxy.

  19. Silicon solar cell process development, fabrication, and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Leung, D. C.

    1980-01-01

    Solar cells from HEM, Dendritic Webs, and EFG ribbons were fabricated and characterized. The HEM solar cells showed only slight enhancement in cell performance after gettering steps (diffusion glass) were added. Dendritic webs from various growth runs indicated that performance of solar cells made from the webs was not as good as that of the conventional CZ cells. The EFG ribbons grown in CO ambient showed significant improvement in silicon quality.

  20. Silicon materials task of the Low Cost Solar Array Project: Effect of impurities and processing on silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Davis, J. R.; Rohatgi, A.; Hanes, M. H.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Mollenkopf, H. C.

    1982-01-01

    The effects of impurities and processing on the characteristics of silicon and terrestrial silicon solar cells were defined in order to develop cost benefit relationships for the use of cheaper, less pure solar grades of silicon. The amount of concentrations of commonly encountered impurities that can be tolerated in typical p or n base solar cells was established, then a preliminary analytical model from which the cell performance could be projected depending on the kinds and amounts of contaminants in the silicon base material was developed. The impurity data base was expanded to include construction materials, and the impurity performace model was refined to account for additional effects such as base resistivity, grain boundary interactions, thermal processing, synergic behavior, and nonuniform impurity distributions. A preliminary assessment of long term (aging) behavior of impurities was also undertaken.

  1. Passive Solar Commercial Demonstration Program: Phase I. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1981-02-10

    The passive solar retrofit of a small existing commercial/residential building is described. An add on gallery/sunspace is integrated into the existing structure both in terms of energy and architectural functioning. The sunspace solution maximizes the amount of south facing glass for solar heat gain, while still allowing a deep penetration of daylight into the existing buildings. (MHR)

  2. Development of Silver-Free Silicon Photovoltaic Solar Cells with All-Aluminum Electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Wen-Cheng

    To date, the most popular and dominant material for commercial solar cells is crystalline silicon (or wafer-Si). It has the highest cell efficiency and cell lifetime out of all commercial solar cells. Although the potential of crystalline-Si solar cells in supplying energy demands is enormous, their future growth will likely be constrained by two major bottlenecks. The first is the high electricity input to produce crystalline-Si solar cells and modules, and the second is the limited supply of silver (Ag) reserves. These bottlenecks prevent crystalline-Si solar cells from reaching terawatt-scale deployment, which means the electricity produced by crystalline-Si solar cells would never fulfill a noticeable portion of our energy demands in the future. In order to solve the issue of Ag limitation for the front metal grid, aluminum (Al) electroplating has been developed as an alternative metallization technique in the fabrication of crystalline-Si solar cells. The plating is carried out in a near-room-temperature ionic liquid by means of galvanostatic electrolysis. It has been found that dense, adherent Al deposits with resistivity in the high 10--6 Ω-cm range can be reproducibly obtained directly on Si substrates and nickel seed layers. An all-Al Si solar cell, with an electroplated Al front electrode and a screen-printed Al back electrode, has been successfully demonstrated based on commercial p-type monocrystalline-Si solar cells, and its efficiency is approaching 15%. Further optimization of the cell fabrication process, in particular a suitable patterning technique for the front silicon nitride layer, is expected to increase the efficiency of the cell to ~18%. This shows the potential of Al electroplating in cell metallization is promising and replacing Ag with Al as the front finger electrode is feasible.

  3. Silicon solar cells: Past, present and the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Youn-Jung; Kim, Byung-Sung; Ifitiquar, S. M.; Park, Cheolmin; Yi, Junsin

    2014-08-01

    There has been a great demand for renewable energy for the last few years. However, the solar cell industry is currently experiencing a temporary plateau due to a sluggish economy and an oversupply of low-quality cells. The current situation can be overcome by reducing the production cost and by improving the cell is conversion efficiency. New materials such as compound semiconductor thin films have been explored to reduce the fabrication cost, and structural changes have been explored to improve the cell's efficiency. Although a record efficiency of 24.7% is held by a PERL — structured silicon solar cell and 13.44% has been realized using a thin silicon film, the mass production of these cells is still too expensive. Crystalline and amorphous silicon — based solar cells have led the solar industry and have occupied more than half of the market so far. They will remain so in the future photovoltaic (PV) market by playing a pivotal role in the solar industry. In this paper, we discuss two primary approaches that may boost the silicon — based solar cell market; one is a high efficiency approach and the other is a low cost approach. We also discuss the future prospects of various solar cells.

  4. Flat-plate solar array project. Volume 2: Silicon material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lutwack, R.

    1986-01-01

    The goal of the Silicon Material Task, a part of the Flat Plate Solar Array (FSA) Project, was to develop and demonstate the technology for the low cost production of silicon of suitable purity to be used as the basic material for the manufacture of terrestrial photovoltaic solar cells. Summarized are 11 different processes for the production of silicon that were investigated and developed to varying extent by industrial, university, and Government researchers. The silane production section of the Union Carbide Corp. (UCC) silane process was developed completely in this program. Coupled with Siemens-type chemical vapor deposition reactors, the process was carried through the pilot stage. The overall UCC process involves the conversion of metallurgical-grade silicon to silane followed by decomposition of the silane to purified silicon. The other process developments are described to varying extents. Studies are reported on the effects of impurities in silicon on both silicon-material properties and on solar cell performance. These studies on the effects of impurities yielded extensive information and models for relating specific elemental concentrations to levels of deleterious effects.

  5. Combined Silicon and Gallium Arsenide Solar Cell UV Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willowby, Douglas

    2005-01-01

    The near and long-term effect of UV on silicon solar cells is relatively understood. In an effort to learn more about the effects of UV radiation on the performance of GaAs/Ge solar cells, silicon and gallium arsenide on germanium (GaAs/Ge) solar cells were placed in a vacuum chamber and irradiated with ultraviolet light by a Spectrolab XT 10 solar simulator. Seventeen GaAs/Ge and 8 silicon solar cells were mounted on an 8 inch copper block. By having all the cells on the same test plate we were able to do direct comparison of silicon and GaAs/Ge solar cell degradation. The test article was attached to a cold plate in the vacuum chamber to maintain the cells at 25 degrees Celsius. A silicon solar cell standard was used to measure beam uniformity and any degradation of the ST-10 beam. The solar cell coverings tested included cells with AR-0213 coverglass, fused silica coverglass, BRR-0213 coverglass and cells without coverglass. Of interest in the test is the BRR-0213 coverglass material manufactured by OCLI. It has an added Infrared rejection coating to help reduce the solar cell operating temperature. This coverglass is relatively new and of interest to several current and future programs at Marshall. Due to moves of the laboratory equipment and location only 350 hours of UV degradation have been completed. During this testing a significant leveling off in the rate of degradation was reached. Data from the test and comparisons of the UV effect of the bare cells and cells with coverglass material will be presented.

  6. Silicon space solar cells: progression and radiation-resistance analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rehman, Atteq ur; Lee, Sang Hee; Lee, Soo Hong

    2016-02-01

    In this paper, an overview of the solar cell technology based on silicon for applications in space is presented. First, the space environment and its effects on the basis of satellite orbits, such as geostationary earth orbit (GEO) and low earth orbit (LEO), are described. The space solar cell technology based on silicon-based materials, including thin-film silicon solar cells, for use in space was appraised. The evolution of the design for silicon solar cell for use in space, such as a backsurface field (BSF), selective doping, and both-side passivation, etc., is illustrated. This paper also describes the nature of radiation-induced defects and the models proposed for understanding the output power degradation in silicon space solar cells. The phenomenon of an anomalous increase in the short-circuit current ( I sc) in the fluence irradiation range from 2 × 1016 cm-2 to 5 × 1016 cm-2 is also described explicitly from the view point of the various presented models.

  7. Semiconductor Grade, Solar Silicon Purification Project. [photovoltaic solar energy conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingle, W. M.; Rosler, R. S.; Thompson, S. W.; Chaney, R. E.

    1979-01-01

    A low cost by-product, SiF4, is reacted with mg silicon to form SiF2 gas which is polymerized. The (SiF2)x polymer is heated forming volatile SixFy homologues which disproportionate on a silicon particle bed forming silicon and SiF4. The silicon analysis procedure relied heavily on mass spectroscopic and emission spectroscopic analysis. These analyses demonstrated that major purification had occured and some samples were indistinguishable from semiconductor grade silicon (except possibly for phosphorus). However, electrical analysis via crystal growth reveal that the product contains compensated phosphorus and boron.

  8. A new directional solidification technique for polycrystalline solar grade silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, T.; Shimura, A.; Ichikawa, S.

    A new directional solidification (casting) technique using powder mold releasing agent is described for producing polycrystalline solar grade silicon. Crack-free and stress-free growth of silicon was attainable with fused quartz crucibles coated with nitride powder, such as silicon nitride Si3 N4, on the inner crucible walls. The degree of nitrogen contamination was negligible because of the low nitrogen solubility in solid silicon. Other impurities contents were less than the ppm level. The average grain diameter was close to 0.1 cm. Diffused junction solar cells (n+/p structure) were fabricated by using this boron doped 1 ohm-cm material. An AM1 conversion efficiency of 12.4% on the cells of 20 cm sq area was obtained. The minority carrier diffusion length of this material was estimated to be greater than 80 microns.

  9. Develop Silicone Encapsulation Systems for Terrestrial Silicon Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    This work resulted in two basic accomplishments.The first was the identification of DOW CORNING Q1-2577 as a suitable encapsulation material for use in a cost effective encapsulation system. The second was the preparation of a silicon-acrylic cover material containing a durable ultraviolet screening agent for the protection of photo-oxidatively sensitive polymers.

  10. The durability of the dye-sensitized solar cell with silicon resin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ki, Hyun Chul; Kim, Seon Hoon; Kim, Doo-Gun; Kim, Tae-Un; Jung, Haeng-Yun; Yoon, Jae-Man

    2015-03-01

    Dye-Sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is expected to be one of the next-generation photovoltaics because of its environment-friendly and low-cost properties. However, commercialization of DSSC is difficult because of the electrolyte leakage. We propose a new thermal curable base on silicon resin. The resin aimed at sealing of DSSC and gives a promising resolution for sealing of practical DSSC. Furthermore, the optimized resin was fabricated into solar cells, which exhibited best durability by retaining 97% of the initial photoelectric conversion efficiency after 1,000 hours tracking test at 80°C.

  11. Silicon solar cell efficiency improvement: Status and outlook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolf, M.

    1985-01-01

    Efficiency and operating life is an economic attribute in silicon solar cells application. The efficiency improvements made during the 30 year existence of the silicon solar cells, from about 6% efficiency at the beginning to 19% in the most recent experimental cells is illustrated. In the more stationary periods, the effort was oriented towards improving radiation resistance and yields on the production lines, while, in other periods, the emphasis was on reaching new levels of efficiency through better cell design and improved material processing. First results were forthcoming from the recent efforts. Considerably more efficiency advancement in silicon solar cells is expected, and the anticipated attainment of efficiencies significantly above 20% is discussed. Major advances in material processing and in the resulting material perfection are required.

  12. Characterization of solar-grade silicon produced by the SiF4-Na process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanjurjo, A.; Sancier, K. M.; Emerson, R. M.; Leach, S. C.; Minahan, J.

    1986-01-01

    A process was developed for producing low cost solar grade silicon by the reaction between SiF4 gas and sodium metal. The results of the characterization of the silicon are presented. These results include impurity levels, electronic properties of the silicon after crystal growth, and the performance of solar photovoltaic cells fabricated from wafers of the single crystals. The efficiency of the solar cells fabricated from semiconductor silicon and SiF4-Na silicon was the same.

  13. Silicon Web Process Development. [for solar cell fabrication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, C. S.; Seidensticker, R. G.; Hopkins, R. H.; Mchugh, J. P.; Hill, F. E.; Heimlich, M. E.; Driggers, J. M.

    1979-01-01

    Silicon dendritic web, ribbon form of silicon and capable of fabrication into solar cells with greater than 15% AMl conversion efficiency, was produced from the melt without die shaping. Improvements were made both in the width of the web ribbons grown and in the techniques to replenish the liquid silicon as it is transformed to web. Through means of improved thermal shielding stress was reduced sufficiently so that web crystals nearly 4.5 cm wide were grown. The development of two subsystems, a silicon feeder and a melt level sensor, necessary to achieve an operational melt replenishment system, is described. A gas flow management technique is discussed and a laser reflection method to sense and control the melt level as silicon is replenished is examined.

  14. In-Line Crack and Stress Detection in Silicon Solar Cells Using Resonance Ultrasonic Vibrations

    SciTech Connect

    Ostapenko, Sergei

    2013-04-03

    Statement of Problem and Objectives. Wafer breakage in automated solar cell production lines is identified as a major technical problem and a barrier for further cost reduction of silicon solar module manufacturing. To the best of our knowledge, there are no commercial systems addressing critical needs for in-line inspection of the mechanical quality of solar wafers and cells. The principal objective of the SBIR program is to validate through experiments and computer modeling the applicability of the Resonance Ultrasonic Vibrations system, which ultimately can be used as a real-time in-line manufacturing quality control tool for fast detection of mechanically unstable silicon solar cells caused by cracks. The specific objective of Phase II is to move the technology of in-line crack detection from the laboratory level to commercial demonstration through development of a system prototype. The fragility of silicon wafers possessing low mechanical strength is attributed to peripheral and bulk millimeter-length cracks. The research program is based on feasibility results obtained during Phase I, which established that: (i) the Resonance Ultrasonic Vibrations method is applicable to as-cut, processed wafers and finished cells; (ii) the method sensitivity depends on the specific processing step; it is highest in as-cut wafers and lowest in wafers with metallization pattern and grid contacts; (iii) the system is capable of matching the 2.0 seconds per wafer throughput rate of state-of-art solar cell production lines; (iv) finite element modeling provides vibration mode analysis along with peak shift versus crack length and crack location dependence; (v) a high 91% crack rejection rate was confirmed through experimentation and statistical analysis. The Phase II project has the following specific tasks: (i) specify optimal configurations of the in-line system's component hardware and software; (ii) develop and justify a system prototype that meets major specifications for an

  15. A reusable mold in directional solidification for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, T.; Shimura, A.; Ichikawa, S.

    1983-12-01

    Directional solidification of silicon was achieved by using a SiC coated carbon mold together with Si3N4 powder mold releasing agent. Crack-free polycrystalline silicon ingots were able to be extracted easily out of the mold. The mold was easily able to withstand more than 12 utilizations. Silicon ingot impurity contents were less than 3 ppm and the average polycrystalline grain diameter was 0.8 mm. Solar cells made of this material gave an AM1 maximum conversion of 10.8 deg.

  16. Heavy doping effects in high efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.; Neugroschel, A.

    1985-01-01

    The use of a (silicon)/(heavily doped polysilicon)/(metal) structure to replace the conventional high-low junction (or back-surface-field, BSF) structure of silicon solar cells was examined. The results of an experimental study designed to explore both qualitatively and quantitatively the mechanism of the improved current gain in bipolar transistors with polysilicon emitter contact are presented. A reciprocity theorem is presented that relates the short circuit current of a device, induced by a carrier generation source, to the minority carrier Fermi level in the dark. A method for accurate measurement of minority-carrier diffusion coefficients in silicon is described.

  17. Concentrating Solar Power Commercial Application Study

    SciTech Connect

    none,

    2009-10-01

    This report has been prepared in response to section 603(b) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, (Pub. L. No. 110-140), which states that “…the Secretary of Energy shall transmit to Congress a report on the results of a study on methods to reduce the amount of water consumed by concentrating solar power systems.”

  18. Solar heating for a commercial broiler house

    SciTech Connect

    Rokeby, T.R.C.; Pitts, D.J.; Redfern, J.M.

    1981-01-01

    A solar air heater with rock storage has been used to provide heated ventilating air to an 8000-bird broiler chicken house. The system has operated successfully for four years. Fuel savings of 71% were recorded. Feed conversion and live weight were better than average. Overall system efficiency was 28.5% for a two week period in January 1981.

  19. Solar heating for a commercial broiler house

    SciTech Connect

    Rokeby, T.R.C.; Pitts, D.J.; Redfern, J.M.

    1981-01-01

    A solar air heater with rock storage has been used to provide heated ventilating air to an 8000-bird broiler chicken house. The system has operated successfully for four years. Fuel savings of 71% were recorded. Feed conversion and live weight were better than average. Overall system efficiency was 28.5% for a two week period in January, 1981. 7 refs.

  20. Metal induced crystallization of amorphous silicon for photovoltaic solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Gestel, D.; Gordon, I.; Poortmans, J.

    A silicon thin-film technology could lead to less expensive modules by the use of less silicon material and by the implementation of monolithic module processes. A technology based on polycrystalline-silicon thin-films with a grain size between 1 μm and 1 mm (pc-Si), seems particularly promising since it combines the low-cost potential of a thin-film technology with the high efficiency potential of crystalline silicon. One of the possible approaches to fabricate pc-Si absorber layers is metal induced crystallization (MIC). For solar cell applications mainly aluminium is investigated as metal because 1) it forms a eutectic system with silicon instead of a silicide-metal system like e.g. Ni 2) only shallow level defects are formed in the forbidden bandgap of silicon and 3) a layer exchange process can be obtained in combination with a-Si. Aluminum induced crystallization (AIC) of a-Si on non-silicon substrates can results in grains with a preferential (100) orientation and a maximum grain sizes above 50 micrometer. These layers can act as seed layers for further epitaxial growth. Based on this two-step approach (AIC + epitaxial growth) we made solar cells with an energy conversion efficiency of 8%. Based on TEM, EBIC, SEM, defect etch and EBSD measurements we showed that the efficiency is nowadays mainly limited by the presence of electrical intragrain defects.

  1. Optical absorption of several nanostructures arrays for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhaopeng; Qiao, Huiling; Huangfu, Huichao; Li, Xiaowei; Guo, Jingwei; Wang, Haiyan

    2015-12-01

    To improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar cells, it's important to enhance the light absorption. Within the visible solar spectrum based on optimization simulations by COMSOL Multiphysics, the optical absorption of silicon cylindrical nanowires, nanocones and inverted nanocones was calculated respectively. The results reveal that the average absorption for the nanocones between 400 and 800 nm is 70.2%, which is better than cylindrical nanowires (55.3%), inverted nanocones (42.3%) and bulk silicon (42.2%). In addition, more than 95% of light from 630 to 800 nm is reflected for inverted nanocones, which can be used to enhance infrared reflection in photovoltaic devices.

  2. Damage coefficients in low resistivity silicon. [solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srour, J. R.; Othmer, S.; Chiu, K. Y.; Curtis, O. L., Jr.

    1975-01-01

    Electron and proton damage coefficients are determined for low resistivity silicon based on minority-carrier lifetime measurements on bulk material and diffusion length measurements on solar cells. Irradiations were performed on bulk samples and cells fabricated from four types of boron-doped 0.1 ohm-cm silicon ingots, including the four possible combinations of high and low oxygen content and high and low dislocation density. Measurements were also made on higher resistivity boron-doped bulk samples and solar cells. Major observations and conclusions from the investigation are discussed.

  3. MIS and SIS solar cells on polycrystalline silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Cheek, G.; Mertens, R.

    1980-02-01

    MIS and SIS structured solar cells are receiving much attention in the photovoltaic community. Seemingly, these cells could be a viable alternative to thermally diffused p-n junctions for use on thin-film polycrystalline silicon substrates. This review describes MIS/SIS structured solar cells and the possible advantages of these structures for use with thin-film polycrystalline silicon. The results of efficiency calculations are presented. Also addressed are lifetime stability and fabrication techniques amenable to large scale production. Finally, the relative advantages and disadvantages of these cells and the results obtained are presented.

  4. Developmental experiments on large-area silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silard, Andrei P.; Nani, Gabriel

    1989-05-01

    Practical ways of attenuating the severe limitations imposed by areal inhomogeneities on the performance of large-area solar cells fabricated on both p- and n-silicon wafers are described, and the results of tests are presented. The p(+)-n-n(+) and n(+)-p-p(+) cells were processed as bifacial devices and tested under both frontside and backside AM1 illumination. It is shown that the combination of a simple design and some of the technological approaches evaluated in this study result in low-cost high-efficiency large-area bifacial silicon solar cells that exhibit with good electrooptical performance.

  5. Prototyping and Development of Commercial Nano Crystalline and Thin Film Silicon for Photovoltaic Manufacturing

    SciTech Connect

    Haldar, Pradeep, Ph.D.; Pethuraja, Gopal, Ph.D.; Efstathiadis, Haralabos, Ph.D.

    2011-12-02

    The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at the University at Albany received funding from the Department of Energy for its proposal Prototyping and Development of Commercial Nanocrystalline and Thin Film Si for Photovoltaic Manufacturing. This project was created to identify growth rate, texture uniformity, process window, economics, composition and thickness uniformity solutions related to fabricating large area, high efficiency thin film silicon based solar cells. This document serves as a final report for the closure of this program and details the deliverables from CNSE against its original scope of work. Thin-film silicon solar cells are a promising candidate for electricity generation applications because of a combination of advantages. Nanocrystalline and poly-Si based thin films, reduces the use of expensive semiconductor material content, can be deposited onto a foreign substrate (e.g. glass or flexible stainless steel) and enables use of the cells in wide variety of applications. In addition, nano and poly-Si films have higher carrier mobility as well as reduce recombination effects, relative to traditional amorphous-silicon films. They can be mass-produced at low cost, and expected to have a strong position in the international photovoltaic industry, which is experiencing a compounded annual growth of 25%. The objectives included: • Demonstration of high rate VHF (Very High Frequency) growth of nc-Si over large areas with uniform thickness. • Demonstration of single chamber device growth that allows mass production processing. • Demonstration of uniform segmented electrodes. • Development of computer models to accelerate efforts. • Demonstration of large grain thin film polycrystalline silicon films fabrication. • Utilizing the AIC (Aluminum Induced Crystallization) process for large grain silicon film

  6. Silicon-on-ceramic process: Silicon sheet growth and device development for the large-area silicon sheet task of the low-cost solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitehead, A. B.; Zook, J. D.; Grung, B. L.; Heaps, J. D.; Schmit, F.; Schuldt, S. B.; Chapman, P. W.

    1981-01-01

    The technical feasibility of producing solar cell quality sheet silicon to meet the DOE 1986 cost goal of 70 cents/watt was investigated. The silicon on ceramic approach is to coat a low cost ceramic substrate with large grain polycrystalline silicon by unidirectional solidification of molten silicon. Results and accomplishments are summarized.

  7. A 2-terminal perovskite/silicon multijunction solar cell enabled by a silicon tunnel junction

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Mailoa, Jonathan P.; Bailie, Colin D.; Johlin, Eric C.; Hoke, Eric T.; Akey, Austin J.; Nguyen, William H.; McGehee, Michael D.; Buonassisi, Tonio

    2015-03-24

    With the advent of efficient high-bandgap metal-halide perovskite photovoltaics, an opportunity exists to make perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells. We fabricate a monolithic tandem by developing a silicon-based interband tunnel junction that facilitates majority-carrier charge recombination between the perovskite and silicon sub-cells. We demonstrate a 1 cm2 2-terminal monolithic perovskite/silicon multijunction solar cell with a VOC as high as 1.65 V. As a result, we achieve a stable 13.7% power conversion efficiency with the perovskite as the current-limiting sub-cell, and identify key challenges for this device architecture to reach efficiencies over 25%.

  8. Improving efficiency of silicon heterojunction solar cells by surface texturing of silicon wafers using tetramethylammonium hydroxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Liguo; Wang, Fengyou; Zhang, Xiaodan; Wang, Ning; Jiang, Yuanjian; Hao, Qiuyan; Zhao, Ying

    2014-12-01

    Texturing of silicon surfaces is an effective method for improving the efficiency of silicon solar cells. Etching by using tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) is more attractive than other texturing processes because TMAH is non-toxic, and high-quality anisotropic features can be realized without any metal ion contaminants. In this study, TMAH texturing conditions are varied to optimize the surface morphology of silicon wafers. Excellent optical properties are obtained. This is because of the formation of pyramidal structures with different random sizes but uniform shapes; in fact, when the optimal etching conditions (2% TMAH, 10% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) at 80 °C) are used, the reflectance is only 10.7%. In comparison with NaOH texturing, the TMAH process described here yields smaller pyramids with smoother (111) facets, leading to improved performance in silicon heterojunction solar cells, with a conversion efficiency of 17.8%.

  9. A 2-terminal perovskite/silicon multijunction solar cell enabled by a silicon tunnel junction

    SciTech Connect

    Mailoa, Jonathan P.; Bailie, Colin D.; Johlin, Eric C.; Hoke, Eric T.; Akey, Austin J.; Nguyen, William H.; McGehee, Michael D.; Buonassisi, Tonio

    2015-03-24

    With the advent of efficient high-bandgap metal-halide perovskite photovoltaics, an opportunity exists to make perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells. We fabricate a monolithic tandem by developing a silicon-based interband tunnel junction that facilitates majority-carrier charge recombination between the perovskite and silicon sub-cells. We demonstrate a 1 cm2 2-terminal monolithic perovskite/silicon multijunction solar cell with a VOC as high as 1.65 V. As a result, we achieve a stable 13.7% power conversion efficiency with the perovskite as the current-limiting sub-cell, and identify key challenges for this device architecture to reach efficiencies over 25%.

  10. Semiconductor grade, solar silicon purification project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingle, W. M.; Thompson, S.; Rosler, D.; Jackson, J.

    1977-01-01

    The conversion of metallurgical grade silicon into semiconductor grade silicon by way of a three step SiF2 polymer transport purification process was investigated. Developments in the following areas were also examined: (1) spectroscopic analysis and characterization of (SiF2) sub x polymer and Si sub x F sub y homologue conversion; (2) demonstration runs on the near continuous apparatus; (3) economic analysis; and (4) elemental analysis.

  11. Crystalline silicon solar cells with micro/nano texture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrov, Dimitre Z.; Du, Chen-Hsun

    2013-02-01

    Crystalline silicon solar cells with two-scale texture consisting of random upright pyramids and surface nanotextured layer directly onto the pyramids are prepared and reflectance properties and I-V characteristics measured. Random pyramids texture is produced by etching in an alkaline solution. On top of the pyramids texture, a nanotexture is developed using an electroless oxidation/etching process. Solar cells with two-scale surface texturization are prepared following the standard screen-printing technology sequence. The micro/nano surface is found to lower considerably the light reflectance of silicon. The short wavelengths spectral response (blue response) improvement is observed in micro/nano textured solar cells compared to standard upright pyramids textured cells. An efficiency of 17.5% is measured for the best micro/nano textured c-Si solar cell. The efficiency improvement is found to be due to the gain in both Jsc and Voc.

  12. Developments toward an 18% efficient silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meulenberg, A., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Limitations to increased open-circuit voltage were identified and experimentally verified for 0.1 ohm-cm solar cells with heavily doped emitters. After major reduction in the dark current contribution from the metal-silicon interface of the grid contacts, the surface recombination velocity of the oxide-silicon interface of shallow junction solar cells is the limiting factor. In deep junction solar cells, where the junction field does not aid surface collection, the emitter bulk is the limiting factor. Singly-diffused, shallow junction cells have been fabricated with open circuit voltages in excess of 645 mV. Double-diffusion shallow and deep junctions cells have displayed voltages above 650 mV. MIS solar cells formed on 0.1 ohm-cm substrates have exibited the lowest dark currents produced in the course of the contract work.

  13. Silicon material task. Part 3: Low-cost silicon solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roques, R. A.; Coldwell, D. M.

    1977-01-01

    The feasibility of a process for carbon reduction of low impurity silica in a plasma heat source was investigated to produce low-cost solar-grade silicon. Theoretical aspects of the reaction chemistry were studied with the aid of a computer program using iterative free energy minimization. These calculations indicate a threshold temperature exists at 2400 K below which no silicon is formed. The computer simulation technique of molecular dynamics was used to study the quenching of product species.

  14. Control of back surface reflectance from aluminum alloyed contacts on silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Cudzinovic, M.; Sopori, B.

    1996-05-01

    A process for forming highly reflective aluminum back contacts with low contact resistance to silicon solar cells is described. By controlling the process conditions, it is possible to vary the silicon/aluminum interface from a specular to a diffuse reflector while maintaining a high interface reflectance. The specular interface is found to be a uniform silicon/aluminum alloy layer a few angstroms thick that has epitaxially regrown on the silicon. The diffuse interface consists of randomly distributed (111) pyramids produced by crystallographic out-diffusion of the bulk silicon. The light trapping ability of the diffuse contact is found to be close to the theoretical limit. Both types of contacts are found to have specific contact resistivities of 10{sup {minus}5} {Omega}-cm{sup 2}. The process for forming the contacts involves illuminating the devices with tungsten halogen lamps. The process is rapid (under 100 s) and low temperature (peak temperature < 580{degrees}C), making it favorable for commercial solar cell fabrication.

  15. Novel duplex vapor-electrochemical method for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nanis, L.; Sanjurjo, A.; Sancier, K. M.; Kapur, V. K.; Bartlett, R. W.; Westphal, S.

    1980-01-01

    A process was developed for the economic production of high purity Si from inexpensive reactants, based on the Na reduction of SiF4 gas. The products of reaction (NaF, Si) are separated by either aqueous leaching or by direct melting of the NaF-Si product mixture. Impurities known to degrade solar cell performance are all present at sufficiently low concentrations so that melt solidification (e.g., Czochralski) will provide a silicon material suitable for solar cells.

  16. Silicon on ceramic process. Silicon sheet growth development for the large-area silicon sheet task of the low-cost silicon solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zook, J. D.; Heaps, J. D.; Maciolek, R. B.; Koepke, B. G.; Butter, C. D.; Schuldt, S. B.

    1977-01-01

    The technical and economic feasibility of producing solar-cell-quality sheet silicon was investigated. The sheets were made by coating one surface of carbonized ceramic substrates with a thin layer of large-grain polycrystalline silicon from the melt. Significant progress was made in all areas of the program.

  17. The effects of copper and titanium on silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, A. M.

    1978-01-01

    Copper-doped N/P silicon solar cells fabricated from the Czochralski grown single-crystal wafers were found to have good electrical characteristics, but the titanium-doped N/P silicon solar cells has considerably lower conversion efficiency. However, in the copper/titanium-doped solar cells, copper seems to mitigate the unfavorable effects of titanium. To explain this behavior, microstructural tests were performed on silicon wafers and solar cells doped with copper, titanium and copper/titanium. Dark forward and reverse I-V measurements were performed on the solar cells to correlate the microstructural defects with the p-n junction properties. It was found that copper precipitates were formed in the copper-doped and copper/titanium-doped wafers and cells. There was a significant voltage drop in the dark reverse I-V measurements of the titanium solar cells. Also, there were some electronically active defects in the depletion region of some titanium-doped cells. Reasons that lead to the above results are given in detail.

  18. Silicon Solar Cell Process Development, Fabrication and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Tanner, D. P.

    1979-01-01

    The standard solar cells (2x2 cm) from the cast silicon heatexchanger method) showed a maximum AMO efficiency of 10.1%. Cells from low resistivity material (0.5 ohm-cm) showed lower performance than those of the high resistivity cast silicon (3 ohm-cm), an average efficiency 9.5% versus 7.6% Maximum AMO efficiency of the standard solar cells (2x2 cm) from the EFG (RH) ribbons was about 7.5%. The solar cells from controlled SiC, using the displaced die, showed more consistent and better performance than those of the uncontrolled SiC ribbons, an average efficiency of 6.6% versus 5.4% The average AMO efficiency of the standard silicon ceramic (soc) solar calls were about 6%. These were large area solar cells (an average area of 15 sq cm). A maximum efficiency of 7.3% was obtained. The SOC solar cells showed both leakage and series resistance problems, leading to an average curve fill factor of about 60%.

  19. Silicon solar cell using optimized intermediate reflector layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalifa, Ahmed E.; Swillam, Mohamed A.

    2016-03-01

    Thin film silicon based photovoltaic cells have the advantages of using low cost nontoxic abundant constituents and low thermal manufacturing budget. However, better long-term efficiencies need to be achieved overcoming its inherent bad electrical properties of amorphous and/or microcrystalline Silicon. For the goal of achieving best results, multijunction cells of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon thin layers are industrially and lab utilized in addition to using one or more light management techniques such as textured layers, periodic and plasmonic back reflectors, flattened reflective substrates and intermediate reflector layer (IRL) between multijunction cells. The latter, IRL, which is the focus of this paper, serves as spectrally selective layer between different cells of the multijunction silicon thin film solar cell. IRL, reflects to the top cell short wavelength while permitting and scattering longer ones to achieve the best possible short circuit current. In this study, a new optimized periodic design of Intermediate reflector layer in micromorph (two multijunction cells of Microcrystalline and Amorphous Silicon) thin film solar cells is proposed. The optically simulated short circuit current reaches record values for same thickness designs when using all-ZnO design and even better results is anticipated if Lacquer material is used in combination with ZnO. The design methodology used in the paper can be easily applied to different types of IRL materials and also extended to triple and the relatively newly proposed quadruple thin films solar cells.

  20. A metallurgical route to solar-grade silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schei, A.

    1986-01-01

    The aim of the process is to produce silicon for crystallization into ingots that can be sliced to wafers for processing into photovoltaic cells. If the potential purity can be realized, the silicon will also be applicable for ribbon pulling techniques where the purification during crystallization is negligible. The process consists of several steps: selection and purification of raw materials, carbothermic reduction of silica, ladle treatment, casting, crushing, leaching, and melting. The leaching step is crucial for high purity, and the obtainable purity is determined by the solidification before leaching. The most difficult specifications to fulfill are the low contents of boron, phosphorus, and carbon. Boron and phosphorus can be excluded from the raw materials, but the carbothermic reduction will unavoidably saturate the silicon with carbon at high temperature. During cooling carbon will precipitate as silicon carbide crystals, which will be harmful in solar cells. The cost of this solar silicon will depend strongly on the scale of production. It is as yet premature to give exact figures, but with a scale of some thousand tons per year, the cost will only be a few times the cost of ordinary metallurgical silicon.

  1. Study on epitaxial silicon thin film solar cells on low cost silicon ribbon substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ai, Bin; Shen, Hui; Ban, Qun; Liang, Zongcun; Li, Xudong; Xu, Ying; Liao, Xianbo

    2005-03-01

    Heavily B-doped silicon ribbons were prepared by modified silicon sheets from powder (SSP) technique using 9 N purity electronic-grade silicon powder. Utilizing the SSP ribbons as substrates, crystalline silicon thin film (CSiTF) solar cells have been fabricated by direct epitaxy method. As-prepared CSiTF solar cells were characterized by illuminated and dark I- V characteristic measurement, Suns- Voc measurement, quantum efficiency (QE) and reflectance measurement. The results show that the CSiTF solar cells have poor performance with typical efficiency η only about 4.25%, and nearly all the characteristic parameters are far away from the ideal values. By detailed analysis and discussion on the measured results, it was found that grain boundary (GB) recombination in the active layers and electrical leakage at the edge of the PN junctions play a major role in deteriorating the performance of the CSiTF solar cells, which lead to higher dark saturation current Is and lower parallel resistance Rsh, respectively. By improving the preparation process, such as optimization of the epitaxy process, use of remote plasma hydrogen passivation (RPHP), optimization of the metallization and use of double layer anti-reflection (DLAR) coatings, etc., all the characteristic parameters of the CSiTF solar cells have been greatly improved, and the best efficiency value increased to 8.02%.

  2. Development of high efficiency solar cells on silicon web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohatgi, A.; Meier, D. L.; Campbell, R. B.; Schmidt, D. N.; Rai-Choudhury, P.

    1984-01-01

    Web base material is being improved with a goal toward obtaining solar cell efficiencies in excess of 18% (AM1). Carrier loss mechanisms in web silicon was investigated, techniques were developed to reduce carrier recombination in the web, and web cells were fabricated using effective surface passivation. The effect of stress on web cell performance was also investigated.

  3. Silicon solar cell monitors high temperature furnace operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zellner, G. J.

    1968-01-01

    Silicon solar cell, attached to each viewpoint, monitors that incandescent emission from the hot interior of a furnace without interfering with the test assembly or optical pyrometry during the test. This technique can provide continuous indication of hot spots or provide warning of excessive temperatures in cooler regions.

  4. Low energy production processes in manufacturing of silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, A. R.

    1976-01-01

    Ion implantation and pulsed energy techniques are being combined for fabrication of silicon solar cells totally under vacuum and at room temperature. Simplified sequences allow very short processing times with small process energy consumption. Economic projections for fully automated production are excellent.

  5. Energy requirement for the production of silicon solar arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.; Wihl, M.; Scheinine, A.; Morrison, A.

    1977-01-01

    An assessment of potential changes and alternative technologies which could impact the photovoltaic manufacturing process is presented. Topics discussed include: a multiple wire saw, ribbon growth techniques, silicon casting, and a computer model for a large-scale solar power plant. Emphasis is placed on reducing the energy demands of the manufacturing process.

  6. Modelling and fabrication of high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Rohatgi, A.; Smith, A.W.; Salami, J.

    1991-10-01

    This report covers the research conducted on modelling and development of high-efficiency silicon solar cells during the period May 1989 to August 1990. First, considerable effort was devoted toward developing a ray-tracing program for the photovoltaic community to quantify and optimize surface texturing for solar cells. Second, attempts were made to develop a hydrodynamic model for device simulation. Such a model is somewhat slower than drift-diffusion type models like PC-1D, but it can account for more physical phenomena in the device, such as hot carrier effects, temperature gradients, thermal diffusion, and lattice heat flow. In addition, Fermi-Dirac statistics have been incorporated into the model to deal with heavy doping effects more accurately. Third and final component of the research includes development of silicon cell fabrication capabilities and fabrication of high-efficiency silicon cells. 84 refs., 46 figs., 10 tabs.

  7. Solar breeder: Energy payback time for silicon photovoltaic systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.

    1977-01-01

    The energy expenditures of the prevailing manufacturing technology of terrestrial photovoltaic cells and panels were evaluated, including silicon reduction, silicon refinement, crystal growth, cell processing and panel building. Energy expenditures include direct energy, indirect energy, and energy in the form of equipment and overhead expenses. Payback times were development using a conventional solar cell as a test vehicle which allows for the comparison of its energy generating capability with the energies expended during the production process. It was found that the energy payback time for a typical solar panel produced by the prevailing technology is 6.4 years. Furthermore, this value drops to 3.8 years under more favorable conditions. Moreover, since the major energy use reductions in terrestrial manufacturing have occurred in cell processing, this payback time directly illustrates the areas where major future energy reductions can be made -- silicon refinement, crystal growth, and panel building.

  8. Radiation tolerance of boron doped dendritic web silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohatgi, A.

    1980-01-01

    The potential of dendritic web silicon for giving radiation hard solar cells is compared with the float zone silicon material. Solar cells with n(+)-p-P(+) structure and approximately 15% (AMl) efficiency were subjected to 1 MeV electron irradiation. Radiation tolerance of web cell efficiency was found to be at least as good as that of the float zone silicon cell. A study of the annealing behavior of radiation-induced defects via deep level transient spectroscopy revealed that E sub v + 0.31 eV defect, attributed to boron-oxygen-vacancy complex, is responsible for the reverse annealing of the irradiated cells in the temperature range of 150 to 350 C.

  9. Diffusion lengths of silicon solar cells from luminescence images

    SciTech Connect

    Wuerfel, P.; Trupke, T.; Puzzer, T.; Schaeffer, E.; Warta, W.; Glunz, S. W.

    2007-06-15

    A method for spatially resolved measurement of the minority carrier diffusion length in silicon wafers and in silicon solar cells is introduced. The method, which is based on measuring the ratio of two luminescence images taken with two different spectral filters, is applicable, in principle, to both photoluminescence and electroluminescence measurements and is demonstrated experimentally by electroluminescence measurements on a multicrystalline silicon solar cell. Good agreement is observed with the diffusion length distribution obtained from a spectrally resolved light beam induced current map. In contrast to the determination of diffusion lengths from one single luminescence image, the method proposed here gives absolute values of the diffusion length and, in comparison, it is much less sensitive to lateral voltage variations across the cell area as caused by local variations of the series resistance. It is also shown that measuring the ratio of two luminescence images allows distinguishing shunts or surface defects from bulk defects.

  10. Semiconductor grade, solar silicon purification project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingle, W. M.; Rosler, R. R.; Thompson, S. W.; Chaney, R. E.

    1979-01-01

    Experimental apparatus and procedures used in the development of a 3-step SiF2(x) polymer transport purification process are described. Both S.S.M.S. and E.S. analysis demonstrated that major purification had occured and some samples were indistinguishable from semiconductor grade silicon (except possibly for phosphorus). Recent electrical analysis via crystal growth reveals that the product contains compensated phosphorus and boron. The low projected product cost and short energy payback time suggest that the economics of this process will result in a cost less than the goal of $10/Kg(1975 dollars). The process appears to be readily scalable to a major silicon purification facility.

  11. Aluminothermic reduction enabled synthesis of silicon hollow microspheres from commercialized silica nanoparticles for superior lithium storage.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zheng-Wei; Liu, Yi-Tao; Xie, Xu-Ming; Ye, Xiong-Ying

    2016-06-28

    We report the aluminothermic reduction enabled synthesis of silicon hollow microspheres from commercialized silica nanoparticles by controlled transformation and organization. The synergistically integrated merits of a simple process and delicate structural design lay a basis for developing an industrially viable silicon anode with optimized electrochemical performances. PMID:27302245

  12. Investigation of Backside Textures for Genesis Solar Wind Silicon Collectors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, C. P.; Burkett, P. J.; Rodriguez, M. C.; Allton, J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Genesis solar wind collectors were comprised of a suite of 15 types of ultrapure materials. The single crystal, pure silicon collectors were fabricated by two methods: float zone (FZ) and Czochralski (CZ). Because of slight differences in bulk purity and surface cleanliness among the fabrication processes and the specific vendor, it is desirable to know which variety of silicon and identity of vendor, so that appropriate reference materials can be used. The Czochralski method results in a bulk composition with slightly higher oxygen, for example. The CZ silicon array wafers that were Genesis-flown were purchased from MEMC Electronics. Most of the Genesis-flown FZ silicon was purchased from Unisil and cleaned by MEMC, although a few FZ wafers were acquired from International Wafer Service (IWS).

  13. Diagnostics of Forward Biased Silicon Solar Cells Using Noise Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macku, R.; Koktavy, P.; Skarvada, P.; Raska, M.; Sadovsky, P.

    2009-04-01

    Our research is above all focused on non-destructive testing of the solar cells. We study a single-crystal silicon solar cells n+p and we don't have serious information about features of a pn junction and impurities distribution. The main point of our study is characterization of the local defects in samples. These defects lead to live-time reduction and degradation of reliability. Flicker noise in forward biased solar cells is subject of this paper. We will discuss our measurement with Kleinpenning approaches for inhomogeneous semiconductors and we suggest the physical nature of the samples behaviour.

  14. Thin n-i-p silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meulenberg, A., Jr.; Allison, J. F.; Arndt, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    A space solar cell concept which combines high cell output with low diffusion length damage coefficients is presented for the purpose of reducing solar cell susceptibility to degradation from the radiation environment. High resistivity n-i-p silicon solar cells ranging from upward of 83 micron-cm were exposed to AM0 ultraviolet illumination. It is shown that high resistivity cells act as extrinsic devices under dark conditions and as intrinsic devices under AM0 illumination. Resistive losses in thin n-i-p cells are found to be comparable to those in low resistivity cells. Present voltage limitations appear to be due to generation and recombination in the diffused regions.

  15. The NASA Lewis Research Center program in space solar cell research and technology. [efficient silicon solar cell development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    Progress in space solar cell research and technology is reported. An 18 percent-AMO-efficient silicon solar cell, reduction in the radiation damage suffered by silicon solar cells in space, and high efficiency wrap-around contact and thin (50 micrometer) coplanar back contact silicon cells are among the topics discussed. Reduction in the cost of silicon cells for space use, cost effective GaAs solar cells, the feasibility of 30 percent AMO solar energy conversion, and reliable encapsulants for space blankets are also considered.

  16. Light Trapping for Silicon Solar Cells: Theory and Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Hui

    Crystalline silicon solar cells have been the mainstream technology for photovoltaic energy conversion since their invention in 1954. Since silicon is an indirect band gap material, its absorption coefficient is low for much of the solar spectrum, and the highest conversion efficiencies are achieved only in cells that are thicker than about 0.1 mm. Light trapping by total internal reflection is important to increase the optical absorption in silicon layers, and becomes increasingly important as the layers are thinned. Light trapping is typically characterized by the enhancement of the absorptance of a solar cell beyond the value for a single pass of the incident beam through an absorbing semiconductor layer. Using an equipartition argument, in 1982 Yablonovitch calculated an enhancement of 4n2 , where n is the refractive index. We have extracted effective light-trapping enhancements from published external quantum efficiency spectra in several dozen silicon solar cells. These results show that this "thermodynamic" enhancement has never been achieved experimentally. The reasons for incomplete light trapping could be poor anti-reflection coating, inefficient light scattering, and parasitic absorption. We report the light-trapping properties of nanocrystalline silicon nip solar cells deposited onto two types of Ag/ZnO backreflectors at United Solar Ovonic, LLC. We prepared the first type by first making silver nanparticles onto a stainless steel substrate, and then overcoating the nanoparticles with a second silver layer. The second type was prepared at United Solar using a continuous silver film. Both types were then overcoated with a ZnO film. The root mean square roughness varied from 27 to 61 nm, and diffuse reflectance at 1000 nm wavelength varied from 0.4 to 0.8. The finished cells have a thin, indium-tin oxide layer on the top that acts as an antireflection coating. For both backreflector types, the short-circuit photocurrent densities J SC for solar

  17. Solar photocatalytic mineralization of commercial pesticides: acrinathrin.

    PubMed

    Malato, S; Blanco, J; Fernández-Alba, A R; Agüera, A

    2000-02-01

    A comparative study of the degradation of commercial acrinathrin spiked in water using TiO2 photocatalysis and photolysis under sunlight was performed. Samples were analysed by liquid chromatography-diode array detector (HPLC-DAD) and gas chromatography-ion trap-mass spectrometric detector (GC-ITMS). Additional total organic carbon (TOC) analyses were carried out to evaluate the mineralisation rates. One photoproduct, 2-phenoxy benzaldehyde, was unequivocally identified and evaluated by GC-ITMS during the processes. Although acrinathrin is almost destroyed when exposed to irradiation for more than 400 h, photocatalysis with TiO2 noticeably reduced degradation to a few hours. In this case, with the additional presence of peroxydisulphate, in less than 2 h acrinathrin is completely destroyed. Mineralisation of acrinathrin, without catalyst, was only around 50% after 400 h of irradiation. PMID:10665406

  18. The investigation of optimal Silicon/Silicon(1-x)Germanium(x) thin-film solar cells with quantitative analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehsan, Md Amimul

    Thin-film solar cells are emerging from the research laboratory to become commercially available devices for low cost electrical power generation applications. Silicon which is a cheap, abundant and non-toxic elemental semiconductor is an attractive candidate for these solar cells. Advanced modeling and simulation of Si thin-film solar cells has been performed to make this technology more cost effective without compromising the performance and efficiency. In this study, we focus on the design and optimization of Si/Si1-xGex heterostructures, and microcrystalline and nanocrystalline Si thin-film solar cells. Layer by layer optimization of these structures was performed by using advanced bandgap engineering followed by numerical analysis for their structural, electrical and optical characterizations. Special care has been introduced for the selection of material layers which can help to improve the light absorption properties of these structures for harvesting the solar spectrum. Various strategies such as the optimization of the doping concentrations, Ge contents in Si1-xGex buffer layer, incorporation of the absorber layers and surface texturing have been in used to improve overall conversion efficiencies of the solar cells. To be more specific, the observed improvement in the conversion efficiency of these solar cells has been calculated by tailoring the thickness of the buffer, absorber, and emitter layers. In brief, an approach relying on the phenomena of improved absorption of the buffer and absorber layer which leads to a corresponding gain in the open circuit voltage and short circuit current is explored. For numerical analysis, a PC1D simulator is employed that uses finite element analysis technique for solving semiconductor transport equations. A comparative study of the Si/Si1-xGex and Ge/Si1-xGex is also performed. We found that due to the higher lattice mismatch of Ge to Si, thin-film solar cells based on Si/Si1-xGex heterostructures performed much

  19. Thin silicon foils produced by epoxy-induced spalling of silicon for high efficiency solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Martini, R.; Kepa, J.; Stesmans, A.; Debucquoy, M.; Depauw, V.; Gonzalez, M.; Gordon, I.; Poortmans, J.

    2014-10-27

    We report on the drastic improvement of the quality of thin silicon foils produced by epoxy-induced spalling. In the past, researchers have proposed to fabricate silicon foils by spalling silicon substrates with different stress-inducing materials to manufacture thin silicon solar cells. However, the reported values of effective minority carrier lifetime of the fabricated foils remained always limited to ∼100 μs or below. In this work, we investigate epoxy-induced exfoliated foils by electron spin resonance to analyze the limiting factors of the minority carrier lifetime. These measurements highlight the presence of disordered dangling bonds and dislocation-like defects generated by the exfoliation process. A solution to remove these defects compatible with the process flow to fabricate solar cells is proposed. After etching off less than 1 μm of material, the lifetime of the foil increases by more than a factor of 4.5, reaching a value of 461 μs. This corresponds to a lower limit of the diffusion length of more than 7 times the foil thickness. Regions with different lifetime correlate well with the roughness of the crack surface which suggests that the lifetime is now limited by the quality of the passivation of rough surfaces. The reported values of the minority carrier lifetime show a potential for high efficiency (>22%) thin silicon solar cells.

  20. Demonstration of a commercial solar greenhouse. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Figueras, A.

    1982-03-31

    The greenhouse is located in the town of Russell, in St. Lawrence County, New York. It was built to demonstrate the economics of using the solar greenhouse design as a commercial greenhouse growing vegetables for local sale. The design and construction of the greenhouse are briefly described. Records of temperatures monitored and produce grown and sold are included. (BCS)

  1. Small solar thermal electric power plants with early commercial potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, H. E.; Bisantz, D. J.; Clayton, R. N.; Heiges, H. H.; Ku, A. C.

    1979-01-01

    Cost-effective small solar thermal electric power plants (1- to 10-MW nominal size) offer an attractive way of helping the world meet its future energy needs. The paper describes the characteristics of a conceptual near-term plant (about 1 MW) and a potential 1990 commercial version. The basic system concept is one in which steam is generated using two-axis tracking, parabolic dish, and point-focusing collectors. The steam is transported through low-loss piping to a central steam turbine generator unit where it is converted to electricity. The plants have no energy storage and their output power level varies with the solar insolation level. This system concept, which is firmly based on state-of-the-art technology, is projected to offer one of the fastest paths for U.S. commercialization of solar thermal electric power plants through moderate technology advances and mass production.

  2. Method for forming indium oxide/n-silicon heterojunction solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Feng, Tom; Ghosh, Amal K.

    1984-03-13

    A high photo-conversion efficiency indium oxide/n-silicon heterojunction solar cell is spray deposited from a solution containing indium trichloride. The solar cell exhibits an Air Mass One solar conversion efficiency in excess of about 10%.

  3. Current status of silicon solar cell technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.

    1975-01-01

    In quest of higher efficiency, major progress has occurred in solar cell technology. Cell efficiency has climbed about 50 percent. Technical approaches leading to increased output include back surface fields, shallow junctions, improved antireflection coatings, surface texturizing, and fine grid patterns on the cell surface. The status of current solar cell technology and its incorporation into cell production is discussed. Research and development leading to improved performance and reduced cost are also described.

  4. Financial study of commercialization of solar central receiver power systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1981-03-01

    Commercialization requires that central receiver (CR) systems meet the economic criteria used by industry to select systems for capital ventures. Quantitative estimates are given of the investment required by government, utilities, and the manufacturing sector to meet the energy displacement goals for central receiver technology. Initial solar repowering and stand-alone electric utility plants will not have economic comparability with competitive energy sources. A major factor for this is that initial (first of a kind) heliostat costs will be high. As heliostat costs are reduced due to automated manufacturing economies, learning, and high volume production, central receiver technology will become more competitive. Under this task, several scenarios (0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 quad/y) were evaluated to determine the effect on commercial attractiveness and to determine the cost to government to bring about commercialization of solar central receivers.

  5. A reclaiming process for solar cell silicon wafer surfaces.

    PubMed

    Pa, P S

    2011-01-01

    The low yield of epoxy film and Si3N4 thin-film deposition is an important factor in semiconductor production. A new design system using a set of three lamination-shaped electrodes as a machining tool and micro electro-removal as a precision reclaiming process of the Si3N4 layer and epoxy film removal from silicon wafers of solar cells surface is presented. In the current experiment, the combination of the small thickness of the anode and cathodes corresponds to a higher removal rate for the thin films. The combination of the short length of the anode and cathodes combined with enough electric power produces fast electroremoval. A combination of the small edge radius of the anode and cathodes corresponds to a higher removal rate. A higher feed rate of silicon wafers of solar cells combined with enough electric power produces fast removal. A precise engineering technology constructed a clean production approach for the removal of surface microstructure layers from silicon wafers is to develop a mass production system for recycling defective or discarded silicon wafers from solar cells that can reduce pollution and lower cost. PMID:21446525

  6. Characterization of silicon heterojunctions for solar cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Conductive-probe atomic force microscopy (CP-AFM) measurements reveal the existence of a conductive channel at the interface between p-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and n-type crystalline silicon (c-Si) as well as at the interface between n-type a-Si:H and p-type c-Si. This is in good agreement with planar conductance measurements that show a large interface conductance. It is demonstrated that these features are related to the existence of a strong inversion layer of holes at the c-Si surface of (p) a-Si:H/(n) c-Si structures, and to a strong inversion layer of electrons at the c-Si surface of (n) a-Si:H/(p) c-Si heterojunctions. These are intimately related to the band offsets, which allows us to determine these parameters with good precision. PMID:21711658

  7. Atomic structure of interface states in silicon heterojunction solar cells.

    PubMed

    George, B M; Behrends, J; Schnegg, A; Schulze, T F; Fehr, M; Korte, L; Rech, B; Lips, K; Rohrmüller, M; Rauls, E; Schmidt, W G; Gerstmann, U

    2013-03-29

    Combining orientation dependent electrically detected magnetic resonance and g tensor calculations based on density functional theory we assign microscopic structures to paramagnetic states involved in spin-dependent recombination at the interface of hydrogenated amorphous silicon crystalline silicon (a-Si:H/c-Si) heterojunction solar cells. We find that (i) the interface exhibits microscopic roughness, (ii) the electronic structure of the interface defects is mainly determined by c-Si, (iii) we identify the microscopic origin of the conduction band tail state in the a-Si:H layer, and (iv) present a detailed recombination mechanism. PMID:23581355

  8. Silicon diffusion in aluminum for rear passivated solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Urrejola, Elias; Peter, Kristian; Plagwitz, Heiko; Schubert, Gunnar

    2011-04-11

    We show that the lateral spread of silicon in a screen-printed aluminum layer increases by (1.50{+-}0.06) {mu}m/ deg. C, when increasing the peak firing temperature within an industrially applicable range. In this way, the maximum spread limit of diffused silicon in aluminum is predictable and does not depend on the contact area size but on the firing temperature. Therefore, the geometry of the rear side pattern can influence not only series resistance losses within the solar cell but the process of contact formation itself. In addition, too fast cooling lead to Kirkendall void formations instead of an eutectic layer.

  9. A New Method of Metallization for Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macha, M.

    1979-01-01

    A low cost ohmic contact on silicon solar cells based on molybdenum-tin metal systems was developed. The approach is based on the formulation of a screenable ink composed from molybdenum oxide and tin mixture. The reduction of Mo03 into Mo and the establishment of Mo 03:Sn ratio is studied. Both tasks were done in an experimental station constructed for this purpose. The results show that molybdenum was formed from its oxide at 800 C. and improved in bonding to silicon at 900 C. A 20% Mo03-80%Sn mixture was converted into metallic coating within this temperature range.

  10. Silicon solar cell testing in concentrated sunlight and simulated sunlight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burgess, E. L.; Mitchell, K. W.

    1976-01-01

    A method is described for testing silicon solar cells in concentrated sunlight and simulated sunlight. Concentrated sunlight is obtained by using an acrylic Fresnel lens; the simulated sunlight source is a short arc Xenon lamp. Average illumination levels during the tests are inferred from an assumed linear relationship between short circuit current and illumination. The linearity assumption is investigated for 0.3 alpha cm base resistivity silicon cells and found to be valid. Some typical results are presented to illustrate the type of information obtained during the testing.

  11. Silicon Solar Cell Process Development, Fabrication and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Tanner, D. P.

    1979-01-01

    The standard solar cells (2x2 cm) from the cast silicon (HEM) showed a maximum AMO efficiency of 10.1%. Cells from the low resistivity material (0.5 ohm-cm) showed lower performance than those of the high resistivity cast silicon (3 ohm-cm), an average efficiency 9.5% versus 7.6%. Maximum AMO efficiency of the standard solar cells from the EFG (RH) ribbons was about 7.5%. The solar cells from the controlled SiC, using the displaced die, showed more consistent and better performance than those of the uncontrolled SiC ribbons, an average efficiency of 6.6% versus 5.4%. The average AMO efficiency of the standard SOC solar cells were about 6%. These were large area solar cells (an average area of 15 sq cm). A maximum efficiency of 7.3% was obtained. The SOC solar cells showed both leakage and series resistance problems, leading to an average curve fill factor of about 60%.

  12. Advanced Silicon Solar Cell Device Physics and Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deceglie, Michael Gardner

    A fundamental challenge in the development and deployment of solar photovoltaic technology is a reduction in cost enabling direct competition with fossil-fuel-based energy sources. A key driver in this cost reduction is optimized device efficiency, because increased energy output leverages all photovoltaic system costs, from raw materials and module manufacturing to installation and maintenance. To continue progress toward higher conversion efficiencies, solar cells are being fabricated with increasingly complex designs, including engineered nanostructures, heterojunctions, and novel contacting and passivation schemes. Such advanced designs require a comprehensive and unified understanding of the optical and electrical device physics at the microscopic scale. This thesis focuses on a microscopic understanding of solar cell optoelectronic performance and its impact on cell optimization. We consider this in three solar cell platforms: thin-film crystalline silicon, amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunctions, and thin-film cells with nanophotonic light trapping. The work described in this thesis represents a powerful design paradigm, based on a detailed physical understanding of the mechanisms governing solar cell performance. Furthermore, we demonstrate the importance of understanding not just the individual mechanisms, but also their interactions. Such an approach to device optimization is critical for the efficiency and competitiveness of future generations of solar cells.

  13. Silicon web process development. [for low cost solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, C. S.; Hopkins, R. H.; Seidensticker, R. G.; Mchugh, J. P.; Hill, F. E.; Heimlich, M. E.; Driggers, J. M.

    1979-01-01

    Silicon dendritic web, a single crystal ribbon shaped during growth by crystallographic forces and surface tension (rather than dies), is a highly promising base material for efficient low cost solar cells. The form of the product smooth, flexible strips 100 to 200 microns thick, conserves expensive silicon and facilitates automation of crystal growth and the subsequent manufacturing of solar cells. These characteristics, coupled with the highest demonstrated ribbon solar cell efficiency-15.5%-make silicon web a leading candidate to achieve, or better, the 1986 Low Cost Solar Array (LSA) Project cost objective of 50 cents per peak watt of photovoltaic output power. The main objective of the Web Program, technology development to significantly increase web output rate, and to show the feasibility for simultaneous melt replenishment and growth, have largely been accomplished. Recently, web output rates of 23.6 sq cm/min, nearly three times the 8 sq cm/min maximum rate of a year ago, were achieved. Webs 4 cm wide or greater were grown on a number of occassions.

  14. Resource recovery of scrap silicon solar battery cell.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ching-Hwa; Hung, Chi-En; Tsai, Shang-Lin; Popuri, Srinivasa R; Liao, Ching-Hua

    2013-05-01

    In order to minimize pollution problems and to conserve limited natural resources, a hydrometallurgical procedure was developed in this study to recover the valuable resources of silicon (Si), silver (Ag) and aluminum (Al) from scrap silicon solar battery cells. In this study, several methods of leaching, crystallization, precipitation, electrolysis and replacement were employed to investigate the recovery efficiency of Ag and Al from defective monocrystalline silicon solar battery cells. The defective solar battery cells were ground into powder followed by composition analysis with inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry. The target metals Ag and Al weight percentage were found to be 1.67 and 7.68 respectively. A leaching process was adopted with nitric acid (HNO3), hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and sodium hydroxide as leaching reagent to recover Ag and Al from a ground solar battery cell. Aluminum was leached 100% with 18N H2SO4 at 70°C and Ag was leached 100% with 6N HNO3. Pure Si of 100% was achieved from the leaching solution after the recovery of Ag and Al, and was analyzed by scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectroscopy. Aluminum was recovered by crystallization process and silver was recovered by precipitation, electrolysis and replacement processes. These processes were applied successfully in the recovery of valuable metal Ag of 98-100%. PMID:23460539

  15. Selective-emitter crystalline silicon solar cells using phosphorus paste

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Kyung Taek; Kang, Min Gu; Song, Hee-eun

    2014-11-01

    Selective-emitter structures have been studied to improve the conversion efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells. However, such structures require additional complicated processes and incur extra cost. In this work, we used phosphorus paste (P-paste) to form a heavily-doped region beneath the grid and POCl3 to create a shallow emitter area. This method should be convenient to use in the solar-cell industry because it requires only additional P paste printing, compared to the case of homogeneous solar cells. Diffusion parameters including the temperature, diffusion time, and ambient gases were optimized. We observed that the spreading of the P paste was affected by the pyramidal size of the textured wafer due to the low viscosity of the P paste. The pyramidal height of the textured silicon surface was optimized at 3 μm to counterbalance the surface reflectance and the spreading of the P paste. The short-circuit current density of the completed selective emitter solar cell was increased, and an improvement of blue response in the internal quantum efficiency was seen while contact properties such as the fill factor deteriorated due to the spreading of the P paste and the thin emitter on top of the pyramid of the textured silicon surface. Double printing of the P paste was applied to solve this contact problem; a fill factor improvement of 2.4% was obtained.

  16. High-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells: Status and perspectives

    SciTech Connect

    De Wolf, S.

    2015-04-27

    Silicon heterojunction technology (HJT) uses silicon thin-film deposition techniques to fabricate photovoltaic devices from mono-crystalline silicon wafers (c-Si). This enables energy-conversion efficiencies above 21 %, also at industrial-production level. In this presentation we review the present status of this technology and point out recent trends. We first discuss how the properties of thin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films can be exploited to fabricate passivating contacts, which is the key to high- efficiency HJT solar cells. Such contacts enable very high operating voltages, approaching the theoretical limits, and yield small temperature coefficients. With this approach, an increasing number of groups are reporting devices with conversion efficiencies well over 20 % on n-type wafers, Panasonic leading the field with 24.7 %. Exciting results have also been obtained on p-type wafers. Despite these high voltages, important efficiency gains can still be made in fill factor and optical design. This requires improved understanding of carrier transport across device interfaces and reduced parasitic absorption in HJT solar cells. For the latter, several strategies can be followed: Short- wavelength losses can be reduced by replacing the front a-Si:H films with wider-bandgap window layers, such as silicon alloys or even metal oxides. Long-wavelength losses are mitigated by introducing new high-mobility TCO’s such as hydrogenated indium oxide, and also by designing new rear reflectors. Optical shadow losses caused by the front metalisation grid are significantly reduced by replacing printed silver electrodes with fine-line plated copper contacts, leading also to possible cost advantages. The ultimate approach to minimize optical losses is the implementation of back-contacted architectures, which are completely devoid of grid shadow losses and parasitic absorption in the front layers can be minimized irrespective of electrical transport requirements. The

  17. High-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells: Status and perspectives

    SciTech Connect

    De Wolf, S.; Geissbuehler, J.; Loper, P.; Martin de Nicholas, S.; Seif, J.; Tomasi, A.; Ballif, C.

    2015-05-11

    Silicon heterojunction technology (HJT) uses silicon thin-film deposition techniques to fabricate photovoltaic devices from mono-crystalline silicon wafers (c-Si). This enables energy-conversion efficiencies above 21 %, also at industrial-production level. In this presentation we review the present status of this technology and point out recent trends. We first discuss how the properties of thin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films can be exploited to fabricate passivating contacts, which is the key to high- efficiency HJT solar cells. Such contacts enable very high operating voltages, approaching the theoretical limits, and yield small temperature coefficients. With this approach, an increasing number of groups are reporting devices with conversion efficiencies well over 20 % on both-sides contacted n-type cells, Panasonic leading the field with 24.7 %. Exciting results have also been obtained on p-type wafers. Despite these high voltages, important efficiency gains can still be made in fill factor and optical design. This requires improved understanding of carrier transport across device interfaces and reduced parasitic absorption in HJT solar cells. For the latter, several strategies can be followed: Short-wavelength losses can be reduced by replacing the front a-Si:H films with wider-bandgap window layers, such as silicon alloys or even metal oxides. Long- wavelength losses are mitigated by introducing new high-mobility TCO’s such as hydrogenated indium oxide, and also by designing new rear reflectors. Optical shadow losses caused by the front metallization grid are significantly reduced by replacing printed silver electrodes with fine-line plated copper contacts, leading also to possible cost advantages. The ultimate approach to minimize optical losses is the implementation of back-contacted architectures, which are completely devoid of grid shadow losses and parasitic absorption in the front layers can be minimized irrespective of electrical

  18. High-performance silicon nanohole solar cells.

    PubMed

    Peng, Kui-Qing; Wang, Xin; Li, Li; Wu, Xiao-Ling; Lee, Shuit-Tong

    2010-05-26

    We demonstrate Si nanohole arrays as a superior sunlight-absorbing nanostructure for photovoltaic solar cell applications. Under 1 sun AM1.5G illumination, a Si nanohole solar cell with p-n junctions via P diffusion exhibited a open-circuit voltage of 566.6 mV, a short-circuit current density of 32.2 mA/cm(2), and a remarkable power conversion efficiency of 9.51%, which is higher than that of its counterparts based on Si nanowires, planar Si, and pyramid-textured Si. The nanohole array geometry presents a novel and viable method fo cost-efficient solar energy conversion. PMID:20426468

  19. Development of an Improved High Efficiency Thin Silicon Solar Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Storti, G.; Wrigley, C.

    1979-01-01

    Breakage and front contact failure in high efficiency, textured ultrathin cells was reduced as a consequence of the introduction of process modifications. In a small production run, over one hundred ultrathin cells, having an average AMO efficiency of 13%, were fabricated from 10-25 ohm cm silicon. An in-house aluminum paste for back surface field formation was developed that resulted in cell efficiencies equivalent to those from commercial pastes. The quality of the back surface field was found to be dependent on the orientation of the silicon slice during alloying.

  20. High-efficiency one-sun photovoltaic module demonstration using solar-grade CZ silicon. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Gee, J.M.

    1996-10-01

    This work was performed jointly by Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) and Siemens Solar Industries (Camarillo, CA) under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA 1248). The work covers the period May 1994 to March 1996. The purpose of the work was to explore the performance potential of commercial, photovoltaic-grade Czochralski (Cz) silicon, and to demonstrate this potential through fabrication of high-efficiency cells and a module. Fabrication of the module was omitted in order to pursue further development of advanced device structures. The work included investigation of response of the material to various fabrication processes, development of advanced cell structures using the commercial material, and investigation of the stability of Cz silicon solar cells. Some important achievements of this work include the following: post-diffusion oxidations were found to be a possible source of material contamination; bulk lifetimes around 75 pts were achieved; efficiencies of 17.6% and 15.7% were achieved for large-area cells using advanced cell structures (back-surface fields and emitter wrap-through); and preliminary investigations into photodegradation in Cz silicon solar cells found that oxygen thermal donors might be involved. Efficiencies around 20% should be possible with commercial, photovoltaic-grade silicon using properly optimized processes and device structures.

  1. Twinning in multicrystalline silicon for solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stokkan, G.

    2013-12-01

    Twinning in multicrystalline silicon was studied by observing the surface of as-cut wafers and by EBSD. By tracing twin structures downwards to their first point of origin, the conditions at the point of generation were identified. Twins covering the whole width of a grain predominantly originates at junctions between three grain boundaries. Twins also originate at straight grain boundary segments of alternating direction, indicative of faceted grain boundaries. The phenomena are proposed to occur because they reduce grain boundary energy, which is substantiated by pole figure analysis. In addition to the CSL relationship, the orientation of the grain boundary in low energy configurations turned out to be essential.

  2. NREL Paves the Way to Commercialization of Silicon Ink (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-04-01

    In 2008, Innovalight, a start-up company in Sunnyvale, California, invented a liquid form of silicon, called Silicon Ink. It contains silicon nanoparticles that are suspended evenly within the solution. Those nanoparticles contain dopant atoms that can be driven into silicon solar cells, which changes the conductivity of the silicon and creates the internal electric fields that are needed to turn photons into electrons -- and thus into electricity. The ink is applied with a standard screen printer, already commonly used in the solar industry. The distinguishing feature of Silicon Ink is that it can be distributed in exact concentrations in precisely the correct locations on the surface of the solar cell. This allows most of the surface to be lightly doped, enhancing its response to blue light, while heavily doping the area around the electrical contacts, raising the conductivity in that area to allow the contact to work more efficiently. The accuracy and uniformity of the ink distribution allows the production of solar cells that achieve higher power production at a minimal additional cost.

  3. High-efficiency concentrator silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Sinton, R.A.; Cuevas, A.; King, R.R.; Swanson, R.M. . Solid-State Electronics Lab.)

    1990-11-01

    This report presents results from extensive process development in high-efficiency Si solar cells. An advanced design for a 1.56-cm{sup 2} cell with front grids achieved 26% efficiency at 90 suns. This is especially significant since this cell does not require a prismatic cover glass. New designs for simplified backside-contact solar cells were advanced from a status of near-nonfunctionality to demonstrated 21--22% for one-sun cells in sizes up to 37.5 cm{sup 2}. An efficiency of 26% was achieved for similar 0.64-cm{sup 2} concentrator cells at 150 suns. More fundamental work on dopant-diffused regions is also presented here. The recombination vs. various process and physical parameters was studied in detail for boron and phosphorous diffusions. Emitter-design studies based solidly upon these new data indicate the performance vs design parameters for a variety of the cases of most interest to solar cell designers. Extractions of p-type bandgap narrowing and the surface recombination for p- and n-type regions from these studies have a generality that extends beyond solar cells into basic device modeling. 68 refs., 50 figs.

  4. Silicon materials task of the low-cost solar array project. Phase 4: Effects of impurities and processing on silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Hanes, M. H.; Davis, J. R.; Rohatgi, A.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Mollenkopf, H. C.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of impurities, various thermochemical processes, and any impurity-process interactions upon the performance of terrestrial solar cells are defined. The results form a basis for silicon producers, wafer manufacturers, and cell fabricators to develop appropriate cost benefit relationships for the use of less pure, less costly solar grade silicon.

  5. Laser recrystallization for efficient multi-crystalline silicon solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Lihui; Wilson, John; Lee, James

    2016-08-01

    A multi-crystalline silicon wafer contains dislocations and grain boundaries, which are detrimental to the performance of the multi-crystalline silicon solar cell. The dislocations and grain boundaries extend across the junction and dramatically degrade the ideality and fill factor of the cell. In this paper, a laser is used to recrystallize the emitter region of a multi-crystalline silicon wafer to remove crystallographic defects present in the junction. It was demonstrated that, with an appropriate laser power and scan speed, laser recrystallized patterns can have an enhanced photoluminescence response and internal quantum efficiency. Backscattered electron image and x-ray diffraction analyses also revealed that the laser recrystallized layer resembles a single crystalline like layer. Introducing a full area laser recrystallized layer may improve the open circuit voltage and fill factor of the cell, which significantly improved cell efficiency. External quantum efficiency and dark I–V measurements consistently supported this result.

  6. Reactive Ion Etching for Randomly Distributed Texturing of Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    ZAIDI, SALEEM H

    2002-05-01

    The quality of low-cost multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) has improved to the point that it forms approximately 50% of the worldwide photovoltaic (PV) power production. The performance of commercial mc-Si solar cells still lags behind c-Si due in part to the inability to texture it effectively and inexpensively. Surface texturing of mc-Si has been an active field of research. Several techniques including anodic etching [1], wet acidic etching [2], lithographic patterning [3], and mechanical texturing [4] have been investigated with varying degrees of success. To date, a cost-effective technique has not emerged.

  7. Predicting the interface morphologies of silicon films on arbitrary substrates: application in solar cells.

    PubMed

    Jovanov, Vladislav; Xu, Xu; Shrestha, Shailesh; Schulte, Melanie; Hüpkes, Jürgen; Knipp, Dietmar

    2013-08-14

    A three-dimensional model that predicts the interface morphologies of silicon thin-film solar cells prepared on randomly textured substrates was developed and compared to experimental data. The surface morphologies of silicon solar cells were calculated by using atomic force microscope scans of the textured substrates and the film thickness as input data. Calculated surface morphologies of silicon solar cells are in good agreement with experimentally measured morphologies. A detailed description of the solar cell interface morphologies is necessary to understand light-trapping in silicon single junction and micromorph tandem thin-film solar cells and derive optimal light-trapping structures. PMID:23889117

  8. Silicon solar cells with nickel/solder metallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petersen, R. C.; Muleo, A.

    1981-01-01

    The use of nickel plus solder is shown to be feasible for contact metallization for silicon solar cells by offering a relatively inexpensive method of making electrical contact with the cell surfaces. Nickel is plated on silicon solar cells using an electroless chemical deposition method to give contacts with good adhesion, and in some cases where adhesion is poor initially, sintering under relatively mild conditions will dramatically improve the quality of the bond without harming the p-n junction of the cell. The cells can survive terrestrial environment stresses, which is demonstrated by a 1000 hour test at 85 C and 85% relative humidity under constant forward bias of 0.45 volt.

  9. Solution-processed crystalline silicon double-heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devkota, Ramesh; Liu, Qiming; Ohki, Tatsuya; Hossain, Jaker; Ueno, Keiji; Shirai, Hajime

    2016-02-01

    Crystalline silicon double-heterojunction solar cells were fabricated using Si/organic and Si/Cs2CO3 heterojunctions. The front heterojunction is formed by spin-coating conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethyenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) on n-type Czochralski (CZ) (100) silicon, which separates the photogenerated carriers and blocks the electron dark current while allowing the photocurrent to pass through. The rear heterojunction, formed by spin-coating Cs2CO3 and polyethylenimine (PEI) dissolved in 2-ethoxyethanol and Al metal evaporation, functions as a back surface field that reduces the hole dark current while allowing the electron photocurrent to pass through. The double-heterojunction device showed a power conversion efficiency of 12.7% under AM1.5G simulated solar light exposure.

  10. Chlorine Free Technology for Solar-Grade Silicon Manufacturing: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Strebkov, D. S.; Pinov, A. P.; Zadde, V. V.; Lebedev, E. N.; Belov, E. P.; Efimov, N. K.; Kleshevnikova, S. I.; Touryan, K.; Bleak, D.

    2004-08-01

    Due to the development of the solar energy industry, a significant increase of polysilicon feedstock (PSF) production will be required in near future. The creation of special technology of solar grade polysilicon feedstock production is an important problem. Today, semiconductor-grade polysilicon is mainly manufactured using the trichlorosilane (SiHCl3) distillation and reduction. The feed-stock for trichlorosilane is metallurgical-grade silicon, the product of reduction of natural quartzite (silica). This polysilicon production method is characterized by high energy consumption and large amounts of wastes, containing environmentally harmful chlorine based compounds. In the former USSR the principles of industrial method for production of monosilane and polycrystalline silicon by thermal decomposition of monosilane were founded. This technology was proved in industrial scale at production of gaseous monosilane and PSF. We offered new chlorine free technology (CFT). Originality and novelty of the process were confirmed by Russian and US patents.