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EU PVSEC: Fraunhofer ISE develops new solar PV technologies with greater efficiency

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have developed new methods and cell concepts for the manufacture of n-type silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. As a result, higher efficiencies and power production levels are also possible for commercial solar cells.

Jan Benick, who is working on his doctorate in the group for high- efficiency silicon solar cells, managed to develop a highly efficient cell process especially for n-type cells that uses boron diffusion to make the emitter; the efficiency is 23.4%– the highest efficiency ever reached for this cell type.

"Most commercial silicon solar cells are currently p-types," Fraunhofer ISE’s group manager Dr. Martin Hermle explains. "But the new n-type silicon used for the novel solar cell structures developed at ISE has better properties for photovoltaic electricity production, such as greater tolerance for most impurities.”

In addition, p-type Czrochalski (Cz) silicon suffers from light-induced degradation, which does not occur with n-type silicon.

Fraunhofer ISE continues to further develop process technology for n-type solar cells so that industrially manufactured silicon solar cells can reach efficiency rates exceeding 20% quickly.

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