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Economic Advantages of Dry-Etched Black Silicon in Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) Photovoltaic Manufacturing

Chiara Modanese (), Hannu S. Laine (), Toni P. Pasanen (), Hele Savin () and Joshua Pearce
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Chiara Modanese: Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, Aalto University, Tietotie 3, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Hannu S. Laine: Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, Aalto University, Tietotie 3, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Toni P. Pasanen: Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, Aalto University, Tietotie 3, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Hele Savin: Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, Aalto University, Tietotie 3, 02150 Espoo, Finland

Energies, 2018, vol. 11, issue 9, 1-18

Abstract: Industrial Czochralski silicon (Cz-Si) photovoltaic (PV) efficiencies have routinely reached >20% with the passivated emitter rear cell (PERC) design. Nanostructuring silicon (black-Si) by dry-etching decreases surface reflectance, allows diamond saw wafering, enhances metal gettering, and may prevent power conversion efficiency degradation under light exposure. Black-Si allows a potential for >20% PERC cells using cheaper multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) materials, although dry-etching is widely considered too expensive for industrial application. This study analyzes this economic potential by comparing costs of standard texturized Cz-Si and black mc-Si PERC cells. Manufacturing sequences are divided into steps, and costs per unit power are individually calculated for all different steps. Baseline costs for each step are calculated and a sensitivity analysis run for a theoretical 1 GW/year manufacturing plant, combining data from literature and industry. The results show an increase in the overall cell processing costs between 15.8% and 25.1% due to the combination of black-Si etching and passivation by double-sided atomic layer deposition. Despite this increase, the cost per unit power of the overall PERC cell drops by 10.8%. This is a significant cost saving and thus energy policies are reviewed to overcome challenges to accelerating deployment of black mc-Si PERC across the PV industry.

Keywords: black silicon; economics; manufacturing costs; multicrystalline silicon; passivated emitter rear cell; PERC; silicon solar cells; photovoltaic; photovoltaic manufacturing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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