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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle

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

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Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, Aalto University, Tietotie 3, 02150 Espoo, Finland
2
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
3
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(9), 2337; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11092337
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research Progress for Energy Policy)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: black silicon; economics; manufacturing costs; multicrystalline silicon; passivated emitter rear cell; PERC; silicon solar cells; photovoltaic; photovoltaic manufacturing black silicon; economics; manufacturing costs; multicrystalline silicon; passivated emitter rear cell; PERC; silicon solar cells; photovoltaic; photovoltaic manufacturing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Modanese, C.; Laine, H.S.; Pasanen, T.P.; Savin, H.; Pearce, J.M. Economic Advantages of Dry-Etched Black Silicon in Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) Photovoltaic Manufacturing. Energies 2018, 11, 2337.

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