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Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 24521, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2007/24521
Review Article

Industrial Silicon Wafer Solar Cells

1Deutsche Cell GmbH, Berthelsdorfer Straße 111 A, 09599 Freiberg/Saxony, Germany
2SolarWorld Industries Deutschland GmbH, Otto-Hahn-Ring 6, 81739 München, Germany

Received 19 May 2007; Accepted 14 September 2007

Academic Editor: Armin Aberle

Copyright © 2007 Dirk-Holger Neuhaus and Adolf Münzer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In 2006, around 86% of all wafer-based silicon solar cells were produced using screen printing to form the silver front and aluminium rear contacts and chemical vapour deposition to grow silicon nitride as the antireflection coating onto the front surface. This paper reviews this dominant solar cell technology looking into state-of-the-art equipment and corresponding processes for each process step. The main efficiency losses of this type of solar cell are analyzed to demonstrate the future efficiency potential of this technology. In research and development, more various advanced solar cell concepts have demonstrated higher efficiencies. The question which arises is “why are new solar cell concepts not transferred into industrial production more frequently?”. We look into the requirements a new solar cell technology has to fulfill to have an advantage over the current approach. Finally, we give an overview of high-efficiency concepts which have already been transferred into industrial production.