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Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 35383, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2007/35383
Research Article

Sliver Solar Cells: High-Efficiency, Low-Cost PV Technology

Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, Departmet of Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

Received 5 April 2007; Accepted 30 June 2007

Academic Editor: Armin G. Aberle

Copyright © 2007 Evan Franklin et al. 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

Sliver cells are thin, single-crystal silicon solar cells fabricated using standard fabrication technology. Sliver modules, composed of several thousand individual Sliver cells, can be efficient, low-cost, bifacial, transparent, flexible, shadow tolerant, and lightweight. Compared with current PV technology, mature Sliver technology will need 10% of the pure silicon and fewer than 5% of the wafer starts per MW of factory output. This paper deals with two distinct challenges related to Sliver cell and Sliver module production: providing a mature and robust Sliver cell fabrication method which produces a high yield of highly efficient Sliver cells, and which is suitable for transfer to industry; and, handling, electrically interconnecting, and encapsulating billions of sliver cells at low cost. Sliver cells with efficiencies of 20% have been fabricated at ANU using a reliable, optimised processing sequence, while low-cost encapsulation methods have been demonstrated using a submodule technique.