Our new free report PERC Solar Cell Technology 2016 – Background, Status and Outlook provides an overview on background, status and outlook of promising high-efficiency silicon-based PERC cell technology.
All solar cell manufacturers that are evaluating capacity expansion in the current investment cycle have to decide if they stick to traditional technology or opt for advanced solutions. The simplest and most attractive silicon cell technology upgrade is called PERC, which stands for Passivated Emitter Rear Cell.
Our new report PERC Solar Cell Technology 2016 – Background, Status and Outlook provides an overview on background, status and outlook of PERC cell technology.
PERC is an advanced silicon cell architecture that comes with a promise of higher efficiencies. At the same time, it requires only minimal changes to existing solar cell processing lines. The concept is not new, it was invented in 1983 by well known Australian scientist Martin Green.
Opting for PERC means to add a rear passivation scheme to standard BSF cell technology. As for the implementation, it involves depositing a rear surface passivation film, which is subsequently opened to give way for formation of a rear contact. In addition, the chemical wet-bench based edge-isolation step is tweaked for rear polishing. The key aspect of PERC technology is to deposit the rear passivation film.
Our study provides background on the different rear passivation materials – the early silicon oxynitride and today state-of-the-art material, aluminum oxide.
The deposition of aluminum oxide can be accomplished by 4 well known deposition technologies that have been tweaked to apply this dielectric. While sputtering tools are currently not being offered for commercial production, there is little demand for APCVD. The two technologies for aluminum deposition mainly considered by commercial cell producers are PECVD and ALD. The study shows the pros and cons for each of these deposition technologies.
The report also delves into product details; nearly every deposition tool supplier is offering a package line for PERC. Short product descriptions are given on p. 29.
While the the first part of the study deals with equipment and material of PERC cells, we have also looked at the efficiencies and the performance potential at commercial scale. As new record efficiencies are quickly changing for PERC, commercialization of the technology is in full swing.
We estimate that 4.9 GW of PERC capacity was installed in 2015, resulting in about 3 GW of PERC cell production. The report also provides an estimate for 2016 PERC production.
Like any other technology, PERC faces challenges. The major concern is the so-called Light Induced Degradation (LID) effect, which, however, is especially associated with multicrystalline PERC cells today, but some companies already have this issue under control. In comparison, we also take a brief look at other high-efficiency cell concepts.
However, our overall impression is: PERC seems to be absolutely ready for prime time.
The Report can be downloaded free of charge here.