New Edition of the technology roadmap for photovoltaics shows potential for cost reductions


The update of the Edition contains the maturity report for several parameters in crystallization, wafering, cell manufacturing and module technology. This information about the production of crystalline silicon solar cells is being
actualized annually by VDMA.

A color marking is used to distinguish between four maturity levels. It indicates for the selected parameters if improvement measures may be implemented faster into mass production and emphasizes if further R&D activities will be required before a possible introduction into mass production.

One important parameter for cost reduction is the efficiency. Our evaluation shows that for p-type PERC cell concepts industrial solutions exist for cell efficiencies of up to 22.5 percent in case of mono-Si and for up to 21 percent for mc-Si. Cell efficiencies above 24.3 percent for IBC cells require further development to be cost efficient in mass production. Industrial solutions exist for HJT cells for up to 23.7 percent.

Another important factor is the throughput of the tools. In order to optimize the throughput in a cell production line, both, front-end (chemical and thermal processes) and back-end (metallization and classification) processes should have equal capacity.

Metallization tools with throughputs of > 5000 wafers/h are available on the market today, development is necessary to increase the throughput to beyond 7000 wafer/h. Whereas wet chemical processing is leading the throughput development with new machines enabling > 8000 wafers/h.

All data presented in this roadmap were collected at the end of 2017 and just now updated for the maturity from leading international PV manufacturers, companies along the c-Si value chain, PV equipment suppliers, production material providers, PV institutes and PV service providers. Plans call for this information to be updated annually. The topics discussed require cooperation between tool and material suppliers, manufacturers, and other companies along the value chain.

A version of the updated 9th edition is available for download, as well as information on how to get involved in roadmap activities, and the participating companies can be found at the following website.