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Fraunhofer ISE

Webinar Q&A: A recipe for improved performance

In a recent pv magazine webinar, module degradation experts took our audience through the role of temperature and mechanical stress in causing modules to under-perform. We were treated to a look at some impressive results for modules integrated with Coolback – a solution that replaces the backsheet/rear glass and frame in a conventional panel and promises lower operating temperatures and better mechanical strength. Here, Simon Meijer and Alex Masolin, from Coolback – along with Fraunhofer ISE’s Andreas Beinert – answer some of the questions we didn’t have time for during the live broadcast.

Fraunhofer ISE reveals Spain may host 5 GW module factory

The vertically integrated factory is expected to be located near Sevilla, in southern Spain. The factory will be owned and operated by the newly created company Greenland Gigafactory.

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Fraunhofer ISE develops front/back solar cell with 26.0% efficiency

The cell showed open-circuit voltage values of up to 732 mV. It was fabricated with a back junction (BJ) design with a full-area p-n-junction at the back surface.

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Simulating PV’s silver future

Scientists at Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE developed a model to simulate different setups for screen printing in solar cell metallization. The model provides a comparable ‘screen utility index’ value that can predict the usefulness of different architectures in the printing equipment in relation to the properties of a given silver paste. The approach, says Fraunhofer, will assist the PV industry in reducing the amounts of silver needed in silicon cell manufacturing.

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Fraunhofer ISE develops technique to produce glowing colored solar modules

The German research institute has proposed a technique based on the surface structure of the wings of the morpho butterfly to produce colored BIPV panels for facades and rooftops. The process is claimed to make it possible to color the modules with an optical effect and not with color pigments, which reduce their efficiency.

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Germany’s solar boom set to continue in 2021

From PV panels to solar storage and solar collectors, rooftop installations grew 25% in Germany this year as due to increasing consumer demand for greater energy independence, lower solar tech prices, improved subsidy conditions and the rising popularity of electric cars. A further increase in solar technology expansion targets is expected to meet climate targets and avoid electricity shortfalls, according to the German Solar Association.

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Another decade of PERC

A new paper from scientists at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) examines the entire history of PERC technology, from its beginnings in laboratories more than 40 years ago to today, where it represents the majority of all PV cell production. And this story is far from over, as ISE lays out a pathway to efficiencies of 26% as well as use as the bottom cell in a tandem device that it believes will keep PERC technology in mass production to 2030 and beyond.

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Evaluating tandem cells, from the bottom up

Scientists in Germany evaluated multiple silicon cell concepts based on both cost and efficiency in serving as the bottom layer in a perovskite-silicon tandem cell. The study, based on both simulation and experimental work, outlines advantages to various approaches with the silicon cell and concludes that in almost every case, perovskite-silicon tandem cells have the potential to bring solar costs down below what could be achieved with silicon alone.

How temperature affects tandem solar cell performance

New outdoor tests conducted at Saudi research center King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have shown that an increase in temperature affects the performance of a tandem perovskite/silicon solar cell not only because of voltage losses but also because of current mismatch between the two sub-cells.

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Copper metallization process reaches pilot production in Germany

Scientists led by staff from Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE have demonstrated a new laser printing process in pilot production, which could replace silver paste and screen printing in solar cell manufacturing. The system is said to offer much more flexibility in the layout of contact fingers on the cell surface and a wider choice of metallization materials.

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