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Technological Trends in Photovoltaics

- A German Perspective Presentation at the Renewable Energy Technology Forum, Bonn, 6 October 2011
Source: juwi Holding AG ( e)

Dr. Ulrik Neupert

Deputy H d of D D Head f Department T h l Technology A l i and F Analysis d Foresight i h Coordinator Defence Foresight Fraunhofer Institute for Technological Trend Analysis INT, Euskirchen ulrik neupert@int fraunhofer de
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Balanced, independent overview and interdisciplinary assessment capability In-depth analyses in selected research areas (e.g. new materials, nanotechnology, robotics/unmanned systems, energy storage) Technology foresight methodology, methodological framework and refinement Staff: mainly natural scientists and engineers from various scientific areas
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Why Photovoltaics?
Solar energie is available in abundance > 1018 kWh/year 10,000 x yearly worldwide use of primary energy Solar energy is available (nearly) worlwide Solar radiation can be predicted reliably Photovoltaics delivers valuable peak load power

Worldwide map of solar radiation received on the ground. Solar areas defined by the dark disks could provide more than the world's total primary energy demand (assuming a conversion efficiency of 8%), 8%) (Source: Wikipedia: Solar power http://en wikipedia org/wiki/Solar Power 30 09 2011) power,, 30.09.2011)
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Why Photovoltaics?
Solar Energy has a much higher efficiency per acreage than production of biomass (20-100x) Prices for Solar Energy are decreasing rapidly, we are close to reaching Grid Parity, module costs decrease by currently 8-10 % per year.

Decrease in cost of roof-mounted PV facilities in /kWh from 2006-2011 (Source: BSW - Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft e V , www solarwirtschaft de 30 09 2011) e.V., 30.09.2011)
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Relevance for Large-Scale Energy Supply

Requirements: long life high Net Energy Gain (NEG) Competitive price

Solar House (S S l H (Source: j i H ldi AG juwi Holding AG, j id )

Research Ch ll R h Challenge: Integration into power networks/Smart Grids

Solar power station in Ruanda (Source: juwi Holding AG, AG www juwi de)
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Relevance for Small-Scale Energy Supply

Energy Harvesting: Capturing energy from external sources (e.g. solar power, thermal energy, wind energy, and kinetic energy), to power small, wireless autonomous devices t d i Requirements: Competitive price
Handbag with integrated solar charger (Source: Solarc GmbH,

Solar-powered mobile phone m (Source: Samsun ng)

high net energy gain (NEG) Inoor-use Inoor use Flexibility Research Challenges:

Concept of a solar-powered bat-sized spy plane (Source: University of Michigan, www ns umich edu)

Power management, low-power electronics

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Solar Cells Working Mechanism

Sunlight enters the solar panel and is absorbed by a semiconducting material like silicon. Negatively charged electrons are set free in this process. Due to the electric field formed by the junction of th n- and pb th j ti f the d doped semiconductor layers the electrons are only allowed to move in a single direction direction, resulting in an electric current.

Basic structure of a silicon based solar cell and its working mechanism (Source: Wikipedia: Solar cell,, 30.09.2011)

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Trends: New Processing Technologies

Silicon Purification: new interruption-free trichlorosilane process (Wacker Chemie AG) new cost- and energy-efficient trichlorosilane/monosilane process (Evonik/Solar World) Crystal G C t l Growth: th Faster crystal growth process for multicrystalline silicon (Fraunhofer ISE) Wafer production: Reduction of losses in the sawing process Wafer production directly from molten silicon without sawing (Solar World Innovations, University of Konstanz) Module Design: Thinner electrical contacts between cells causing less shadow ...
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Trend: Thin-Film Solar Cells

Based on semiconductors (microcrystalline or amorphous silicon, CuGaSe2, CuInS2, CuInSe2, GaAs CdTe) GaAs, Thinner compared to crystalline silicon cells due to higher light absorption Cheaper production process

Flexible CIGS-Cell with > 10% efficiency (Source: Solarion AG,

Roll-to-Roll Processing of CIGS Solar Cells (Source: Solarion AG,

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Efficiency of commercially available PV Modules

Significant trend towards higher efficiencies in PV modules made from crystalline silicon (c-Si) and thin-film semiconductors.

Comparison of total area efficiency of commercial available PV modules (Source: Willeke using data from Photon Februar 2003-2009, Photon Profi 22010 in BINE Themeninfo II/2011)
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Trend: Concentrated Photovoltaics

To achieve very high efficiencies optics such as lenses are used to bundle a large amount of sunlight on a small area of photovoltaic material. Multijunction photovoltaic cells with several layers of different semiconductors are used to capture a wide range of wavelengths. Fraunhofer ISE achieved a record y , g efficiency of 41,1% with a cell containing three p-n junctions. very expensive economic in places with high sunlight intensity like in Southern Europe.
Principle drawing of a concentrator cell (Source:, 30.09.2011)

Tracking system required that orientates the cell towards the sun

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Trend: Organic and Polymer Solar Cells

Based on thin films of organic semiconductors lightweight flexible inexpensive potentially disposable
Concept of a photovoltaic fiber Lee M R et al : fiber, Lee, M. R. al.: Solar Power Wires Based on Organic Photovoltaic Materials, Science, 10 April 2009

Relatively new technology, y gy, main challenges: efficiency service life

Dye Solar Cell (Source: Fraunhofer ISE)

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Trend: Recycling
Current composition of PV-waste: 90 % crystalline silicon cells (c-Si) 10 % Thin-film cells (amorphous or microcrystalline Si, CdTe, CIS)
Sour rce: K. Sander e al.: Studie zur Entwicklung et eines Rcknahme- u Verwertungssystems fr s und Photo ovoltaische Produkte, 2007, BM MU Frde erkennzeichen 0 03MAP092

Goals: Upcycling instead of Downcycling (reuse materials for the same application) Design of recycling-friendly PV-modules recycling friendly PV modules
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Photovoltaic Research in Germany (selection)

Research Institutes: Fraunhofer-Institut fr Solare Energiesysteme (ISE) Forschungszentrum Jlich, Institut fr Energie- und Klimaforschung Institut fr Solarenergieforschung Hameln (ISFH) Fraunhofer-Center fr Silizium-Photovoltaik (CSP) ( ) International Solar Energy Research Center Konstanz e.V. (ISC Konstanz) Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) Max-Planck-Institut fr Polymerforschung (MPIP) Industry: y SCHOTT Solar AG SolarWorld AG SolarWorld Innovations G bH S l W ld I i GmbH SOLARWATT AG Q-CELLS SE
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Wrth Solar GmbH & Co. KG ANTEC Solar GmbH Roth Rau R th & R AG Solarion AG Sunways AG

Solar cell production is getting more efficient with less environmental impact Crystalline silicon cells which are dominant on the market still have potential for improvement while thin-film technologies are catching up. Polymer cells will first see widespread use for powering low-cost dispensable electronics Photovoltaics will soon deliver electricity at current consumer y prices for electricity, giving this technology a worldwide boost. Integration into electricity grid has to be managed There will be fierce competition in this expanding market, requiring a solid research and development base
Prediction of the change of worldwide energy mix until 2100 (Source: solarwirtschaft de)
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