NextBase project: The next generation baseline for solar modules

The NextBase project, deals with the development of innovative high performance c-Si solar cells and modules based on the interdigitated back-contacted silicon heterojunction (IBC-SHJ) solar cell concept targeting cells with efficiency above 26.0% and corresponding solar modules with efficiency above 22.0%. At the same time, the NextBase project pursues the development of a new industrial manufacturing tool and low-cost processes enabling a competitive IBC-SHJ solar module cost of < 0.35 €/Wp.

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Concept of NextBase

The c-Si PV technology is currently dominating over other technologies as its performance is superior to the majority of thin film based solar cells and its production price is still competitive to them. This is evidenced by a global market share of c-Si solar cells that gradually increased to a value above 90% of the total annual production nowadays. This increase, however, has been mostly led by Chinese and Taiwanese PV companies which produced around 75% of the total PV modules in 2013.


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Facts & Figures

Project full name: Next-generation interdigitated back-contacted silicon heterojunction solar cells and modules by design and process innovations
Acronym: NextBase
Duration: 36 months
Start date: October 2016
Total budget: 5,6 M€
EC Funding: 3,8 M€
EC Contract number: 727523

The project consortium comprises 14 partners from 8 European countries.

Partners about

"Requirement of high quality silicon wafers is rising with the development trend of increasing solar efficiency while keeping low manufacturing cost. In this contest, NC as a high quality wafer manufacturer is participating in NextBase project aiming to..." Read more..

“The Nextbase project is an excellent European platform where to develop c-Si solar cells with the highest efficiency. We at the PVMD group of TUDelft are proud to be part of Nextbase consortium, contributing to the success of this project with our core expertise..." Read more

"DSM participates in NextBase, because it is a chance to interact with leading institutes and companies and an opportunity to evaluate our materials with high-performance cells and modules. We expect to .." Read more..

“For long, the PV-Lab of EPFL has been engaged in the development of next-generation photovoltaics. Participating to NextBase, it continues on the same line striving for higher solar cell efficiencies and contributing to the PV-competitiveness.”
"Meyer Burger Research is happy to participate to the innovative Next-Base project. This strong consortium of high level academics and industrial partners will allow to further push the photovoltaic technology by introducing new solar cells and modules concept. Meyer Burger people will develop..." Read more
"JÜLICH will play a very active role throughout the NextBase program as it will be the program coordinator and taking the lead of the project management (WP1). JÜLICH has a proven track record in silicon alloy thin-film growth, laser-process development and light management concept..." Read more
"FZU leads the NextBase Work Package 8 Characterization and numerical simulations. In particular FZU will develop methods for thickness profiling of thin films/comb-like finger shapes deposited on rough silicon substrate. This  will be done by a new method based on Raman micro-spectroscopy..." Read more
"The Silicon Photovoltaics Department of imec will be active in the NextBase project and focuses on improving the efficiency, the industrial manufacturability, and the cost reduction of a number of advanced c-Si wafer-based cell and module technologies for the coming decade, including heterojunction-based back-contact devices."
"We are very happy to participate in NextBase, where we expect to increase our knowledge on processing IBC-SHJs solar cells, both with “classical” amorphous silicon heterojunctions and novel passivating contacts. This specific know-how can be also used for development of..." Read more
"The development of highest efficiency solar cells is one core mission of Fraunhofer ISE."
"NextBase project will allow EGP, as end user in the PV energy field, and 3SUN as PV manufacturing company, evaluating the new technologies developed in the project. EGP is willing to collaborate in the techno-economic targets identification and evaluation..." Read more
"CEA-INES is very happy to join the Next Base Consortium. Indeed CEA is involved since many years in the development of all renewable energies. Among them, solar energies are particularly promoted with the creation of a specific research center called INES (National Institute for Solar Energies)..." Read more

Objectives

The expected outcome of this project is to realize IBC-SHJ solar cells with efficiency above 26.0% and corresponding solar modules with efficiency above 22.0%. Practically, this means that the project is aiming to bring the silicon solar cell world record efficiency to Europe while employing simple process flow for this device type. This will also lead to an increase of the confidence of investors to re-invest in European PV companies and European PV technology.

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