Concept and Approach
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. In the same year, the annual production from European companies only comprised about 3% of the global production, which is the lowest value for European companies in the past few decades. The chance to re-establish a solid c-Si PV production industry in Europe critically relies on the innovation-driven high-efficiency sector with next-generation premium products. In order to secure the technologically and economically competitive advantages needed for this, the NextBase project aims at the development of such next-generation high-efficiency c-Si solar cells and modules that go far beyond the state-of-the-art.
The overall approach and methodology of the work plan is illustrated in the figure below. The beyond state-of-the-art approaches in design and process technologies are located within the five core technological topics (WAFER, LAYER, CELL, TOOL, MODULE). The major input flow from one technical topic to another is represented by the arrows. The two supporting activities (Characterization & modelling, Cost & LCA) are closely interlinked to the technical topics by integrated feedback loops.