– Powder substrate based photovoltaic cell –

sintered substrates

The need

Production costs of PV cells still need to decrease to allow massive deployment of Solar Photovoltaic Electricity. In PV industry, high costs are due to the high capital expenditure of the manufacturing steps: the production of pure silicon, and the cutting of ingot into wafers. Wafering costs represent around half of the cost of a photovoltaic module.
Furthermore these two processes are energyconsuming, and have a high environmental impact:
• high consumption of chloride acid and solvent
• 60% of silicon material spoiled during the process
Innovative technologies for PV cell manufacturing are expected to decrease the price of photovoltaic electricity in € per Watt.
European PV manufacturers also need to recover competitiveness through innovative, low-cost
production techniques.

The solution

The POWCELL project focuses on the low cost production of the Crystalline Silicon Thin-Film solar cell and will develop a new pilot line of 15 MW.
This innovative technology, relying on die-pressed and sintered wafers from metallic grade powders, combines both the strengths of wafer and thin-film technologies.
The aim is to reach:
• energy conversion efficiencies beyond 16%
• wafer cost under 0.2 c€/W
• cost of watt-peak: 0.5 €/Wp

This project also allows:
• to decrease the energy consumption of PV cell fabrication by a factor 2
• to mitigate the environmental impact and to reduce the chemical consumption to a minimum

Overall Status

Project completed (2014)

Project Coordination and Management

Alain Straboni (Project manager)
Tel.: +33 (0)5 79 79 60 14

Project Consortium