Next generation crystalline silicon on glass modules

University of NSW

This project aims to reduce the manufacturing costs of crystalline silicone on glass (CSG) thin-film solar cell technology by developing a novel, high throughput process for the deposition and crystallisation of silicon, including process optimisation and costing analysis.

The project team consists of the University of NSW (UNSW) and industry partner Suntech R&D Australia. Suntech will make a financial contribution to the project, and work closely UNSW to provide guidance on research outcomes, training and access to advanced process tools and know-how. The collaboration builds on the strengths of both partners, resulting in greater knowledge sharing and access to resources.  

This project will develop a method for depositing silicon on the glass with a much simpler process than the conventional chemical vapour deposition (CVD) process. This new manufacturing process (e-beam evaporation) will deliver significant operational and capital cost advantages over other thin film silicon solar cells.

During the process a very thin layer of silicon, less than two microns thick, isdeposited directly onto the textured surface of a glass sheet. The silicon is crystallised by heating and the resulting layer is processed using laser and ink-jet printing techniques to form the electrical contacts needed to extract the solarproduced electricity out of the silicon film.

To complement this process, the project team will develop a light trapping scheme compatible with the new deposition process.

Manufacturing issues such as uniformity and substrate motion will be addressed so that the process can be used in competitive high volume manufacturing.

Fact Sheet: Next generation crystalline silicon on glass modules (301KB)