Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center PV-TEC Reopens: Innovation Platform for the PV Industry

10.07.2018

Opened as a research factory for solar cells twelve years ago, the Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center PV-TEC at Fraunhofer ISE is an important player in the piloting of crystalline silicon solar cells. The unique service center for the entire PV value chain helps to close the gap between research and industry, making it a pivotal driver of innovation transfer. After a fire badly damaged the facility last year, the PV-TEC technology platform was officially reopened on July 9, 2018, complete with brand new equipment.

In February 2017, a fire rendered the equipment at Fraunhofer ISE’s Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center PV-TEC in the Solar Info Center in Freiburg completely unusable. Sixteen months later, the leading PV technology platform for material manufacturers and suppliers operating in the PV industry is being reopened.


The back-end site of Fraunhofer ISE’s Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center in the Solar Info Center in Freiburg was officially opened in July 2018 following its refurbishment.

Fraunhofer ISE/Dirk Mahler

Since the fire, ongoing projects had been delayed, but could nevertheless be continued in other laboratories. Fitted out with new equipment, PV-TEC will now enter the next level of technical development in photovoltaics. The objectives are creating higher solar cell efficiency, improving productivity in the field of process technology and – not least – helping with the restart of PV cell and module production in Europe, which is an aim of both the research community and industry.

“Germany and Europe are still the technological leaders but it is now crucial that we redouble our efforts to complete the PV value chain by restarting the production of cells and modules in Europe based on the latest, sustainable concepts,” says Institute Director Dr. Andreas Bett.

“This will not only boost economic success and participation in this huge market of the future, but will also give us strategic autonomy in the energy sector. PV-TEC will play a key role in this new beginning.” Dr. Ralf Preu, Division Director of Photovoltaics Production Technology, comments: “Fraunhofer ISE’s PV-TEC is vitally important for strengthening the national technology platform for photovoltaics and for connecting German equipment and material manufacturers with current and future PV manufacturers. We are delighted that we have managed to rebuild this important photovoltaics center in such a short space of time – we owe a debt of gratitude to everyone involved internally and externally, as they all went above and beyond the call of duty to help us achieve this.”

A front-end and a back-end site

The reconstructed PV-TEC has been both modernized and extended, making it more than ready for driving innovation. Fraunhofer ISE has also taken this opportunity to restructure PV-TEC, which has had a second site in the north of Freiburg since 2016. Reflecting the solar cell manufacturing process chain, front-end and back-end technologies are located at different sites.

Front-end technology, which essentially consists of wafer characterization, wet chemical processes, the formation of the p-n junction and surface coating processes, is located on Hans-Bunte-Strasse in the north of Freiburg, while back-end technology, in other words, laser and printing processes for structuring and metallization as well as the characterization of solar cells, can be found at the newly refurbished site in the Solar Info Center on Emmy-Noether-Strasse.

Technology

PV-TEC’s mission has always been the industry-driven development of production technology for high-efficiency silicon solar cells along the entire value chain. The current point of reference for the work undertaken at PV-TEC is the PERC solar cell, which has recently developed into the industrial standard solar cell at Fraunhofer ISE. Now, the objective is to further optimize the production process used for this cell, making it even more cost-efficient and sustainable.

Fraunhofer ISE PV-TEC is a platform for the development of prototype systems for innovative processes, such as TOPCon solar cells, or for boosting throughput times with the target of exceeding 10,000 wafers/hour. New processes can be independently evaluated, and processes can be adapted and developed in a real-life solar cell manufacturing environment.

Smart factory of the future

The PV-TEC technology platform is also immensely important for up-and-coming areas such as digitalization and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). The installation of rooftop or ground-mounted solar modules and the use of PV modules as façade elements require new, adapted production steps, which are also being piloted at PV-TEC.

PV-TEC will create the basis for digitalization concepts, such as process facilities compatible with Industrie 4.0. Machine learning will enable the use of sensors and actuators, not only for analyzing process variations, but also for increasing productivity and lowering unit production costs, which ultimately means greater resource efficiency. Fraunhofer ISE works with other institutes within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to research digitalization and other topics of the future.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/

Karin Schneider | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Record efficiency for printed solar cells
09.07.2020 | Swansea University

nachricht Bespoke catalysts for power-to-X
09.07.2020 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

X-ray scattering shines light on protein folding

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Looking at linkers helps to join the dots

10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

Surprisingly many peculiar long introns found in brain genes

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>