Project: Low Cost High EfficiEnt and Reliable Umg Pv cells (CHEER-UP)

Acronym CHEER-UP (Reference Number: JTC-2_2019_030)
Duration 01/02/2020 - 31/01/2023
Project Topic Upgraded Metallurgical Silicon (UMG) is an ecological alternative to solar-grade silicon in terms of energy payback time (50% less) and CO2 emissions (70% less). It also has the potential to reduce the cost of raw material (around 25%). For all this, making UMG a commercial product is an opportunity to re-build European technological leadership in the photovoltaic sector by innovating upstream in the value chain. CHEER-UP will demonstrate that UMG multicrystalline silicon is a competitive alternative for polysilicon to produce high efficiency solar cells, in terms of economics and environmental impact. This scope will be addressed with a Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell architecture (PERC) that incorporates black silicon texturization. The project’s approach is the following: • Phosphorus gettering in combination with Low Thermal Annealings and other defect engineering techniques will be explored. They permit to improve the bulk quality of UMG by capturing the excess of metals it may have. • Black silicon, as the best texturization process used for multi wafers, will help increase the solar cell efficiency. This texturing process will be designed so that the gettering and surface passivation effects are maximized. • Light and temperature induced degradation mechanisms will be assessed to evaluate how apparent they are in UMG PERC solar cells, proposing degradation recovery techniques if needed. • PERC will be the cell architecture used to assess the efficiency of UMG, as it is by far the most extended high-efficiency technique in the market. The manufacturing process will be conveniently adapted and tailored to the specificities of UMG silicon. The project will result in the achievement of higher than 21% UMG multicrystalline PERC solar cells with an industrially-feasible process, an efficiency target that is accompanied by a reduction in the cost of silicon and a reduction in the environmental impact of crystalline silicon technology. The project started in February 2020, and will last three years, conducted by a consortium of four partners. It is coordinated by the Solar Energy Institute at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), which brings to the project its expertise in defect engineering approaches for Si and in solar cell process development. Valencia Nanotechnology Centre at Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain) will lead the research in advanced texturing, coordinate the cell development and study the degradation mechanisms, GÜNAM at Middle East University (Turkey) is running its Photovoltaic Line, which is devoted to full size PERC processing in pilot scale with its compatible infrastructure and flexible processing sequence. Aurinka PV is a Spanish company with large experience in the whole chain of PV, from feedstock to installations, including includes key aspects of this project as the refinement of UMG and the characterization of the material and the devices.
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Network Solar Cofund 2
Call Solar Cofund 2 Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid Instituto de Energia Solar Coordinator Spain
2 Center for Solar Energy Research and Applications (GÜNAM) GÜNAM Photovoltaic Line (GPVL) Partner Turkey
3 Universitat Politecnica de Valencia IU de Tenconogía Nanofotonica Partner Spain
4 Aurinka PV Group R&D Partner Spain