A Practical Guide for Improving Crystalline Solar Cell Efficiencies through Optimization of the Firing Process



Abstract:

The crystalline solar cell manufacturing industry has long acknowledged that when solar wafers are processed with an optimal thermal profile, the solar cell efficiency increases. Studies from Heraeus and KIC have quantified that such process optimization may lead to significant increases in cell efficiencies up to several tenths of percentage points. Because the solar cells are priced as a function of their efficiencies, the thermal process optimization potentially represents a significantly profitable endeavor. The difficulty, however, is twofold: 1. to obtain accurate and repeatable profile readings, and 2. to identify the correct furnace recipe to achieve an optimum thermal profile. This white paper focuses on the use of KIC's new solar products (e-Clipse TC attachment fixture, SunKIC Profiler, Spectrum process optimization software) to help silicon solar cell manufacturers improve cell efficiencies while maintaining or improving productivity.




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