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Monday, September 18, 2006

Conference Highlights from 21st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition

In the EU PVSEC conference closing session, Dr. Heinz Ossenbrink, Technical Programme Chair and Renewable Energies Unit Head, European Commission, Directorate-General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), Ispra, Italy, presented a twelve slide summary of key conference highlights by topic number, distributed to attendees as a handout.

Here is the summary by Dr. Ossenbrink with a few typo corrections.


260 Plenaries/Orals and 840 Posters

Fundamentals and Novel Devices 203
Crystalline Silicon 302
Amorphous Silicon 76
CIS and CdTe 100
PV Modules and Components 170
PV Systems and Building Integration 101
PV Deployment 124
Industry and Commerce 39

(PIE chart not reproduced)

1 Fundamentals, New Devices and Materials

  • Si tandem concepts. Variation of bandgap by the size of Si quantum dots (5nm..2nm 1.3..1.7 eV), Exitonic cell design proof on concept by 2008 (Green, UNSW, AU)
  • Nanostructured dye-sensitized cells on stainless steel sheets: 4.3% (HUT)
  • Concentrators: Increasing Industry interest (Sharp etc.)
  • New Institute for Concentrating PV in Spain; to install 3MW of Concentrators; tender deadline TODAY
  • DoD Programme on future generation cells; including nano-/biotechnology: Competition approach (Barnett)

2 Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Materials

  • 20% MCz modules with SiO back surface <6g/wp
  • Improved screen printed contacts for 18.4% 150x150 cells, target 20% (SolarWorld)
  • CSG cells 7.3% on 1.4 m2, invitation for key R&D topics
  • General: technologies for 6..7g/W vs. 10..12 g/W today
2 Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Materials (2)

  • Poly-thin film directly on glass, e-beam (non-UHV) degradation, ready for pilot line: 10% in reach (UNSW)
  • Rear Side Passivated High efficiency Si Cell (FhG-ISE) 21.7%, 4cm2
  • Ultra-thin substrates 17.3%, 100um, 9g/Wp (IMEC)
  • Thin Film epitaxi on low-cost substrate, porous reflector 13.8% (IMEC)
  • Solutions for B-O degradation recovery? (Uni Konstanz)

3 Amorphous and Microcrystalline Silicon

  • Triple-junction a-Si/uc-Si/uc-Si 11.1% 64cm2 (IPV Juelich)
  • 3rd gen triple-junction, OEM to roofing industry, only 0.74%/yr degradation, superior performance ratio (UniSolar)
  • a-Si/uC 13.5% pn 90x45 cm2, single chamber process, work on 3-stack in progress (KANEKA, JP)
  • Single-J a-Si 8.8% on 1.25 x 1.1 m2 ready for production, next step: micromorph improve from 9.5% (Oerlikon, ex-UNAXIS)

4 CIS, CdTe and Other (II-V) Thin Film Cells

Industrial CIS reaches 100MW production end of 2007

  • <1€/W and 14% envisioned (Wuerth)
  • AVANCIS, 12.4% 60X90cm2, Survives 4000h DH very well (~50yrs lifetime)
  • 20MW plant in preparation (Saint-Gobain / Shell Solar)
  • Sequential CIS process on Cu-Foil 125 x 65 cm2 start-up (SulfurCell)
  • CdS/CdTe 15MW factory near Milan, planned 60 x 120 cm2 (ARENDI / Uni Parma)
  • Flexible CdTe/CdS Foils, 14% R2R on Polyamide substrate announced 1.5MW Pilotplant (Loughborough / ETH Zurich)

5 PV Modules ad Components of PV Systems

  • Efficiency and Energy delivery gain of 4% by AR-coating on Modules (BP Solar)
  • Modeling of a PV Grid-connected system with Ultracapacitors promises more than 5% gain in Energy delivery (ETSI, ES)
  • Module integrated 3-phase inverter (<0.3€/W) for high-voltage TF modules (ISET, DE)

5 PV Modules ad Components of PV Systems (2)

  • Electroluminescence crack detection (Evergreen)
  • Recycling of the 23yr old 300kW Pellworm plant: 50% of all cells recovered and reinstalled in Freiberg @ 12-14%
  • 480W FLATCON concentrator system 26.2% module efficiency, 35% cell efficiency @ 500x
  • Traceability in Calibration Chain: Module Power Values become much more to be trusted (JRC Ispra)

6 PV Systems in Grid-Connected Applications

  • Professional Monitoring Services for Modules and Systems: SPYCE (Enecolo, CH)
  • European Commission funded project PERFORMANCE, new and harmonized approach to Systems monitoring (UK, PL, DE, EC-JRC)
  • Very Large PV Systems in the Desert (TUAT JP, Ben Gurion, IL)

7 Global Aspects of PV Solar Electricity

  • A very good, and probably conservative outlook for the PV Business development, focusing on Challenges ahead (Sarasin)
  • Italian PV programme: almost 400MW authorised to be on grid within 12 months (ENEA & GRTN, IT)
  • Outlook onto the European PV RTD and Demonstration programme
  • Greece: Generous Feed-In Law in place, 40MW approved
  • China: Olympics 2008; Shanghai 100000 roof programme, 2010 1.5GW production

8 PV Industry Forum

  • Very high participation
  • Good and professional moderation by Mr. Yogeshwar
  • Addressing top issues of today and tomorrow,
    • Silicon Feedstock Availability, will be ever enough?
    • PV-Cycle: Industry-driven concept for Re-cycling and waste treatment along the whole value chain addresses large waste streams in Production and end-of-Life Arrays (EPIA)

Overall Summary on the Programme

  • R&D and Industry getting closer:
    • Technical topics 2,3,4,5 industry (co-) authors in more than 2/3 of contributions
    • Clear and detailed requests from Industry to R&D
    • Technology transfer process speeds up
  • For R&D in improvement and new technologies, Si shortage seems to be the driver
  • Overall: Deliver More GW with less grams Silicon per Watt
  • Globally, Number of Regions with PV-favouring policies increase


I had a “German” moment on the last day of the conference when the front entrance to MESSE DRESDEN was locked until 8:00 AM sharp. On previous days, the entrance was open much earlier. In addition to myself, Dr. Joachim Luther from Fraunhofer ISE was among the attendees affected by the lookout. I was glad I did not arrive earlier to use the Press room as I had planned.

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