By Dr. Ivan Gordon, Silicon PV group, imec, Belgium.
In this presentation, the current status and the main R&D challenges of crystalline silicon photovoltaics will be discussed. Starting with an overview of the current PV technology used in industry, this presentation will highlight some ways in which the cell efficiency of crystalline silicon cell and module technology can be further enhanced, while simultaneously lowering the cost. The cell efficiency can be further increased by introducing new cell architectures, such as PERC, PERT, IBC, and architectures using passivated contacts. At the same time, the cost of crystalline silicon photovoltaics can be further reduced by lowering the material costs by e.g. using thinner wafers, using much less Silver for metallization, and using adapted module materials. Finally, we will show that the theoretical and practical efficiency limits of single-junction silicon solar devices will ultimately be surpassed by going towards tandem devices with a crystalline silicon bottom cell and a high-bandgap thin-film top cell.
Dr. Ivan Gordon obtained his PhD in the field of novel magnetic materials for sensor applications from the University of Leuven, Belgium in February 2002. He started to work at IMEC in June 2003, where he is currently leading the Silicon PV group, working on c-Si wafer-based solar cells, thin-film silicon solar cells, and advanced module concepts for ultra-thin c-Si wafer-based cells. He has authored and co-authored more than 220 journal and conference papers (~3000 citations, h-factor 28, July 2018). Since January 2018, he is editor-in-chief of the international scientific journal Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, for which he has been acting as editor since 2008 onwards. Since January 2016, he is the coordinator of the joint program on Photovoltaics of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and a steering committee member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform Photovoltaics (ETIP-PV).