Thursday, November 5, 2009: 9:20 AM
Brahma (Camino Real Hotel)
Photovoltaic (PV) power is currently two to four times the retail cost of grid power. To achieve grid cost parity requires significant PV system cost reductions. Furthermore, if solar power is to provide a significant amount of society’s power, manufacturing will need to scale up dramatically. What is needed is a low-cost, high-speed technique to create large numbers of PV panels. One current manufacturing technique that provides high-speed production of large amounts of area is roll-to-roll printing (e.g., newspaper printing). If this manufacturing concept can be applied to PV, large cost reductions are possible. There are several PV materials under development that lend themselves to “roll-to-roll” printing of PV panels. These materials include amorphous silicon, CdTe, CIGS, organic PV, and dye-sensitized PV. These materials have significant promise but also have challenges, including low efficiencies, poor reliability, and rapid degradation. We are pursuing new PV manufacturing techniques that utilize materials known to provide high efficiencies and high reliability, such as crystalline silicon and GaAs. These new techniques provide the possibility of “roll-to-roll” printing of PV modules with high-efficiency, high-reliability materials. Of the PV technologies that lend themselves to roll-to-roll printing, our technique allows the lowest balance of system cost for PV systems along with competitive $/Wpeak manufacturing costs of modules.
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