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Article | Energies | Solar energy | Photovoltaic solar power
Solar Photovoltaics Platform
The CEA-Liten Solar Photovoltaic Platform is located on the INES campus (National Institute for Solar Energy Research). The Solar Photovoltaic Platform's mission is to conduct research and provide consulting services of the international state of the art to support the growth of a PV industry in France and across Europe.
The Solar Photovoltaic Platform possesses all of the resources and know how necessary to conduct R&D, with activities set up in four units:
The materials unit, with silicon ingot growth, slicing, and characterization capabilities. The platform has lab-scale (60 kg) and industrial-scale (1,200 kg) pilot lines and industrial-grade equipment for cutting ingots into bricks and slicing them into wafers.
The cell unit, for perovskite silicon tandem technology conversion efficiency, cost, and process scaleup. CEA-Liten has been obtaining excellent performance on its industrial-scale silicon process equipment, helping to make heterojunction technology more competitive since 2005. The platform's current target is to achieve yields of at least 25% on silicon and, ultimately, exceed 30% on perovskite silicon tandem cells, a technology that is rapidly gaining traction at the CEA and other research organizations worldwide. The main technological hurdles are perovskite materials' stability, homogeneous deposition on large (greater than 100 cm2) surfaces, and processes compatible with industrial-scale production. The cell unit is home to some of the platform's flagship facilities:
The PV module and system unit designs high-performance PV modules and systems, with a particular focus on heterojunction and tandem cells. The unit uses eco-innovation methods to develop process bricks and novel integrated PV solutions. Finally, the unit couples PV modules with systems that collect and convert the energy produced into electricity and that enable safe, efficient management.
The PV module and system unit develops processes and materials for the packaging of heterojunction and tandem cells in high-performance photovoltaic modules. The unit possesses extensive know-how not only in development, but also in modeling and predicting performance. It also develops innovative integrated, recyclable, eco-designed PV concepts. The unit couples PV modules with systems that collect and convert the energy produced into electricity and that enable safe, efficient management.
The CEA at INES has produced a demonstrator panel with a carbon footprint of 317 kgCO2eq/kWp. This achievement, which incorporates several innovations, makes our laboratories among the leaders in Europe.
The CEA at INES, in collaboration with ENEL Green Power and its subsidiary 3SUN in Catania, are developing the two-terminal perovskite-silicon tandem technology with the aim of achieving high efficiency devices that can be industrialized as soon as possible. A new record has just been obtained with a PIN-architecture cell at a conversion efficiency of 25.8% over 9 cm² with shading correction.
The large-scale deployment of solar energy and the sustainability of the photovoltaic industry require further improvements in the environmental footprint of technologies. One of the challenges is to reduce the use of certain materials such as silver, which is deposited during the metallization stage of the cells, with a positive effect on the competitiveness of the industry.
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CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.