Evaluating the sustainability of terawatt scale manufacturing of silicon based solar cells

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The conclusions found in this report suggest that production capacity needs to be increased and sustainability issues should be considered when designing future high efficiency tandem cells.

It is likely that silicon based tandem solar cells will drive the push towards terawatt scale photovoltaic manufacturing to achieve zero emissions by 2050. A comprehensive analysis of material consumption and sustainability has been undertaken to assess future tandem solar cells. Firstly, the material consumption and sustainable manufacturing capacity is assessed to find the potential top cell in a silicon based tandem cell. Perovskites prove to be the most sustainable approach. Secondly, attention is given to the bottom cell architecture by comparing PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact), TOPCon (Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact) and SHJ (Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells). The PERC cell could allow a reduction in silver consumption, which is currently too high to allow for sustainable terawatt scale production.

Read the full report here.

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