37th EU PVSEC, 07 - 11 September 2020

This Topic Description for the 2020 EU PVSEC implements some changes in the Topic description which reflect the widening scope of the conference. In order to help and assist you in deciding to submit a contribution for this conference, we provide you with some explanations and clarifications, in particular in the new or re-arranged topics.

  TOPIC 1: New Materials and Concepts for Photovoltaic Devices

This is traditionally the topic where the ongoing front-end research is presented. It is the right place for contributions to the understanding of photovoltaic conversion, including in new or exotic materials and cross-fertilisation with other fields of optoelectronics.

1.1 Fundamental Studies
Theoretical studies of materials, cells and modules; new measurement techniques, modelling and simulation.

This subtopic comprises all theoretical work on photovoltaic conversion and particular measurement techniques to reveal e.g. atomic structures or electronic properties.

1.2 New Materials and Concepts for Cells and Modules
New cell materials and concepts, e.g. use of nanotechnologies and quantum effects. New module materials and concepts.

Here we usually place papers which typically describe activities of laboratories realising new materials and concepts, usually on a more fundamental or prototype level.

  TOPIC 2: Silicon Materials and Cells

Topic 2 collects all presentations which deal with crystalline silicon up to cell level. Amorphous and microcrystalline silicon is also covered in subtopic 2.4. The whole spectrum of Si technology is divided into 6 subtopics, which address typical issues and fields of technology development, many of them dealt with on a corporate R&D level. Contributions which focus on Si module encapsulation and reliability, or electrical performance measurement technologies are better placed in topic 4.1.

2.1 Feedstock, Crystallisation, Wafering, Defect Engineering
Novel and advanced production technologies for silicon, ingots and wafers, solar-grade silicon properties and specifications, testing, performance, costs. Influence of crystallisation parameters, impact of residual defects and impurities, and their mitigation.

This subtopic focuses on all the steps required for the production of high quality silicon up to wafer stage ready for subsequent cell fabrication.

2.2 High Temperature Route for Si Cells
Solar cell architectures based on high temperature poly-Si based and classical high temperature approaches (PERX, IBC, etc.).

NEW: Subtopics 2.2 and 2.3 are where research work on crystalline Si cells is presented, divided into two main themes, which employ either high temperature or low temperature processing routes. This subtopic replaces a previous closely related one, which was titled 'Homojunction Solar Cells'. It includes technology development for these approaches.

2.3 Low Temperature Route for Si Cells
Solar cell architectures based on classical a-Si passivation schemes (e.g. HIT), as well as approaches relying on other low temperature passivation based systems.

NEW: Subtopics 2.2 and 2.3 are where research work on crystalline Si cells is presented, divided into two main themes, which employ either high temperature or low temperature processing routes. This subtopic replaces a previous closely related one, which was titled 'Heterojunction Solar Cells'. It includes technology development for these approaches.

2.4 Thin Film and Foil-Based Si Cells
Amorphous and microcrystalline silicon, thin crystalline silicon, silicon foils (<20µm): theoretical studies, innovation in processing and manufacturing technologies, manufacturing up-scaling.

Although Topic 2 focuses mainly on crystalline silicon, this subtopic is the home for all work related to amorphous and microcrystalline silicon, thin crystalline silicon and silicon foils.

2.5 Characterisation & Simulation of Si Cells
Measurement and modelling of innovative Si cell concepts.

The characterisation and modelling of cells is of crucial importance in the development of innovative concepts and architectures. All such work should be submitted to this subtopic.

2.6 Manufacturing & Production of Si Cells
Novel or improved manufacturing solutions and strategies, automated production processes and systems; quality and reliability in production.

Improvements in manufacturing solutions for mass production are crucial in order to continue the drive towards lower costs, while maintaining high quality standards. New developments in manufacturing technologies should be submitted to this subtopic.


  TOPIC 3: Perovskites and Other Non-Silicon Materials, MJs and Tandems

This Topic is subdivided amongst the different photovoltaic materials in use today or in the demonstration phase that are not based on silicon. An exception is tandem structures based on silicon substrates - tandem devices are grouped together in subtopic 3.5.
The Topic comprises theoretical studies, innovations in processing and manufacturing technologies and upscaling, measurement and characterisation.
If the paper describes the encapsulation on a module level, it probably is better to be presented under subtopic 4.1. For materials which don’t fall under any of those listed here you should consider Topic 1.

3.1 Perovskites
Perovskite materials and perovskite-based devices, manufacturing and up-scaling technologies and strategies, quality and reliability in production.

Perovskites are of increasing research interest and have been given a separate subtopic. The subtopic comprises theoretical studies, innovations in processing and manufacturing technologies and upscaling, measurement and characterisation.

3.2 CI(G)S, CdTe and Related Thin Films
Devices, materials, surfaces/interfaces and contacts, processing and manufacturing technologies, measurement and characterisation, modelling.

The broad family of thin film technologies CI(G)S and CdTe are contained in this subtopic. The subtopic comprises theoretical studies, innovations in processing and manufacturing technologies and upscaling, measurement and characterisation.

3.3 Organic and Dye-Sensitised
Polymer, organic and dye-sensitised cells and devices, manufacturing and up-scaling technologies and strategies, quality control, lifetime and reliability.

All polymer, organic and dye-sensitised cells are part of this subtopic. The subtopic comprises theoretical studies, innovations in processing and manufacturing technologies and upscaling, measurement and characterisation.

3.4 III-V and Related Compound Semiconductors
Novel cell architectures, materials, technologies and processing for III-V single and multi-junction cells. Electrical characterisation and modelling of cells.

III-V and related compound semiconductors continue to demonstrate the highest efficiencies of all technologies. The subtopic comprises theoretical studies, innovations in processing and manufacturing technologies and upscaling, measurement and characterisation.

3.5 Tandems
Hybrid tandems and other devices; with Si or other materials as substrate, Perovskite, microcrystalline, amorphous and other tandem absorbers.

This subtopic brings together the increasing research into tandem structures combining a wide variety of materials. In the first instance this typically envisages structures on silicon substrates, but all other combinations are welcome.


  TOPIC 4: Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components

This Topic addresses all the components required to form a complete system. Papers presented under this topic regard research, development, design, measurement, testing, operational experience and disposal of these components.

4.1 PV Module Design, Manufacture, Performance and Reliability
PV module design, module manufacturing processes. Type approval testing, degradation, ageing and lifetime; new and improved measurement and characterisation methods, correlation between laboratory testing and field performance, energy yield, energy rating.

This is the place for all work regarding making a PV device fit for prolonged outdoor exposure, including methods for characterisation, independently of the particular device active material. New module designs and hybrid technologies are also welcomed here.

4.2 Inverters and Balance of System Components
Inverters, micro-inverters, power optimisers, power electronics developments, monitoring systems, accumulators, charge regulators, safety switches, mounting structures, trackers, cabling, including measurements and testing of performance and reliability.

This Topic addresses the device-level of these components, and less their interaction within a PV system. The performance and reliability part includes operational performance, testing standards and measurement protocols. Regarding accumulators, see also Topic 5.4, which focuses on the operation of storage technologies within a PV system.

4.3 Sustainability and Recycling
Safety and environmental issues; life-cycle analysis of modules and systems, CO2 footprint, water use, sustainability of materials, customised products and sustainable design, product regulation concepts, recycling and waste management, decommissioning, PV in the circular economy, raw material availability, resource efficiency and material flows.

As a renewable energy solution PV must also address concerns about its environmental impact. This topic specifically calls for papers from experts in environmental science and engineering, health and safety, and also socio-economists dealing with the circular economy. Presentations on resource use and efficiency are invited, including Life Cycle Analysis.


  TOPIC 5: PV Systems and Storage – Modelling, Design, Operation and Performance

This Topic addresses a PV system as a complete entity. Consequently, this is the place for contributions on systems design, sizing, modelling and performance as an electricity system.

5.1 Solar Resource and Forecasting
Solar resource assessment, measurements and monitoring, meteorological forecasting, now-casting, analysis of ground station and satellite data.

Abstracts which deal with all PV relevant solar radiation science are placed here.

5.2 Design and Installation of PV Systems
Planning, plant optimization tools, cost analyses, advanced installation criteria, construction and safety issues; micro-grids and grid interfacing.

This is the topic for the design, engineering and commercialisation of entire PV systems.

5.3 Operation, Performance and Maintenance of PV Systems
Monitoring, predictive and corrective maintenance, system failure analysis, system reliability, operational safety.

Papers which describe the operational experience of systems in use are placed here. Of particular interest are maintenance related cost analyses as well as methods for predicting technical lifetimes.

5.4 Storage
Technology and engineering of storage systems for PV electricity: accumulators, supercapacitors, Redox flow, CAES, flywheels, storage in heat/cold, pumped hydro, seasonal storage including sizing, operation and performance of such storage to improve the overall service of the PV System, including for PV-only stand-alone systems.

In this topic the wide spectrum of PV storage systems is addressed on a systems level. We consider papers which describe the technical relation and interaction between PV generation and storage/conversion, aimed to optimise the “dispatchability” and functionality of PV driven electricity systems, covering the full range of size from grid to stand-alone systems. The time scale covers the full range from grid stabilisation to seasonal storage.
See also topic 4.2, which focuses on the technology of accumulators.

5.5 Concentrators and PV for Space Applications
Design and measurement of concentrator solar cells, assemblies and CPV modules. Optical systems, mounting structures and trackers; Thermal Photovoltaic Conversion (TPV). Photovoltaic cells and systems for space photovoltaics, and their in-flight performance.

The areas of CPV, space applications and TPV are placed within the Topic of “PV Systems”. This signals synergies between the systemic aspects of space photovoltaics and terrestrial systems. For both space and concentrator technologies, the device (cell) level is placed in topic 3, in particular 3.4 for III-V based cells.

  TOPIC 6: PV Applications and Integration

6.1 PV on/in Buildings, Infrastructure, Landscape, Water and Nature
Design, architectural and landscape aspects; zero energy buildings; PV products for buildings: electric and thermal performance, heat pumps, integrated mounting structures, multi-functionality; building, environment, safety and other regulatory aspects; PV in transport infrastructures, on vehicles, on water, in agriculture and in nature.

This subtopic will collect all presentations describing how PV systems are placed on or are integrated into man-made infrastructure, but also in nature and the environment which surrounds us. The use of PV on vehicles is also covered here.

6.2 Industrial Applications of PV
Dedicated and hybrid applications, e.g. PV-to-gas/fuels including hydrogen production (P2X); Water desalination, sterilization and upgrading; PV thermal systems and other novel applications in industrial processes.

As costs of PV systems continue to decrease, this subtopic (renamed from ‘Professional Applications of PV’) presents applications which now become economically viable in which PV generated electricity is converted directly into a useful product or service. This also includes conversion of PV electricity into other energy carriers (Power to X).

6.3 PV Driven Energy Management and System Integration
Energy management including modelling of integrated supply-demand systems, digital monitoring, control, forecast and dispatch including with electromobility; self-consumption;
ICT integration including (cyber) security.

This subtopic comprises the systemic approach to integrate and balance supply and demand. This would not only be restricted to storage, also hybrid systems with auxiliary generators, biomass CHP or Heat Pumps are part of the integrated systems. Experience from other renewable and grid operators are welcome in this topic.


  TOPIC 7: Finance, Markets and Policies

7.1 Costs, Economics, Finance and Markets
Cost models and cost reduction, soft and area related costs; competitiveness, economics of, and business models for PV and storage/conversion (P2X); PPAs, financing and investment; market development and segmentation; market design for PV as dispatchable power and electricity market participation and integration; utility scale development, prosumer aspects and digitalisation.

In this subtopic we address market analysts, project developers and business experts from finance, and investment and utilities. It covers the more non-technical aspects of installing and dispatching PV electricity, new scenarios and the market conditions required to make them happen as well as analysis of present market development and trends.

7.2 Policies and Scenarios for Renewables, Societal and Global Challenges
Modelling and scenario analysis; cross-fertilisation with other renewable energy systems; Policies for R&D, innovation and deployment; trade barriers, regulatory frameworks for grid integration; education, training and job creation; PV impacts on society and global challenges like sustainability, global change and poverty alleviation. Upscaling of PV and deployment at TW scale.

This is the subtopic for advisors for policymaking, energy-law experts, media communicators, but also teachers and communicators. The more global aspects solicit papers from large, often collaborative efforts to analyse the role of PV in a larger context, often related to energy modelling or scenario analysis. Projecting PV towards 2030, 2050 and comparing the calculations are typical subjects in this subtopic, as well as the relation of PV to greater policy efforts in the worlds regions, or international agreements, including UN Sustainable Development Goals and IPPC.


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For any questions concerning abstract submission please contact:

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Mr. Jon de Gregorio

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