Sneak peek of the first plenary session

"Devices in Evolution: Pushing the Efficiency Limits and Broadening the Technology Portfolio"

The Monday morning scientific opening sessions at the EU PVSEC always aim to excite and inspire the conference participants for the week to come.

This year’s opening will take you on a mini tour along the frontiers of photovoltaic technology: how we can bring silicon technology even closer to perfection and which new approaches may build on, or complement silicon PV in global markets in the foreseeable future.

Dr. Mathieu Boccard of EPFL in Switzerland will share with you how the total losses in already very advanced silicon heterojunction solar cells can be reduced even further, by finetuning contact designs to reach an optimum combination of optical and electrical parameters. It is an important example of the efforts to bring silicon PV ever closer to perfection. Approaches with similar features have been applied successfully during the evolution of high-efficiency silicon homojunction cells. Prof. Robby Peibst of ISFH in Germany will take us beyond these important developments aimed at narrowing the gap between actual cell performance and efficiency limits of single-junction solar cells. He will show us how the limits of current commercial silicon and thin-film PV technologies, which are almost exclusively single-junction, can be exceeded. Among the different options offered by science and technology, tandem devices, in which two cells of materials with different opto-electronic properties are stacked, have progressed most on their way to large-scale manufacturing and flat-plate (i.e. non-concentrator) application. The appearance of perovskites in the global PV arena has greatly accelerated tandem developments. This offers an excellent bridge to the presentation of Dr. Stephan DeLuca of EMC, who will discuss perovskite research in the USA as well as the path to commercialization, including the ambitions for large scale manufacturing and use of this new PV technology. Perovskites do not only offer a concrete route to very high efficiencies in tandems, but also a novel approach to PV module and foil manufacturing and a range of new applications. This makes them an exciting and highly relevant subject, well suited for this Opening Session.

wimsinkeThe global PV community and its stakeholders are in the great position to already have technologies available to take us into the terawatt regime soon, and still to have much more to come. These new options will make the global PV development even more robust, offer higher performance and open up new application fields. You are invited to join this session!

Prof. dr. W.C. (Wim) Sinke
Principal Scientist, Solar Energy
TNO innovation for life
EU PVSEC Executive Committee Member