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The Most Comprehensive Knowledge Of Thin Film Photovoltaic Cells
- Mar 28, 2018 -

The Most Comprehensive Knowledge Of Thin Film Photovoltaic Cells


After the financial crisis, the crystalline silicon market seems to have ushered in a period of high-speed expansion. The release of polysilicon production capacity, breakthrough in the industry bottlenecks, and the reduction in the cost of slicing technology have led to a steady increase in conversion efficiency. The crystalline silicon battery has maintained its dominant position and has risen before. Thin-film batteries are under pressure from crystalline silicon cells. In an instant, several years have passed into 2011. After the rapid development of the global photovoltaic industry, it has brought about a serious excess of production capacity. Polysilicon has plummeted and a large number of companies have gone bankrupt. Coupled with the tragic siege of Europe, the United States and India, China's PV is now caught in an extremely cold climate. In the “winter and twelfth lunar month”, the photovoltaic giants of the world and China’s photovoltaic giants are overwhelmed, and they have also “disarmed” themselves. From Seville, Suntech, the new brand new energy to today's Jinao, all face the risk of delisting.


In the current crisis, many experts believe that the development of thin-film batteries is a good way to solve the current Chinese PV dilemma. According to the “12th Five-Year Plan for Renewable Energy Development”, it is clearly stated that the target for the installation of solar energy for rooftops in the next five years will be 3 million kilowatts, and the scale will reach 25 million kilowatts by 2020. Industry analysts believe that with the future roofs, The large-scale construction of photovoltaic power stations is relatively more suitable for thin-film solar modules in rooftop power stations. The market is expected to usher in development opportunities, and this market may reach 100 billion yuan or more in the next 10 years. Until now, thin-film solar module manufacturers, which are generally not expected to enter the market, are expected to enter a dramatic growth channel. It can be said that the film era is approaching.



What is a thin film battery?


As the name implies, a thin film is made into a solar cell. The amount of silicon used is very small, and it is easier to reduce the cost. At the same time, it is not only an efficient energy product but also a new type of building material, and it is more easily combined with construction. Under the background of continuous shortage of silicon raw materials in the international market, thin film solar cells have become a new trend and new hot spot in the development of the international photovoltaic market. At present, there are mainly three types of thin-film batteries that can be industrialized and produced on a large scale: silicon-based thin film solar cells, copper indium gallium selenide thin-film solar cells (CIGS), and cadmium telluride thin-film solar cells (CdTe). Among them, silicon-based thin film batteries are rapidly developing with their unique advantages. Industry experts in 2010 forecast that a-Si, CdTe, and CIGS 3 types of batteries will account for 52%, 37%, and 11% of the thin film photovoltaic market, respectively.


The principle of power generation is similar to that of crystalline silicon. When sunlight shines on a battery, the battery absorbs light energy to generate photoelectron-hole pairs. Under the action of the built-in electric field of the battery, photogenerated electrons and holes are separated and the holes drift to P. On the side, the electron drifts to the N side, forming a photoelectromotive force, and the current is generated when the external circuit is turned on.


Thin film battery advantages




(1) The cost is low, according to Photon's forecast, it is expected to drop to 2.08 USD/w by 2012; the average price of the thin film battery is expected to be reduced from the current 2.65 USD/w to 1.11 USD/w, which has obvious advantages compared with crystalline silicon. While the predictions from related thin-film battery manufacturers are more optimistic, EPV estimates that the cost of thin-film modules will be significantly lower than US$1/ww in 2011; Oerlikon even estimates that the cost of its GW-class power plant components will be reduced to US$0.7/w in 2011. This is mainly due to the increase in conversion rate and scale.


(2) Good low light


(3) Photovoltaic power generation modules (BIPV) suitable for combination with buildings, flexible thin-film solar cells with stainless steel and polymer substrates are suitable for building roofs, etc., and can be made into different light transmittances as needed instead of glass curtain walls.




(1) Low efficiency, monocrystalline silicon solar cells, single cell efficiency of 14%-17% (AMO), and flexible substrate amorphous silicon solar cell modules (about 1000 square cm) with an efficiency of 10-12%. A certain gap.


(2) The stability is poor, and its instability is concentrated in that its energy conversion efficiency varies with the irradiation time and is not stable until hundreds or thousands of hours. This problem has to some extent affected the application of this low-cost solar cell.


(4) The area of solar cells required for the same output power increases, compared with crystalline silicon cells, the battery area per watt will increase by about one time, which limits its application in the case of limited installation space and illumination area.



Thin film photovoltaic cell prospects


The survey report released by the UN Energy Agency has shown that BIPV will become a hot spot in the 21st century photovoltaic application market; large-scale BIPV construction will be accompanied by a large number of thin-film battery applications, and thin-film batteries combined with BIPV applications will also be in the future solar cells. Market takes a more important market share


Firstly, the film market will be viewed in conjunction with the development of the city and the future development of building integration. In the future, thin film batteries will certainly occupy a large area of photovoltaic market. Apart from power plants, BIPV is an inevitable choice for future urban construction. Eco-city, green city, low-carbon city, no matter which concept can not be separated from the large-scale and high-efficiency application of BIPV. Moreover, in the urban area, solar power generation is the closest to the load center, and BIPV is undoubtedly the best choice. It can also be extended by integration of electricity and heat. This is the development trend of choice for northern cities.


Secondly, in terms of policies, the application of urban building power generation systems will be subject to new energy policies. At present, the global incentives for photovoltaic power plants are being exhausted. The next round of BIPV policies does not exclude articles. The BIPV power generation technology is maturing. The convenience of being close to the load center greatly enhances the actual use efficiency of photovoltaic power generation. Combined with the characteristics of building integration, the actual investment cost is much lower than that of photovoltaic power plants in the wild. It has an investment and energy efficiency ratio. The huge advantage is an inevitable choice for future urban development. Thin-film batteries are obviously more advantageous in this respect.


Finally, technically, the sluggishness of semiconductors in the past two years has led to the flow of a large number of semiconductor and LED/TFT talents to the photovoltaic industry for the development of these production processes. In the past two years, whether it is a crystalline silicon or a thin-film battery, a large number of semiconductor processes have been used in the production process technology, and the progress of the technology is fast, making the cost advantage of thin-film batteries and the advantages of sustainable development even more apparent. More and more companies are seeing The potential advantages of thin film batteries.


How to Develop Solar Thin Film Battery


In recent years, the output of photovoltaic cells and modules in the world has increased by more than 30% annually, and the main force for future growth will be China. Zhang Gong, a well-known expert in the field of solar cells and a professor at Tsinghua University, said at the Green Energy Green Industry Forum hosted by the MBA Venture Capital and Innovation Club of Tsinghua University: “Photovoltaic power generation has gradually shifted from special power supply to an important supplement to conventional energy sources. To enter the electricity market in a decentralized way. In the foreseeable future, photovoltaic power generation will certainly replace conventional energy sources." Currently, the mainstream battery products in the photovoltaic industry are monocrystalline silicon and polysilicon batteries, but the cost is too high to solve the photovoltaic industry. To solve the problem of high cost of solar cells, it is necessary to think of ways to improve the photoelectric conversion efficiency and reduce the manufacturing cost. Then, the thin film is the only way for the development of solar cells, and the future direction of development is also the thin-film solar cells, which also require high conversion efficiency. And low cost. The typical company is the first solar company in the United States. The company is the fastest growing company in recent years. It has done very well in terms of cost control and conversion efficiency. It is the first solar company in the United States from 2007. The diagram of cost control and conversion efficiency improvement from the first quarter of the year to the end of 2010. The key factor for the rapid growth of the first solar company in the United States over the past few years is that its continuous reduction in costs and continuous improvement in conversion efficiency represent the direction of the development of thin-film solar cells.


Second, if thin-film solar cells are to gain a firm foothold, they must constantly develop new products, especially application-type products, and make full use of their advantages of flexibility, transparency, and low-light effects. Because thin-film solar cells can be made flexible, they can be applied to objects of arbitrary shapes such as car surfaces, home interiors, and exterior walls to make their applications more extensive; because they can be made transparent, they can be used for lighting applications. On any building, such as waiting room, train station platform, etc.; due to the weak light effect is good, can be used in places with low indoor light intensity, such as emergency lighting, micro-electronic office supplies. As mentioned above, the application of thin-film solar cells can be extended to almost any corner of people's lives. Any electronic products that people use can be powered by thin-film batteries. Therefore, thin-film solar cells should continue to extend their application fields and develop unsuitable application fields of crystalline silicon solar cells, so that they have a place in the new energy field.


Finally, the development of new materials and the study of new preparation technologies are a long way to go. The new preparation technology and new preparation materials will be the driving force for the development of thin-film solar cells, and the development of new application areas will be driven by new technology applications. Thin-film solar cells can be deposited in any shape, material, or size of object in the future because their preparation is not limited by the topography, material, and size of the substrate. With the gradual maturation of deposition equipment and deposition processes, the cost of manufacturing thin-film solar cells will become lower and lower. In the foreseeable future, thin-film solar cells will be applied to any object that people can touch, such as: automotive curved glass, window glass , decorations, park buildings, etc. Any of these new applications will give thin-film batteries business opportunities.


Some well-known photovoltaic thin film battery companies


First Solar


The United States' First Solar is the world's largest manufacturer of thin-film solar modules. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the output of a single production line has reached an annual output of 53.4 MW. By developing low-cost clean, renewable energy power generation, First Solar will provide people with a sustainable source of conventional energy.


This goal makes First Solar one of the fastest growing solar module manufacturers in the world. The first solar-powered FS Series 2 PV module is rapidly reducing the cost of solar power generation, making the solar power grid electricity price no more distant than traditional thermal power generation. First Solar currently holds the second generation of advanced photovoltaic technology - cadmium telluride thin film technology, leading the world in the field of photovoltaic revolution, currently occupying nearly 20% of the global market share, domestic manufacturers can not match it.


Chuangyi Solar Holdings Co., Ltd.


Chuangyi Solar was listed on the main board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange on October 7, 2010 and is one of the world's leading manufacturers of thin-film solar modules. Chuangyi began operations in 1993 and became a manufacturer of thin-film solar and embedded components in 1995 and began commercial production in 1998. Chuangyi benefits from expanding its annual production capacity to 5 MW in 2006, and has started to produce standard photovoltaic modules for solar home systems and other solar off-grid applications, and gradually increased its annual production capacity to October 2008. 45 MW. In July 2009, Chuangyi’s 70 MW fully automated production line was completed and commercial production began in August 2009, increasing the annual production capacity to 115 MW. As Chuangyi further expands its existing 70MW production line, up to now, Chuangyi's annual production capacity has reached 205MW.


According to a report prepared by a solar energy research company and consultant Photon Consulting commissioned by Chuangyi, in 2010, Chuangyi ranked third in the world in terms of output of membrane modules.


Chuangyi is also a leading supplier of photovoltaic modules for solar consumer products. According to the 2009 report prepared by Frost & Sullivan, an independent research and consultancy commissioned by Chuangyi, Chuangyi is the #1 off-grid PV among all solar companies in China (including thin film, polysilicon and monocrystalline silicon module manufacturers). Product manufacturers, based on total shipments, accounted for 14.8% of the market share in 2009.


At the same time, Chuangyi is also one of the world's lowest-cost manufacturers of solar modules. Chuangyi uses crystalline silicon technology to deposit amorphous silicon on a silicon substrate to produce photovoltaic modules that are much thinner than conventional crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules.


Baoding Tianwei Thin Film Photovoltaic Co., Ltd.


Baoding Tianwei Thin Film Photovoltaic Co., Ltd. is an innovative international photovoltaic company specializing in R&D, production and sales of thin-film solar modules. It belongs to Tianwei Group and is Baoding Tianwei Baoji Electric Co., Ltd. (Shanghai A-share listed company , stock code 600550) directly under the subsidiary company. Relying on Tianwei Group's overall advantages, the company is rooted in China's only national-level new energy equipment industrial base, introducing world-class R&D and management teams, adopting world-leading production equipment, and providing customers with quality thin film photovoltaic products through continuous innovation. Eco-friendly green energy solutions.


The company's products include amorphous silicon thin-film battery modules. The main production technologies include the use of LPCVD for the deposition of front transparent oxide electrodes and back contact electrodes, the use of PECVD for the deposition of amorphous silicon films, and the use of P1, P2, and P3 laser scribing techniques for amorphous materials. Silicon cells are divided into series connected subcells.


Solar Frontier (Showa Shell Oil Co., Ltd.)


The second largest CI(G)S solar module manufacturer in Japan is Showa Shell Solar KK. Its CIS solar module is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu in 2006. Established in October, CIS solar modules for commercial production of glass substrates began in July 2007. It claims that its module efficiency is up to 10.5%. In 2007, it generated revenue of approximately US$10 million. Its main plant is located in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. Future products are expected to be exported to Japan and EU countries. Capacity planning for 2007 and 2008 is 20MW. The second plant in Kawasaki County has a planned annual production capacity of 60 MW. It began operations in the first half of 2009 and declared to be the world's largest CIS module production center.


Hanergy Holding Group


Hanergy Holding Group was established in 1994 and is headquartered in Beijing. It employs more than 5,000 people. It has branches in many provinces in China and in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and other regions. It is the private clean energy company with the largest scale and highest degree of specialization in China and spanning hydropower, wind power, photovoltaic power generation and energy services.


At present, Hanergy takes the solar photovoltaic industry as the leading factor and invests in R&D and manufacturing bases in the solar energy industry in Sichuan, Guangdong, Hainan, Zhejiang, Shandong, and Jiangsu. By the end of 2012, the total photovoltaic output of Hanergy Group will reach 3GW (3 million kilowatts) per year and will become the world's largest silicon-based thin film photovoltaic company.


In order to advance the advancement of thin film technology and improve conversion efficiency, Hanergy acquired Solibro, a thin film battery manufacturer of Q-CELLS in Germany, in June this year and introduced Germany's most advanced CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide thin film) thin film solar technology. Up to 14.7%. To lay a solid foundation for becoming the world's largest silicon thin-film photovoltaic company.


Xinao Solar Energy Co., Ltd.


As an internationally renowned company in the field of clean energy - an important member of the New Austrian Group, Xinao Solar Energy is a company that provides customers with a full range of solar energy integration services, focusing on R&D, manufacturing and integration of high-performance photovoltaic modules and custom products. .


Xinao Solar Energy focuses on improving the conversion efficiency of photovoltaic cells and reducing the production cost. It is a world leader in the development, manufacture and application of silicon-based thin-film solar cells, and is now in a multi-field, full-life cycle solar energy technology. Development and application areas.


As an important support for NEO Group to provide comprehensive solutions for clean energy, SUNO Solar is committed to the development, construction, and sale of photovoltaic projects with more investment returns. It is the world's leading provider of integrated photovoltaic integration services.


The company has established an annual output of 70MW of photovoltaic cell production base in Langfang, Hebei Province, and produces ultra-large 5.7m2 high-performance battery components with world-leading technology.


At present, the company takes the integration of photovoltaic energy services and production of high-performance battery modules as its main business areas. Through the establishment of a unique marketing model and strategic alliances, it has established a wide market network in many countries including China, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. .


Global Solar (Dow Chemicals)


In the United States, Global Solar Energy was established in 1996. It began small-scale commercial production in 2004. It currently employs about 40 people. In 2007, it produced 4 MW. The revenue was approximately US$10 million. The average selling price was approximately US$2.3/W. With a capacity of 75 MW, its product efficiency claims to have reached 10% in early 2008. In addition to the CIGS module of the glass substrate, the flexible CIGS product of the metal substrate is its main force, which is produced in a roll-to-roll process. Its flexible product passed the US military's MILSTD-810E in 2007. The certification, in addition to the military specifications, also goes towards the development of the people's livelihood standard, cooperates with Solon AG, the largest solar module plant in Germany, and invests EUR 3,000 in the Berlin-Adlershof district of Germany to establish a production capacity of 30MW.


Zhejiang Zhengtai Solar Energy Technology Co., Ltd.


Zhengtai Solar specializes in the research, development and production of cutting-edge photovoltaic products. It is the first photovoltaic company in China to mass-produce high-efficiency thin-film solar cells. It can provide single-crystal and multi-crystalline solar modules to customers at the same time. "Crystal" high-efficiency thin-film battery module is one of the most complete product lines in China's photovoltaic companies. At the same time, relying on the parent company "Zhengtai Group", Zhengtai Solar has become the first solution provider of photovoltaic systems, providing customers with a full range of hardware products and photovoltaic system construction services.


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