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Behind Our Cell Design
The Balance of High Efficiency and Low Cost
Suniva recognizes the challenges PV technology companies face to produce high efficiency solar cells while maintaining the pace of steep cost decreases that are characteristic of the solar energy market. Unfortunately, many of these companies have not found commercial success due to process complexity, material cost, waste disposal issues or some combination of these. Suniva differentiates by understanding the critical features of a cost effective, high efficiency process, which include:
- Process Simplicity: Fewer steps mean lower capital equipment costs and higher yields
- Process Robustness: Processes must be inherently stable, maintaining equipment uptime and process yields day in and day out with little variation and without large excursions under any circumstances
- Process Flexibility: The tool set must be capable of being adapted to multiple generation technology improvements without having to be replaced
- Process Safety: The process must be capable of running under state-of- the-art safe industrial practices, producing a non-toxic waste stream and a product that will operate safely throughout its life in the field and which will pose no environmental risk at the end of its useful life.
Operating under these guidelines, Suniva employs the latest innovations in cell processing techniques to attain significantly higher cell efficiencies than today's typical solar technologies, while achieving some of the industry's lowest costs. The company's proprietary technology represents the fruition of nearly two decades of silicon PV experience, exclusively licensed from Georgia Tech's University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics (UCEP), led by Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi.
Suniva's Cell Technology Roadmap focuses on continuing to achieve superior cell performance, and cost effective, high efficiency cells. In 2008, Suniva went to market with17+% efficient cells in production, which was industry leading at the time. Currently, Suniva is producing record-setting 20+%, full-size cells in the lab, and the world's highest commercially available cell efficiency in full-scale production using low manufacturing costs, at 19+% on screen printed cells.
Suniva's most recent manufacturing results have been achieved using our industry-first application of ion implantation to completely re-engineer the collecting "junction" that is the electronic heart of the solar cell, leading to an increase of 1% (absolute) in cell conversion efficiency while reducing overall process complexity by one process step, repurposing the original junction formation equipment to support the implementation process, raising process stability and yield, and dramatically reducing the use of wet acids in the factory.
Suniva plans to implement three additional improvements in cell design to achieve our next set of efficiency goals:
1) An improved set of screen-printed contacts. While screen-printing of solar cell gridlines is now a standard practice in the industry, Suniva has adjusted processing parameters and worked with paste manufacturers to co-develop pastes that improve contact performance.
2) An improved high sheet-resistance emitter to increase response from the blue end of the solar spectrum (where photons are more energetic) and raise the current level of the device.
3) An improved dielectric passivation layer both to minimize recombination of electrons with holes and to reflect light for a second pass through the active layer. By improving this passivation, fewer photo-generated carriers are lost at the surfaces and the power output of the cell is increased.
3.28.13 - Suniva wins Manufacturer of the Year for medium-sized manufacturers, presented at the 2013 annual “Movers & Makers” Awards, sponsored by Partnership Gwinnett and the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit (AEMC), Washington, D.C.
Vice President Research and Development, Bruce McPherson, panelist
- Past Events, 2013 -
1.31.13 - 2.1.13
Solar Innovation Conference (Soligent), Las Vegas
2.6.13 - 2.8.13
American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), New Orleans
Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium
Important Webinar: Understanding GA Power's New Solar Initiative with a focus on commercial/medium-scale options
Sponsored by Suniva, and featuring speakers from Georgia Power, Key Bank and Suniva.
2.10.13 - 2.13.13
6th Annual AEE Solar Dealer Conference, San Diego
2.25.13 - 2.26.13
Caribbean Energy Policy & Procurement Planning (CEPPP):
Aligning Key Stakeholders for Regional Sustainability, Bridgetown, Barbados
2.27.13 - 3.1.13
6th Annual PV Power Generation Expo, Tokyo, Japan
Global Cities Initiative, Atlanta
CEO, John Baumstark, panelist
4.4.13 - 4.5.13
Ex-Im Bank Annual Conference, Washington D.C.
CEO, John Baumstark, panelist
4.22.13 - 4.24.13
Greentech Media's 6th annual Solar Summit, Phoenix
CMO, Bryan Ashley, speaking
4.30.13 - 5.1.13
REFF Latin America/Caribbean, Miami
Webinar: Leverage the benefits of 1000 VDC systems!
CLICK for presentation
CBS - Eye on the Environment, Studio City, CA
Techncial training with Gexpro, Enphase, DPW Solar and Quick Mount PV, Walnut Creek, CA
Louisana's Solar Tax Credit Rules to Change, Effective July 1st
(Click) to learn about Suniva's ARRA and BAA-compliant modules!
7.9.13 - 7.11.13
Intersolar North America, San Francisco
7.18.13, (1-2pm ET)
Webinar: "What Makes PV Module Truly Bankable? The Importance of Quality Materials for Long-term Reliability and Performance"
Hosted by Dr. Stephen Shea of Suniva and Dr. Sarah Kurtz of NREL
10.9.13 - 10.11.13
CREF - Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum,
The Westin Resort Aruba
10.21.13 - 10.24.13
Solar Power International (SPI), Chicago
Exhibitor, Booth # 2415
Solar Opportunities in Georgia and Tennessee, Atlanta
Anthony Coker, panelist
RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sustainability Forum, Emory Goizueta Business School, Atlanta
Anthony Coker, panelist
6:30 - 8:30pm
Dealing with a Solar Spill - Harnessing the Sun & Living Sustainably
Wylde Center, Decatur, GA - FREE event
Could solar electric power work for you? What does it mean to live the sustainable life?
Join Sol Haroon, Lead Systems Engineer for a look into what solar electric power is today and how to harness the sun. This solar tour and look "underneath the hood" will be within the context of living a sustainable life and the many grounds that such a life covers.
Atlanta Cleantech Forum, Atlanta
John Baumstark, panelist
RSVP to: email@example.com