PLANT PV, a photovoltaic materials science start-up located in Alameda, Calif., has announced a new product meant to help solar cell manufacturers capture greater power output. The company says its new Silver-on-Aluminum paste is designed for easy implementation with no added investment cost for cell producers and leads to a 1% increase in relative power output for c-Si solar cells.
“For 20 years, the industry has had to accept an efficiency loss from printing silver bus bars directly onto solar cells,” says Dr. Craig Peters, CEO of PLANT PV. “Our Silver-on-Aluminum paste has been developed to directly address this problem and enable cell producers to eliminate these unnecessary efficiency losses in all conventional solar cells today.”
According to the company, Silver-on-Aluminum paste provides cell manufacturers with the ability to print the paste directly onto dried aluminum film, allowing them to cover the entire back of the wafer with aluminum paste and obtain the beneficial passivation of a continuous aluminum back-surface field.
PLANT PV says it recently demonstrated a 0.15% absolute efficiency gain over cells using conventional rear-tabbing pastes on multi-crystalline silicon solar cells at Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg, Germany. The company, which was incubated out of the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is now entering into testing with select customers.