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FMETEKN-FME - teknologi

FME-Solar United- The Norwegian Research Centre for Solar Cell Technology

Awarded: NOK 160.0 mill.

The solar cell industry continued its impressive growth in 2017. In this year alone, new solar power plants with a total power production capacity of 95 GWp were installed around the world. There is still a need for growth in the use of solar power. It is therefore important to improve the competitiveness of solar power in new markets. Research and development aiming at increased efficiencies and reduced production costs throughout the production value chain of solar modules are important in this respect. More than 90% of all solar panels installed are based on silicon. This is also the technology to which the centre is devoting its attention. Development of new processes, technologies and materials that can reduce the cost of solar electricity from silicon-based solar modules has been the main goal of the Norwegian Research Centre for Solar Cell Technology. This has been done both by reducing production costs and improving efficiencies. The Centre gathers the leading research and industry groups in the country in this field with internationally leading companies. The 13 partners of the centre in 2017 are Dynatec, Elkem Solar, IFE, Mosaic, Norsun, Norwegian Crystals, NTNU, REC Silicon, REC Solar, Semilab, SINTEF, The Quartz Corporation and the University of Oslo. The industry partners cover the full value chain of production of silicon-based solar modules, from raw material production, through crystallization and wafering through to the production of solar cells and modules. The Centre research has focused on material scientific topics related to the production of solar cell materials, solar cells and solar modules. The Centre has published more than 160 papers in international, scientific journals, held numerous lectures at international conferences, in addition to many other contributions. Several Centre partners have won awards at the international conferences. Several tools and methods have been developed through the Centre research that has become important for it suser partners. Examples include the modeling tool SiSim, which has been used to develop industrial processes for producing silicon and ingots, as well as competence and infrastructure for crystallization, solar cell processing, silicon production and characterization that has been the foundation for several competence and innovation projects. The industry partners have also enabled full scale experiments where several partners have collaborated to develop new competence and technologies in important fields. The Centre will finialize its work in 2017. Most of the Centre partners will continue their collaboration in the new FME center titled Research Center for Sustainable Solar Cell Technology.

The proposed Centre will contribute to increasing the cost-competitiveness of the PV industry in general, thus enabling the Norwegian PV industry to further improve its strong global position. In order to achieve world-class research and innovation along the entire value chain of Si solar cells, complementary and strong research groups at IFE, NTNU, SINTEF and UiO will join forces in the Centre. In addition, 9 industry partners will join the Centre. IFE is the Centre host. World-class expertise in the ar eas of Si feedstock production, crystallization, advanced material synthesis, characterization and modelling, as well as solar cell process technology has been established through a number of research projects in recent years. Norwegian industry currently has its focus on Si wafer-based solar cells, which is a well-established research field in Norway. However, a future oriented Centre must also carry out research on new materials, devices and processes. New developments in these fields can produce major contributions into the cost-effectiveness of traditional Si-based solar cells and may also pave the way for breakthroughs by new cell concepts. Research in the Centre will be performed in six interdisciplinary and inter-institutional work packages. Thes e will target issues that are critical for the successful development of low-cost and/or high-efficiency solar cells. Five competence-building work packages are planned within the Centre. These are WP1: Mono- and multicrystalline silicon WP2: Next gener ation modelling tools for silicon crystallization and subsequent cooling WP3: Solar cell and module technology WP4: New materials for next generation solar cells WP5: Solar cell material and device characterization methodology development A value chain d emonstration project (WP6) for implementing the results of the other work packages into demonstrations of solar cell prototypes is also planned. In addition, the Centre will host a research scool.

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FMETEKN-FME - teknologi