The 13th Silicon PV conference took place with 270 participants from 27 countries on 11th – 13th April in Delft, the Netherlands in a hybrid format that provided an accessible platform to speakers and attendees worldwide. During the conference, technical challenges and advances in the research field of crystalline silicon photovoltaic devices are raised and discussed. The conference was then followed by the nPV Workshop on the 13th – 14th of April focusing on the industrial evolution of the n-type PV technologies. During the workshop project PILATUS was represented by the participation of several partners (CSEM, TNO, Norwegian Crystal, Meyer Burger Research, Meyer Burger Switzerland, EPFL, Uniresearch) and three oral presentations:
Damien Lachenal from Meyer Burger Research gave a talk about the Tunnel-IBC solar cells and explained the strategic importance and technological progress of the project Pilatus which is dedicated to industrializing this unique technology that merges both advantages of HJT and IBC architecture while employing In-free based electrodes and leading ultra-low Ag consumption.
Martin Späth from TNO gave a presentation focusing on recycling technologies and design for recycling concepts. During his talk, an overview of legislation regarding the Net-zero Industry Act and the European critical raw material act was presented to position the work on circularity within the Pilatus project. He pointed out that not only material recycling is important to look at but also the required energy consumption need to produce solar panels and the embodied energy that could be retrieved with modern recycling technology. Additionally, during the talk the TNO’s promising release encapsulant was introduced which will form the core material for the Pilatus project.
Matthias Peschke from Norwegian Crystals gave a presentation about the ingot/wafer production and expansion plans of Norwegian Crystals for the coming years. He pointed out that European manufacturing as a complement to, not a replacement for, Chinese production, will improve Europe’s energy autonomy, strategic material portfolio, and the overall economy (The European Solar PV Industry Alliance 2025 targets: 30 GWp/year, which would add €60 billion GDP per year and create 400,000 jobs).