Within the framework of a new European H2020 project, ISFH is working together with eight research institutes and eight industrial partners on innovative solutions. They aim to achieve the production of silicon photovoltaic modules with higher performance, lower costs and better environmental profiles compared to commercially available modules across the entire value chain. The HighLite project aims to significantly improve the competitiveness of the EU photovoltaic manufacturing industry. To this end, the project partners want to achieve the demonstration of new production solutions at pilot line level.

To reduce costs and carbon footprint, the project focuses on ultra-thin crystalline silicon solar cells. Ultrathin solar cells are up to 100 μm thick, which is about half of the current thickness of commercial silicon solar cells. To improve performance and durability, the researchers are designing the cells with so-called passivation contacts and advanced, state-of-the-art repassivation techniques. They are developing industrial tools to assemble these cut cells into highly efficient modules. The modules are to be adapted to various applications, especially for integration into buildings, roofs or vehicles.

The 36-month project is funded by the European Commission with 12.9 million euros. The unique consortium of universities, research institutes, material and equipment suppliers, cell and module producers and engineering service companies is developing knowledge-based manufacturing technology, both at cell and module level. The project partners are imec, the University of Ljubljana, EPFL, CSEM, CEA-INES, ISC, ISFH, Fraunhofer ISE, TNO, PI-Berlin, Applied Materials, Henkel, IBS, 3D-Micromac, SoliTek, Valoe and Voltec.