Manufacturing and Translation (PP2.6)
PP2.6 1.1 Manufacturing and Translation
Aims and objectives
This work package aims to develop a technology portfolio for the manufacturing of emerging PV device types and to build a foundation for PV manufacturing in Australia, seeking to enable sovereign manufacturing capability in line with Australian Government objectives.
Laboratory technologies (materials, processes, and device architectures) will be screened and suitable ACAP technologies will be trialled for the fabrication of large-area modules using scalable manufacturing methods (the aim is to have at least three each year).
Merit factors, from the perspective of manufacturers, PV integrators and end-users, of the technologies will be reported.
Figure 2.6. Manufacturing demonstration of organic PV by using an industrial printer at CSIRO.
Significant scale productions and prototypes will also be demonstrated.
Emerging thin film PV technologies have fundamentally different fabrication processes from silicon PV and have the potential to build sustainable manufacturing businesses in Australia due to the low capital and labour requirements of their manufacturing process. Some emerging PV technologies can be manufactured even by using the existing manufacturing facilities of the established printing industry.
The physical properties of emerging PV technologies allow them to be applied where conventional rigid silicon PV panels are not suitable, thereby expanding the total potential usage of PV technologies. However, if the goal of “PV Everywhere” is to be realised, the increasing efficiencies of emerging PV technologies need to be successfully translated from the lab scale to industrial manufacturing methods.
This is not a trivial undertaking. This activity will drive due consideration of how emerging materials can be translated to scalable production techniques. Research tasks will seek to verify the manufacturing feasibility of the technologies developed in ACAP and to demonstrate the technologies at a meaningful scale.
Research Activities and Plans
For emerging photovoltaic technologies to progress, manufacturing of these devices must progress to address several key challenges:
Technology translation: Typical PV fabrication methods in laboratories are quite different from those used in upscaling and program will focus on methods of translating laboratory scale optimised parameters need into those required for large scale processing.
Device architecture: Device components or architectures for the manufacturing process, including alternative materials and low-cost components, need to be discovered. In particular, the program will have a focus on moving away from vacuum-based electrodes (identified as the biggest cost component) to vacuum-free alternatives.
Process engineering and defect management: A competitive advantage of emerging PV modules is that they can be manufactured monolithically. Overcoming defects in thin films and defect-tolerant module layouts is critical to achieve reliable processing.
This will be achieved through activities across several key activities:
PP2.6.1 Small Scale Printed Devices
Emerging PV technologies (materials, processes and device architectures) developed by ACAP partners will be reproduced by industry-compatible fabrication methods, such as slot die and blade coating, to verify the scalability of the technologies. The research team who developed the technology and those capable of scaling will work together to confirm the manufacturing feasibility of the technologies. Metal electrodes, which are typically deposited by a costly vacuum process, would be replaced by low-cost printed analogues. Upscaled devices will target a benchmark efficiency of at least 90 % of demonstrated efficiency of equivalent small cells for every 10 times upscaling.
PP 2.6.2 Printed PV Modules
PV modules with an active area > 100 sq. cm will be produced using at least three selected ACAP technologies each year. In addition to conventional additive processes, a hybrid process of printing and laser scribing will also be tried to achieve a high geometric fill factor, allowing for a higher power output.
Upscaled devices will target a benchmark efficiency of at least 90 % of demonstrated efficiency of equivalent small cells for every 10 times upscaling. Target efficiencies for scaling up are thus pinned to the smaller scale devices, which are 18% for next-generation materials, 20% for OPV and for perovskites are 27%.
PP 2.6.3 Large Area Printing
A new PV printing facility, supported through the ACAP infrastructure rounds, will be installed at CSIRO to develop and demonstrate PV manufacturing technology. The state-of-the-art facility, together with the existing industrial PV printing facility at CSIRO, will enable the production of printed perovskite and organic PV of up to 30 cm x 500 m scale and >100,000 sq. cm areas. Selected ACAP technologies will be implemented at the new facility and large-area modules will be produced. The modules will be used for public events to raise public awareness of emerging PV technologies and for creating new PV prototypes/products to engage potential PV manufacturers.
PP 2.6.4 Market Assessment
Emerging PV technologies may have competitive advantages over conventional silicon PV, such as physical flexibility, design flexibility, semi-transparency, colour tunability and high power-to-weight ratio. Such potential enables the creation of new PV markets. However, each emerging PV technology has its own strength, weakness, opportunity and threat (SWOT) with different merit factors. Therefore, SWOT analysis of emerging PV technologies based on demonstrated efficiency, scalability and other merit factors will be carried out each year with reference to markets, application and the status of silicon PV and the technology portfolio will be developed throughout the project.
Investigators: Dr Doojin Vak (CSIRO), Dr Mei Gao (CSIRO), Dr Anthony Chesman (CSIRO), Prof Jacek Jasieniak (Monash), Prof Udo Bach (Monash), Nathan Chang (UNSW).