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Manufacturing and Translation (PP2.6)

PP2.6 1.1  Manufacturing and Translation

Investigators: Dr Doojin Vak (CSIRO), Dr Mei Gao (CSIRO), Dr Anthony Chesman (CSIRO), Prof Jacek Jasieniak (Monash), Prof Udo Bach (Monash), Nathan Chang (UNSW)

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

​PP 2.6.2 Printed PV Modules

PP 2.6.3 Large Area Printing

PP 2.6.4 Market Assessment

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