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Opportunities in the Solar Market for Crystalline and Thin Film Solar Cells

Crystalline silicon is currently used in over 90% of PV cells. Despite the lower potential cost of emerging thin-film technologies (less material, higher theoretical efficiencies), crystalline silicon is expected to remain the dominant PV technology for at least the next 10 years due to its higher current average efficiency and its greater stability. This report analyzes the market for both crystalline and thin film solar cells, equipment to make them, and polysilicon as a starting point.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Solar Cell Technology

  • 2.1. Introduction
  • 2.2. Generations of development
    • 2.2.1. First Generation
    • 2.2.2. Second Generation
    • 2.2.3. Third Generation
  • 2.3. History
  • 2.4. Theory of Operation
    • 2.4.1. Simple explanation
    • 2.4.2. Photogeneration of charge carriers
    • 2.4.3. Charge carrier separation
    • 2.4.4. The p-n junction
    • 2.4.5. Connection to an external load
    • 2.4.6. Equivalent circuit of a solar cell
  • 2.5. Solar cell efficiency factors
    • 2.5.1. Maximum-power point
    • 2.5.2. Energy conversion efficiency
    • 2.5.3. Fill factor
    • 2.5.4. Quantum efficiency
    • 2.5.5. Comparison of energy conversion efficiencies
      • 2.5.5.1. Peak watt (or Watt peak)
      • 2.5.5.2. Solar cells and energy payback
  • 2.6. Light-absorbing materials
    • 2.6.1. Bulk
      • 2.6.1.1. Silicon
    • 2.6.2. Thin films
      • 2.6.2.1. CdTe
      • 2.6.2.2. CIGS
      • 2.6.2.3. CIS
      • 2.6.2.4. Gallium arsenide (GaAs) multijunction
      • 2.6.2.5. Light absorbing dyes
      • 2.6.2.6. Organic/polymer solar cells
      • 2.6.2.7. Silicon Thin Films
    • 2.6.3. Nanocrystalline solar cells
  • 2.7. Concentrating photovoltaics (CPV)
    • 2.7.1. Introduction
    • 2.7.2. Commercial reflectors
  • 2.8. Overview of research on materials and devices
    • 2.8.1. Silicon processing
    • 2.8.2. Thin-film processing
    • 2.8.3. Polymer processing
    • 2.8.4. Nanoparticle processing
    • 2.8.5. Transparent conductors

Chapter 3 - Solar Cell Manufacturing

  • 3.1. Introduction
  • 3.2. How Solar Cells Are Made
    • 3.2.1. Silicon Solar Cell
    • 3.2.2. Etching And Texturing
    • 3.2.3. Diffusion And Edge Isolation
    • 3.2.4. Anti-Reflection Coating
    • 3.2.5. Metallization

Chapter 4 - Thin Film Technology

  • 4.1. Introduction
  • 4.2. Silicon Deposition Technologies
    • 4.2.1. Amorphous Silicon Deposition
    • 4.2.2. Microcrystalline Silicon Deposition
  • 4.3. Compound Semiconductor Deposition Technologies
    • 4.3.1. Introduction
    • 4.3.2. CdTe - Cadmium Telluride
    • 4.3.3. CIGS - Copper Indium Gallium Selenide
    • 4.3.4. GaAs - Gallium Arsenide

Chapter 5 - Solar Markets

  • 5.1. Introduction
  • 5.2. Key Growth Drivers
    • 5.2.1. Government Incentives
    • 5.2.2. Fossil Fuel Supply Constraints
    • 5.2.3. Growing Awareness Of The Advantages Of Solar Power
    • 5.2.4. Advances In Technologies
    • 5.2.5. Large Market Among Underserved Populations
  • 5.3. Challenges Facing The Solar Power Industry
  • 5.4. Cost Of A Photovoltaic System
  • 5.5. Operating Metrics Of A Photovoltaic System
  • 5.6. Types Of PV System
    • 5.6.1. Grid Connected Sector
    • 5.6.2. Off-Grid Sector
    • 5.6.3. Market Development
  • 5.7. Market Analysis
    • 5.7.1. Solar Cell Market
    • 5.7.2. Polysilicon Solar Cell Market
    • 5.7.3. Thin Film Solar Cell Market
      • 5.7.3.1. Driving Forces
      • 5.7.3.2. Competing Technologies
      • 5.7.3.3. Third-Generation Technologies
    • 5.7.4. Thin Film Solar Cell Equipment Market
    • 5.7.5. Substrates
    • 5.7.6. Manufacturing Costs
  • 5.8. Disruptive Technologies

List of Figures

  • 2.1: Light Absorption Through Layers In A Multijunction Cell
  • 2.2: Triple Junction a-Si/a-SiGe/a-SiGe Cell Structure
  • 2.3: A Two-Junction Amorphous-Silicon Solar Cell
  • 2.4: Solar Cell Technology Roadmap
  • 2.5: Best Research-Cell Efficiencies
  • 2.6: Dye Sensitized Solar Cell Schematic
  • 2.7: Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cell
  • 2.8: Schematic Of Sliver Cell
  • 3.1: Diagram Of Solar Cell
  • 3.2: Cross Section Of A Solar Cell Under Illumination
  • 3.3: Polysilicon Manufacturing And Supply Chain
  • 4.1: Sharp's Triple-Junction Solar Cell
  • 4.2: Factory Flow For 20 MW/Year CGS Facility
  • 4.3: Schematic Of CdTe And CIGS Device Structures
  • 4.4: CdTe Thin Film Deposition By VTD
  • 4.5: CdTe Thin Film Deposition By Close Space Sublimation (CSS) Schematic
  • 4.6: CdTe Thin Film Deposition By VTD2
  • 4.7: CIGS Deposition System By Evaporation
  • 4.8: Cross-Sectional Schematic Diagram Of The InGaP/InGaAs/Ge ATJ Cell
  • 5.1: Commercial System Cost Per Watt
  • 5.2: Evolution Of Global Annual Installations
  • 5.3: Evolution Of Global Cumulative Installed Capacity
  • 5.4: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2000
  • 5.5: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2001
  • 5.6: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2002
  • 5.7: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2003
  • 5.8: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2004
  • 5.9: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2005
  • 5.10: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2006
  • 5.11: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2007
  • 5.12: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2008
  • 5.13: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2009
  • 5.14: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2010
  • 5.15: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2011
  • 5.16: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2012
  • 5.17: Solar Vendor Market Shares - 2013
  • 5.18: Solar Cell Production by Region - 2013
  • 5.19: Solar Cell Forecast
  • 5.20: Solar Cell Production By Type
  • 5.21: Thin Film Solar Cell Production By Type
  • 5.22: Polysilicon Capacity Market Share 2008
  • 5.23: Polysilicon Capacity Market Share 2017
  • 5.24: Polysilicon Production And Consumption (MT)
  • 5.25: Best Research-Cell Efficiencies
  • 5.26: Schematic Diagrams Of Thin-Film CdTe, CIGS, and a-Si Thin Film PV Devices
  • 5.27: Thin Film Solar Cell Power As A Percentage Of Total Solar Power
  • 5.28: Schematic Thin-Film Roll-To-Roll Equipment
  • 5.29: Market Forecast for Solar Cell Production Equipment
  • 5.30: Market Shares for Solar Cell Production Equipment

List of Tables

  • 3.1: Polysilicon Capacity Forecast
  • 4.1: Thin Film CIGS Solar Cells Efficiencies
  • 4.2: Highest Efficiencies PV Modules
  • 5.1: Cost Per Watt Forecasts For Thin Film Cells
  • 5.2: States With Grid Parity
  • 5.3: Top 10 Solar Manufacturers By Shipments
  • 5.4: Market Share Of Solar Cells By Technology
  • 5.5: Polysilicon Production Capacities By Company
  • 5.6: Polysilicon Supply/Demand Forecast
  • 5.7: Thin Film Solar Cell Producers
  • 5.8: Cost Comparison Of Thin Film Technologies
  • 5.9: Affect of Substrate Material On CIGS Solar Efficiency
  • 5.10: Cost of Ownership Report
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