Towards a technology to lower the cost of photovoltaics

Under the IRDEP, R & D Institute for Photovoltaic Energy, the CISEL project, which brings together EDF, CNRS and ENSCP, the National School of Chemistry of Paris, aims to develop a photovoltaic module technology for a cost / performance at 1 € per Watt peak.

While 99% of the photovoltaic market is occupied by silicon-based systems (crystalline or amorphous), the CISEL project relies on a process for depositing the active material based on CIS (copper, indium, selenium), that is, the absorber that converts light into electricity directly on a glass substrate that combines metal contact, molybdenum, cadmium sulphide, and zinc oxide. In fact, so-called "thin film" technologies have existed for several years, and even if they are less efficient in terms of photovoltaic efficiency, the raw material gain of the order of 2 microns meters instead of 200 to 100 μm, constitutes an advantage. However, they use methods of manufacturing so-called "vacuum" panels of co-evaporation or sputtering type, which are relatively expensive and which, in fine, do not create the economic break compared to systems based on silicon.

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