Towards a technology to lower the cost of photovoltaics

Carried out within the framework of IRDEP, R&D institute on photovoltaic energy, the CISEL project which brings together EDF, the CNRS and the 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), it that is to say the absorber which converts light into electricity, directly on a glass substrate combining a metal contact, molybdenum, cadmium sulphide and zinc oxide. In fact, so-called "thin film" technologies have been around 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 make use of so-called "vacuum" panel manufacturing processes of the co-evaporation or sputtering type, which prove to be relatively expensive and which, in fine, do not create an economic break with respect to systems based on sputtering. silicon.

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