Universiteit Leiden

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Research project


What are the life-cycle environmental impacts and risks to human health and ecosystems of a III-V/Si PV system? How can these be expected to change when the system is deployed at industrial scale? What are the most favourable recycling scenarios?

2017  -   2021
Carlos Blanco Rocha
European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Fraunhofer ISE, Germany
Topsil Semiconductor Materials A/S, Denmark
JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Austria
AZUR SPACE Solar Power GmbH, Germany


Short abstract

Application relevant validation of c-Si based tandem solar cell processes with 30 % efficiency target.

Project description

Crystalline silicon wafer solar cells have been dominating the photovoltaic market so far due to the availability and stability of c-Si and the decades of Si technology development. Without new ways to improve the conversion efficiencies however, further significant cost reductions will be difficult to achieve and the c-Si technology will not be able to maintain its dominant role. The SiTaSol project explores conversion efficiency of c-Si solar cells to increase it to 30 % by combining it with III-V top absorbers.

Such a tandem solar cell will result in significant savings of land area and material consumption for photovoltaic electricity generation and will offer clear advantages compared to today’s products.

SiTaSol will evaluate processes which can meet the challenging cost target and will try to prove that such a solar cell can be produced in large scale. Key priorities are focused on the development of a new growth reactor with an efficient use of the precursor gases, enhanced waste treatment, recycling of metals and low-cost preparation of the c-Si growth substrate.

Within the project, Leiden University is responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Life-cycle assessment (LCA) for the III-V/Si tandem solar cells, at lab scale and industrial scale.
  • Specifying human and environmental health risks for the III-V/Si tandem solar cells
  • Evaluation of recycling concepts for precious metals from the epitaxy exhaust including cost analysis and environmental impact
  • Identification of scrubber concepts suitable for recycling of precious metals
  • Evaluation of recycling options for hydrogen

Connection with other research

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