Solar cell manufacturing process could up competition from European producers

Solar cell manufacturing process could up competition from European producers

September 26, 2012 0 By Erin Kilgore

Solar Cell - Image from Wikipedia

Researchers work to make solar cell production more efficient

Competition in the photovoltaic solar panel market has become very aggressive. With China throwing its industrial might into the production of solar panels, the market has become inundated with new products. Chinese manufacturers have found ways to produce solar panels in an exceedingly affordable manner, allowing them to establish a strong presence in the market. European manufacturers have yet to develop such methods, but may find some support from researchers from the Fraunhofer Society, Europe’s largest applications-oriented research organization, which has been working on making the production of solar cells more efficient.

Researchers to reveal information at EU PVSEC trade show

Researchers from Fraunhofer have developed a number of new manufacturing processes that could lead to the affordable production of solar panels and cells. Some of these processes are expected to be revealed at the EU PVSEC trade conference later this month. Though few details are currently available regarding the new manufacturing processes, researchers note that they may be what European manufacturers need in order to compete in the solar panel market.

Industry highly reliant on progress in solar cell technology

The solar energy industry, as a whole, has keen interest in high-efficiency solar cells. These technologies are capable of producing more energy than traditional solar panels and are often exceedingly more efficient. Traditionally, solar cells make use of crystalline silicon, which are applied to a substrate through a process known as plasma chemical vapor deposition. This process is considered both expensive and inefficient, as a significant portion of the silane gas that is produced through the process goes to waste. Researchers believe that this process can be replaced through modification and could be used to create solar cells in a more efficient manner.

Solar cell manufacturing process may create more competition from Europe

More information on the processes developed by Fraunhofer researchers will be made available later this month, but the potential benefits they could bring to the realm of solar cell manufacture are promising. European manufacturers using these processes may find a way to compete with Asian manufacturers through the production of high-efficiency solar cells.