Proceedings PaperHigh-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells Opportunity And Challenge
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Low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells are the key to large-scale applicability of photo-voltaic systems. Recent calculations done by DOE/EPRI suggest that flat plate modules will require at least 15% efficiency at a cost of -50c/watt in order to economically compete with conventional energy sources. Greater than 18% efficient solar cells will therefore be required to achieve this goal because once the cells are placed inside the module, there are additional losses due to reflection from the glass, inefficient packing factor, and mismatch in the cell properties. The purpose of this paper is two-fold; firstly, to review the approaches that have recently produced >18% efficient silicon cells and, secondly, to address some of the remaining issues and challenges that can improve our understanding further and lead to even higher efficiency silicon cells.