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Further Progress in High-Performance Solar Cells

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Various kinds of solar cells including not only the market-dominating crystalline silicon cells but also thin-film silicon, CIGS and organic cells are developed in AIST. Both energy rating and improvement in reliability are also studied for massive deployment of photovoltaics. Prototype production line for next-generation crystalline silicon solar cells and modules has also been established at Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, AIST (FREA).

Further improvement in performance and integration techniques for CIGS solar cells, development of high-efficiency, low-cost thin-film silicon solar cells and high-performance organic solar cells, and improvement in reliability of photovoltaic modules are carried out at AIST. Cost reduction of high-performance multijunction solar cells, which currently have a very limited usage, is also being studied for wider deployment. Consistent research efforts from wafer manufacturing to module fabrication are carried out at FREA for industrialization of low-cost and high-performance crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules using very thin single-crystalline silicon wafers. Energy rating based on weathering data, testing methods for long-term reliability and improved safety, precise characterization methods, and effects of outdoor exposure for photovoltaic modules are also investigated in order to develop key technologies for massive deployment of photovoltaics.

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