A boost for ‘Made in EU’ solar manufacturing sector
Hybrid Photovoltaics For Efficiency Record Using Integrated Optical Technology
- Assembly of solar cells on small backplanes used in solar energy panels.
- Assembly and testing of package-less variants of front or back only contacting solar cells
Europe’s photovoltaics (PV) manufacturing industry is facing strong foreign competition. The EU-funded HIPERION project is working on mass production of a new disruptive technology that concentrates sunlight on multijunction solar cells and can be mounted on top of a conventional silicon backplate. A game-changer, this high-efficiency module-level innovation has proven its performance in extensive outdoor tests and pilot installations. The focus is on enabling its integration by manufacturers.
The project is led by a consortium of 16 members representing 9 European countries, and includes industrial players with key expertise. A solar manufacturer will conduct a detailed financial evaluation on technology integration in the production line, while several solar installers will represent both the rooftop and utility end markets.
The goal of the project is to bring to fruition at the industrial scale a validated high efficiency module-level innovation, based on a disruptive planar optical micro-tracking technology, which concentrates sunlight on multijunction solar cells, mounted on top of a conventional silicon backplate. The resulting high efficiency solar modules (>30% STC under direct sunlight) with a standard flat panel form factor can be mounted on any standard racks or rooftops.
The technology has been extensively demonstrated with outdoor tests and pilot installations. It must be now industrialized for mass production, to enable its integration by manufacturers in their existing production lines. The project will demonstrate at pilot-line level the assembly of these high efficiency modules, while several commercial pilot sites across Europe and qualification tests will further validate the performance and reliability.
To achieve successfully this 48-month, 13 M€ valued action, a consortium of 16 members representing 9 European countries has been gathered. It includes several industrial players with the key expertise to develop the assembly processes, and some of the most renown European PV centers with strong know-how on design and qualification. A solar manufacturer will do a detailed economical evaluation on the integration of the technology in the production line, while several solar installers will represent both the rooftop and utility end markets.
With its novel module architecture and innovative manufacturing processes, HIPERION has the potential to drastically reduce solar electricity costs by significantly boosting the efficiency. It could allow EU PV manufacturers to gain a clear competitive advantage against mainstream solar modules and to regain market shares on the growing PV market.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Grant agreement no. 857775.