22 OctMaterial Science and Engineering Graduate Seminar(ZOOM WEBINAR) Photovoltaics from Research to Industry: Recent Developments and Perspectives
(ZOOM WEBINAR) Photovoltaics from Research to Industry: Recent Developments and Perspectives
  • Prof. Christophe Ballif
  • Director PV-lab, EPFL, Vice-President and Director CSEM PV-Center, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  • Thursday, October 22, 2020
  • 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Zoom Webinar - registration is required
2020-10-22T12:002020-10-22T13:00Asia/Riyadh(ZOOM WEBINAR) Photovoltaics from Research to Industry: Recent Developments and PerspectivesGraduate Seminar MSE 398, AP 398 - Fall 2020Zoom Webinar - registration is requiredMazen E. Mero

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ABSTRACT: In the first part of this presentation, we’ll present the major developments which have contributed to reduce the cost and  the environmental footprint of mainstream PV modules. We’ll review in particular some of the key improvement in the preparation of polysilicon, in the ingot growth and in the wafer sawing. In parallel, we’ll illustrate how a shift of mainstream products to the the solar cell structure called PERC (passivated emitter and rear cell), as well new module designs with half cut cells and multi-bus bars support a continuous module efficiency increase. We’ll then show, how, thanks to these innovations, the energy payback-time is being strongly reduced, and why it appears now clear to many that solar will become the major electricity source, if not energy source, with a moderate impact on environment. In the second part,  we’ll discuss the status of other crystalline silicon technologies based on so-called passivating contacts. Such contacts allow for higher cell voltage and efficiency, and are implemented in concepts such as Topcon or heterojunction and how they could extend further the efficiency learning curve of PV modules, before tandem concepts, such as perovskites on silicon, reach maturity. In the final part, we’ll show the multiple possibilities offered by PV in special applications. This will include new concepts for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), agrivoltaics, mobility and space or stratospheric applications, or even energy scavengers. We’ll illustrate some of the topics with results and exemples from Swiss research and industrialization projects done at EPFL and CSEM.

BIOGRAPHY: Christophe Ballif received his  Ph.D. degree in physics from EPFL, Switzerland, in 1998. After Stays at NREL, Fraunhofer ISE and EMPA, he became in 2004 Full Professor with the Institute of Microengineering, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He has been since directing the Photovoltaics and Thin-Film Electronics Laboratory, founded by Prof. A.Shah. The lab has been part of EPFL since 2009. Since 2013, he has also been the Director of the PV-Center within CSEM, Neuchâtel, an RTO specialized in industrial research and technology transfer. His research interests include materials for PV, high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells, multijunction solar cells, module technology, BIPV, storage and Energy systems. He has accompanied several technologies from the lab to the market, in the field of thin films, crystalline silicon, and modules for architecture. He authored or co-authored more than 500 hundred papers and multiple patents. He received the Becquerel award in 2016 for his contributions to the field of photovoltaics. He is a newly elected member of the Swiss Academy of Technical Science and a corresponding member of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Engineering.


  • Mazen E. Mero