Area 1: Fundamentals and New Concepts for Future Technologies
Area 2: Chalcogenide Thin Film Solar Cells
Area 3: Multijunction and Concentrator Technologies
Area 4: Silicon Photovoltaic Materials and Devices
Area 5: Characterization Methods
Area 6: Perovskite and Organic Solar Cells
Area 7: Space and Specialty Technologies
Area 8: PV Modules Manufacturing and Applications
Area 9: PV Modules and System Reliability
Area 10: Power Electronics and Grid Integration
Area 11: Solar Resource and Forecasting
Area 12: PV Deployment, Policy and Sustainability
Area 4 invites contributions reporting on all aspects of silicon technology, including silicon material, standard crystalline silicon wafer-based technology, thin film silicon and silicon-based tandem structures, from fundamentals and device physics to processing and module integration. All contributions covering crystalline, or thin-film, silicon technologies and devices are welcome, including new silicon purification, feedstock and wafer production technologies (Sub-area 4.1); all standard pn-junction based crystalline silicon devices and processes such as Al-BSF, PERC, PERT, IBC, bifacial (Sub-area 4.2); surface passivation, optical coating and light management (Sub-area 4.3); passivated contacts, carrier selective contacts, heterojunction (HJ) structure and contacts (Sub-area 4.4); metallization, contact formation and module integration (Sub-area 4.5); modeling, numerical simulation and device physics (Sub-area 4.6); thin-film silicon material and devices (Sub-area 4.7).
Sub-Area 4.1: Silicon Material, Feedstock and Wafers: Technology and Analysis
Sub-Area Chair: Martin Schubert (Fraunhofer ISE)
Gianluca Coletti (ECN)
This Sub-area covers the first part of the value chain from silicon purification and feedstock production through crystallization and wafering, including high-performance multi-crystalline silicon wafers, kerf-less slicing technologies, alternative methods to produce silicon wafers such as direct wafer or wafers formed by epitaxy. Additionally, abstracts addressing the mechanical and electrical characteristics of the resulting wafers, including material quality, defects (e.g. carrier induced degradation) and defect engineering steps (e.g. gettering, hydrogenation, regeneration) of the silicon material are welcome.
Sub-Area 4.2: Homojunction Devices & Technologies
Sub-Area Chair: David Fenning (UCSD)
Qi Wang (Jinko Solar)
This Sub-area covers all the different standard solar cell structures based on pn-junction doping technologies, including for example papers reporting on advances in Al-BSF solar cells, PERC, PERT, IBC, MWT, bifacial cells, either p-type or n-type. Topics related to the junction formation, doping technologies (laser doping, ion implantation), film deposition methods, new designs and new process technologies are all welcome in this Sub-area.
Sub-Area 4.3: Surface Passivation, Optical Coating and Light Management
Sub-Area Chair: Zachary Holman (ASU)
Bram Hoex (UNSW)
With increasing quality of the silicon material, the surfaces of the solar cells are becoming more and more important. Optical coating and surface texturing are critical for light management as well as for surface recombination parameters. This Sub-area welcomes abstracts covering all aspects of surface passivation like dielectric layers, organic/inorganic interfaces, surface cleaning and passivation mechanisms. Another important aspect related to the surfaces of silicon solar cells is improved light management. This Sub-area also welcomes submissions addressing enhanced photon absorption by classical, diffractive and plasmonic mechanisms, as well as black-silicon technologies.
Sub-Area 4.4: Passivated Contacts, Carrier Selective Contacts and Hetero-Junction Structures
Sub-Area Chair: Stefaan deWolf (KAUST)
Yimao Wan (ANU)
This Sub-area welcomes all abstracts related to solar cells fabricated with heterojunction or passivated contacts. Papers reporting on the formation and characterization of all passivated contacts and carrier-selective contacts, including hetero-junction contacts and Metal-Insulator-Semiconductor (MIS) contacts, characterization of tunnel current, trade-off between surface recombination and contact resistance, as well as large volume processing issues should be submitted to this Sub-area.
Sub-Area 4.5: Metallization, Contact Formation and Module Integration
Sub-Area Chair: Alison Lennon (UNSW)
Radovan Kopecek (ISC)
The final step of cell processing is the formation of contacts. This Sub-area welcomes manuscripts covering all current and novel techniques for contact formation, including but not limited to printed metallization, plating, evaporation, dispensing or other transfer techniques, conductive adhesives, soldering, laser and thermal alloying of metals, and transparent electrodes. The contacts are also the interface to the subsequent module integration. Therefore topics like mechanical adhesion, multi-wire technologies and the interconnection of advanced cell structures like back-contact cells are also addressed in this Sub-area.
Sub-Area 4.6: Device Physics, Simulation and Power Loss Analysis
Sub-Area Chair: Johnson Wong (AST Canada)
Paul Stradins (NREL)
The development of advanced solar cell architectures requires an in-depth understanding of the underlying device physics. This Sub-area covers aspects like device physics, modeling, analysis of novel cell concepts, power loss analysis of solar cells and numerical simulation.
Sub-Area 4.7: Thin-Film Silicon Material Growth and Devices
Sub-Area Chair: Takuya Matsui (AIST)
Olindo Isabella (TU Delft)
Thin-film silicon covers a class of materials that ranges from amorphous silicon and its group-IV alloys, over nano- and microcrystalline silicon, silicon-oxides and -carbides, to thin-films of crystalline silicon. Research and development in this active area addresses many solar cell devices, as well as fundamental concepts of material quality, recent insight into light-induced degradation in thin-film silicon material, passivation of internal interfaces and heterojunctions.
(*) Note that if your work focuses mostly on Hybrid Tandem/Multijunction solar cells, you should submit to Area 3.3
This focus area covers the latest scientific and technical progress of perovskite, organic, and hybrid solar cells. These photovoltaic (PV) technologies have shown incredible recent progress and are being actively investigated within the research community. Solution processed perovskite solar cell efficiencies have rocketed to >22% with just a few years of research. This kind of solar cell is a prime example of interdisciplinary research drawing together expertise from chemistry, materials science, physics, and engineering. Based on abundant materials and scalable coating technologies, these emerging PV technologies show potential for low-cost, lightweight, and flexible solar power generation and will soon have to prove their viability in the market with an acceptable combination of efficiency, stability, and in some cases environmental benignity at scale. Many of the underlying physical processes are still being explored and this helps pave the path forward for uncovering the true potential of these emerging technologies. The goal of this focus area is to address issues ranging from fundamental science to technological advances and challenges associated with manufacturable scaling in the highly interdisciplinary Sub-areas outlined below. Furthermore, Area 6 will offer a unique possibility to strengthen interactions and integration between researchers from these emerging PV technologies and the greater PV community, something everyone will benefit from.
Sub-Area 6.1: Perovskite Solar Cells
Sub-Area Chair: Giles Eperon (University of Washington, USA)
Sub-Area 6.1 covers the latest developments in organic-inorganic hybrid and fully inorganic halide perovskite based solar cells. The rapid progress in this material class for solar cells has come as a surprise to many; power conversion efficiencies of perovskite solar cells are already comparable to those of established thin film technologies. The materials are highly tunable, making them attractive for a range of applications including building-integrated PV and tandem solar cells. This Sub-area focuses especially on the tunability offered by substitution of elements, which may enable better performance, new device architectures, advances in stability, and novel processing steps. We invite contributions from the broad range of topics relating to halide perovskite-based PV.
Sub-Area 6.2: Organic and Hybrid Solar Cells
Sub-Area Chair: Alex Zakhidov (Texas State University, USA)
Sub-Area 6.2 focuses on organic solar cells and hybrid materials systems. Concurrent efforts in novel materials and device architectures have led to numerous reports of efficiencies above 10%. A better understanding of how the molecular structure influences the optoelectronic properties of solar cells is often considered as key for the targeted synthesis of high performance absorber molecules. Additionally, optimal device design requires insight into the processes of free charge carrier generation, recombination and extraction as well as modeling of opto-electronic device properties. Great strides in device stability have also been demonstrated and guidelines for designing stable absorbers and contacts are being sought. Finally, the processing science of organic solar cells, with emphasis on scalable deposition methods, is important for the development of robust manufacturing methodologies. Therefore, this Sub-area welcomes a broad range of submissions from first principles design and synthesis of new donor and acceptor materials, methods of how to influence and characterize their microstructure in thin films to device optimization, stability and scalability.
Sub-Area 6.3: Device Stability
Sub-Area Chair: Tomas Leijtens (Standford University)
PV technologies of Sub-areas 6.1-6.2 have shown very encouraging efficiencies and accelerated lifetime testing shows the potential of lifetimes of more than 10 years. However, this is still far away from the targeted 25 years that conventional silicon PV guarantees. On the one hand, the understanding of the various degradation pathways has to be improved. On the other hand, a major challenge is reliably predicting solar cell and module operating lifetimes for the constantly changing materials sets and stack designs being investigated. Sub-Area 6.3 invites contributions on operating lifetime studies and concepts to improve the device stability, from more stable materials to high quality encapsulation.
Sub-Area 6.4: Scale-Up and Applications
Sub-Area Chair: Yasuhiro Shirai (National Institute for Materials Science, Japan)
It is clear that on the way to large-scale production, correspondingly large-scale synthesis based on abundant materials and fast coating processes need to be developed. With the first real production systems in the final development phase, markets like building integrated PV and mobile energy are likely to be targeted first. Given the unique form factors, there are many more applications for these novel PV technologies, especially in areas where conventional PV reaches its limits. Sub-Area 6.4 deals with the challenges of scaling up their production and ways to access an affordable terawatt capacity that the technology should allow for. This Sub-area has potential overlap with Area 8 on PV Modules and Manufacturing. Depending on the number and nature of submitted abstracts, a joint session will be considered.
(*) Note that if your work focuses mostly on Hybrid Tandem/Multijunction solar cells, you should submit to Area 3.3
Area 7 is concerned with all aspects of photovoltaic power generation subjected to extreme environments. The space and near space environment combines UV light, particle radiation, extreme temperatures and vacuum, to name a few of the environmental factors. Papers are thus welcome that deal with the entire breadth of PV under these conditions, from cell and material technologies up to complete systems. The associated sub areas are Space Solar Cells and Space PV Systems, which includes solar panel and blanket technology as well as solar arrays and structures. With typical long lifetimes, e.g. up to 15 years in GEO, combined with the inability to service the space PV systems, reliability and the correct prediction of the on-orbit performance is of key importance and will be covered in the Flight Experience and Reliability sub-area. Of particular interest are ground based degradation experiments, cell and material degradation studies, flight experiments, and on-orbit measurements.
Area 7 also welcomes a wide range of specialty technologies such as mobile solar power (MSP), flexible and lightweight PV, and PV that operates in non-traditional environments such as on UAVs and automobiles. These topics are of interest for the Specialty Technologies sub-area.
Two trends within this general context of space PV deserve special attention. The first one is “low cost” specifically for space applications. Constellations of several hundred satellites are being envisaged to provide space based broadband services. For such constellations to be economically viable, the cost of space PV has to be reduced by a factor of 5-10. Area 7 welcomes papers related to low-cost aspects of solar power specifically related to the space environment. Also of high interest are new panel, blanket, and array concepts compatible with low cost production. The second topic of special interest is very high power systems. The largest space PV systems today are capable of delivering 20 - 30 kW of power. With the success of electric propulsion, there is growing interest in significantly higher power systems as an enabler for solar electric interplanetary science missions or near earth servicing capabilities. Therefore novel rigid and flexible planar solar array technologies as well as space solar concentrator array technologies are of interest, which can be scaled to 100 kW and beyond.
We highly encourage contributions, particularly from students who are working in relevant research areas. We invite your papers on any subjects related to space PV described above, and look forward to your contribution!
Sub-Area 7.1: Space Solar Cells: Including Radiation Effects and Calibration
Sub-Area Chairs: Don Walker (The Aerospace Corporation)
Wolfgang Guter (Azur Space)
Takeshi Ohshima (QST)
This sub-area focuses on novel photovoltaic device approaches, modelling, and recent developments in high performance photovoltaic materials and devices for space applications. Although III-V multijunction architectures dominate space PV, this sub area is not limited to this material system nor is it limited to multijunction cells. Radiation hardening technologies that enable longer on-orbit capability are sought in this sub-area. Contributions dealing with the AM0 measurement and calibration of solar cells also belong to this area. Low-cost cell concepts that apply to the space environment are welcome.
Sub-Area 7.2: Space PV Systems: Including Panels, Arrays, Structures, and Space Environment Impacts
Sub-Area Chairs: Bao Hoang (Space Systems Loral)
Mikael Thibaudeau (Thales Alenia Space)
Hiroyuki Toyota (JAXA)
This sub-area focuses on technology developments associated with high-altitude and space PV systems at all component levels required for providing power on a spacecraft. It aims to bring together the individuals who are developing advanced solar panel, blanket and array concepts with the traditional photovoltaic technologists, in the hope that a fuller understanding of the mutual design restrictions will aid in developing higher reliability, higher performance space solar arrays. This sub-area covers integration of space solar cells onto rigid panels and flexible blankets all the way through advanced solar array concepts. Technologies required for electrostatic discharge control, stabilization against ionizing radiation (e.g., UV, particles), interactions with electric propulsion subsystems and development of space solar concentrator technologies, incorporating both the optical concentrating element as well as the solar cell thermal control element are included as well. Of particular interest in this area are papers dealing with the behavior of module technology under the space environment. This includes studies on individual materials relevant for space solar modules. Also of interest are papers that describe 'New Space' approaches to lower cost, standardized solar panels both fixed and deployable, for smallsat (including Cubesat) constellations. Contributions are sought for all power classes, from the microsatellite power range up to the several 100 kW range, with design consideration from low to high voltage arrays, which are required for large spacecraft for new telecommunication services or solar electric propelled deep space missions. To this end, papers with a mechanical focus are explicitly encouraged in this area. Also welcome are contributions that deal with platform aspects and their interaction with the solar array.
Sub-Area 7.3: Flight Experience and Reliability of Space Photovoltaic Power Systems
Sub-Area Chairs: Scott Billets (Lockheed Martin)
ESA Representative (ESA)
Shirou Kawakita (JAXA)
This Sub-area deals with the on-orbit performance and reliability of space photovoltaic power systems and components. An essential aspect are the results from on-orbit experimentation and operation of PV power systems and their analyses. Reliability assessments via experimentally determined degradation behavior, e.g. due to particle irradiation or contamination, are encouraged. In this context, papers addressing the end-of-life performance with the help of degradation modelling are also of high interest. Papers dealing with reliability improvements due to particular qualification approaches and test standards are welcome. Papers covering cell and power system testing using CubeSats are also encouraged.
Sub-Area 7.4: Specialty PV: Flexible, Lightweight and Cost-effective Mobile Solar Power for Terrestrial and Space Applications
Sub-Area Chairs: Phil Jenkins (NRL)
Roberta Campesato (CESI)
Tatsuya Takamoto (Sharp)
This Sub-Area covers progress on the development of Mobile Solar Power (MSP) systems and applications and other specialty PV. The MSP system development includes flexible and lightweight solar cells, sheets and related integration systems. Papers are sought that describe the development of thin cell technologies including material growth, cell fabrication and testing. Papers covering developments of flexible solar sheet fabrication methods, studies on improvement of sheet durability; ruggedness and overall energy generation are invited. Papers discussing cost reduction technologies for both cell production and cell integration for use in non-traditional environments are encouraged. Development of photovoltaic sheets for systems applications such as battery charging, portable power, powering flexible electronics, solar powered UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), and emerging technologies such as PV for automobiles covering both the military and civilian energy power application are of interest in this sub-area.
The remarkable decrease in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) generated by photovoltaic systems is largely attributed to the significant improvements in module performance, engineering, and manufacturing over recent years, as well as standardization throughout the entire supply chain and cost reduction in system installation. New concepts, new materials and assembly technologies are being developed for PV modules and will further reduce costs and increase performance. Systems designs and new development in power electronics for smart energy management, including energy storage, have a significant impact on the cost of solar electricity.
Area 8 is seeking papers describing significant advances in PV module design and manufacturing, techniques for component testing and system monitoring, system design, power electronics for power conversion and smart energy management, as well as energy storage systems. We also invite papers describing advances in technology and modeling for balance-of-system components such as trackers, inverters, and power optimizers, and for building integration of PV systems. Papers on innovative deployment and new applications of PV technologies are particularly encouraged. Papers reporting completed work that is accompanied by validation from the field, laboratory testing, or comprehensive modeling will be given preference for oral presentation.
Sub-Area 8.1: Module Materials, Design, Manufacture, and Production
Sub-Area Chair: TBD
In Sub-Area 8.1, abstracts are invited that describe new concepts, new materials and methods for module production. Of particular interest are: double-glass modules, bifacial modules, modules with shingled cells, new materials for backsheets, encapsulants, glass, or interconnects; new techniques or materials for module assembly to reduce cost, increase efficiency or enhance reliability; and novel module electrical configurations to improve resilience to partial shading. We also welcome submissions describing state-of-art methods or new methods for module manufacturing, module characterization, power and energy rating, including: quality assurance of module materials and subcomponents; statistical process control; automation of module assembly.
Sub-Area 8.2: System Design, Optimization and Performance
Sub-Area Chair: TBD
In Sub-Area 8.2, abstracts are invited that describe new concepts for photovoltaic systems, method of system optimization, field results and analysis. In particular, we welcome submissions describing system design and system performance results for bifacial modules, tracker PV systems, PV systems on water, on-grid or off-grid systems, comparison with system modeling. New mathematical or empirical models for PV systems including bifacial modules, with or without trackers, are encouraged to be submitted in this Sub-Area 8.2. Note that papers related to forecasting and solar resource should be submitted under Area 9 and power electronics methods for optimization in sub-area 8.4.
Sub-Area 8.3: Building- or Consumer Electronic-Integrated and Mobile Photovoltaics
Sub-Area Chair: TBD
Submissions related to new applications of PV, such as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), Consumer Electronic-integrated PV or Mobile PV, should be submitted in Sub-Area 8.3. This Sub-Area focuses on PV products that integrate building elements and solar cells to form a PV array that is an integral part of a building (facades, roofs, or other element). Technical, manufacturing, and architectural aspects will be considered. Contributions on integration into infrastructure such as noise barriers are welcomed. Additionally, papers presenting methods to integrate PV technology into portable consumer products, automotive applications of PV or other mobile applications of PV, and flexible PV products are of great interest.
Sub-Area 8.4: Power Electronics and Cyber-security
Sub-Area Chair: TBD
This Sub-area is designed for presentations and discussions about power electronics, inverters, DC-DC converters, maximum-power-point trackers (MPPT), micro-inverters, optimizers, module-level power electronics (MLPE), module-level or system-level monitoring, electronic anti-theft devices, rapid shutdown, etc. Novel concepts and designs are particularly invited, as well as real-life demonstrations of power and energy efficiency improvements. Regarding cyber-security, papers including technical aspects of protection against cyber-attacks are also encouraged to be submitted in this Sub-Area. Note: Studies on inverter’s functions specifically to support grid integration and related to regulations to support cyber security are recommended to be submitted to Area 10.1. Submissions regarding reliability issues associated with cyber-security should be submitted in Area 9.4.
Sub-Area 8.5: Energy Storage and Smart Energy Management Systems
Sub-Area Chair: TBD
Sub-Area 8.5 welcomes abstracts describing, at a system level, advances related to energy storage technology, smart energy management systems and demand control (hardware and software), when integrated with a PV array, including residential, commercial, utility-scale and mobile applications. Novel technologies, innovative designs, new energy management concepts are particularly encouraged to submit in this Sub-Area. Note: Topics related to address grid integration issues are encouraged to submit to Area 10.1.
The Grid integration, Policy, deployment & sustainability area provides an opportunity to discuss aspects required to ensure the long-term success of the PV industry. It represents an extension of the traditional scope of the conference where current concerns and strategies to increase the adoption of PV as a major electricity source will be discussed.
Sub-Area 10.1: Grid Integration, High-penetration PV and Energy Storage
Sub-area Chair: Yzuru Ueda (Tokyo University of Science, Japan)
Erika Brosz (NRG Renewables,USA)
Thomas Stetz, THM University of Applied Sciences
Ben Kropski (NREL, USA)
High penetration of both distributed and utility-scale PV systems on the electrical power grid and the variability and unpredictability of PV output introduce a host of challenges for electrical utilities to manage. This Sub-area solicits papers addressing all aspects of grid integration, from advanced inverter functionality (LVRT, Volt/VAR) for supporting grid stability to energy storage technologies such as electric vehicles and stationary storage batteries to detailed distribution feeder network analysis methods and related studies. Application of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) to address further integration of PV is also encouraged.
Sub-Area 10.2: Government, Policy and Financing
Sub-area Chair: Gaëtan Masson (Becquerel Institute, Belgium)
Keiichiro Sakurai (AIST, Japan)
This topic focuses on strategies to sustain or accelerate high PV growth rates and rapid cost reductions through government, policy, and financing models that are critical to the success of PV deployment. The installed costs of a PV system declined more than 50% between 2010 and 2017, yet certain market barriers continue to inhibit wide scale PV deployment. This Sub-area solicits papers that will help conference participants better understand the government, policy and finance considerations that are paramount to overcoming these barriers.
Sub Area 10.3: Sustainability
Sub-Area Chair: Garvin Heath (NREL, USA)
Keiichi Komoto (MHIR, Japan)
Andreas Wade (First Solar GmbH, Germany)
This area seeks submissions with a broad, systems-level perspective on the sustainability of PV, throughout the life-cycle. These can include perspectives on material supply (e.g. improving efficiency of raw material extraction, concerns related to critical or scarce materials), manufacturing (e.g. dematerialization, efficiency gains), usage (e.g. influencing user behavior, encouraging adoption), end-of-life (e.g. recycling technologies, toxicity concerns, disposal pathways) and other aspects of the life-cycle. Novel approaches and results regarding assessing the environmental impacts of PV are particularly encouraged. Multi-disciplinary work combining economic and/or social impacts is also invited. Submissions that consider manufacturing sustainability and recycling might be combined for a joint session.
Sub Area 10.4: Workforce Development and Education
Sub-Area Chair: Linda Koschier (UNSW, Australia)
Ingrid Weiss (WIP, Germany)
Eddy Blokken (NTU, Singapore)
This topic focuses on original education methods to prepare the workforce for jobs associated with various aspects of photovoltaic research, manufacturing, systems design and deployment, and grid integration. Innovative education methods can include but are not limited to interdisciplinary approaches in education, new teaching methods, online education, and hands-on learning.
Sub Area 10.5: International Collaborative Efforts
Sub-Area Chair: Pius Hüsser (Nova Energie, Switzerland)
Lv Fung (IEE CAS,China)
Lenny Tinker (US DOE, USA)
At the end of 2016, global PV installations reached about 300 GWdc, with an annual increase of about 75 GWdc in 2016 and will be in the 100 GWdc range in 2018. In 2018 Photovoltic generated electricity can contribute with up to 2.5% to the world-wide electricity demand. While this percentage represents still a small contribution, PV’s growth is at such a pace that it could become a significant source of electricity and modify radically the way how the world is powered in the coming decade. To overcome current obstacles and achieve further deployment of PV power generation, various international collaborative efforts have been created, such as IEA PVPS, the Global Alliance of Solar Energy Research Institutions (GASERI), and the International Solar Alliance. This subarea encourages researchers to share their efforts to date and to discuss potential areas for expanded collaboration.