The concept proposed by the HERCULES project is to develop innovative n-type monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) device structures based on back-contact solar cells with alternative junction formation, as well as related structures including hybrid concepts (homo-heterojunction). These concepts are the most promising silicon-based technologies to reach ultra-high efficiencies with industrially relevant processes. The HERCULES strategy is to transfer the developed processes to the industrial scale by considering all major cost drivers of the entire manufacturing process chain of modules. The concepts developed in HERCULES will demonstrate 25% efficiency at cell level, for above 340 Wp modules produced in the partners pilot-lines, and pave the way to ultra-high efficiencies for the next generation of c-Si based solar cells devices.

Second HERCULES Workshop announced


The second, and final, HECULES workshop has been announced. It will showcase the main results and highlights of the work carried out in the project. Furthermore, it aims at providing a platform for discussion of these results in the broader context of photovoltaics research, development and industrialization in Europe.

In order to provide an interesting overview not only over the specific topics of the HERCULES project, but also give a broader perspective on research on energy materials, we have teamed up with the BESSY II Foresight Workshop on Energy Materials Research (https://www.helmholtz-berlin.de/user/workshops/energy/index_en.html).

300 Wp ZEBRA IBC-module produced at Eurotron's back contact module assembly line


ISC Konstanz (www.isc-konstanz.de) and Eurotron (www.eurotron.nl) have jointly presented a low cost, high power PV module with an extreme uniform appearance. This low cost high power IBC module was assembled with ZEBRA cells and was jointly developed by ISC Konstanz and Eurotron, supported partly by European projects ModerNtype (E! 7232) and HERCULES (grant Nr. 608489).

Press release (more details)


AFORS-HET numerical device simulator - V2.5 released


A new version of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin's numerical device simulator AFORS-HET was released. It can be downloaded here: http://www.helmholtz-berlin.de/forschung/oe/ee/si-pv/projekte/asicsi/afors-het/index_en.html

Various minor bugs were fixed and the state-of-the art Auger recombination model according to Richter et al. was implemented in this release. Furthermore, as a direct outcome of the HERCULES project, two new charge transport models were implemented which are especially useful for the simulation of heterostructures:

  • intra-band and Schottky barrier tunneling through spikes in the conduction and valence bands at interfaces
  • additional charge transport through trap-assisted tunneling in high electric field regions of bulk materials (Hurkx model)

Successful 1st HERCULES workshop - presentations available online


The first, mid-term HERCULES project workshop was a huge success, with more than 100 participants from Europe, the US and Asia. The slides of the presentations are available on the workshop page, linked to the presentation titles.

1st HERCULES project workshop - program online


The program for the 1st HERCULES Workshop on 26/27 March 2015 in Konstanz is now online and can be found here: HERCULES workshop program

1st HERCULES project workshop announced


A project-specific HERCULES workshop will be held on 27 March 2015 in Konstanz, Germany, to showcase the results of the first 18 months of our project, and in order to provide a platform for discussion with an international audience from PV research and industry. Following the SiliconPV conference and integrated as a special day into the broader scope of the nPV workshop, it will take place at the same venue, the Konzil. Thus, an exciting week - even including a party to celebrate ISC Konstanz's 10 year anniversary - lies ahead in the last week of March 2015, cf. the preliminary planning.

Roth & Rau and Meyer Burger: 60 cell record modules presented


Roth & Rau and Meyer Burger, both participants in HERCULES, have got new records for standard solar modules with 60 cells: 307 watts and 327 watts. The power records have been confirmed by an independent test laboratory (SUPSI). The increase in module power was achieved using heterojunction cells in combination with the SmartWire Connection Technology (SWCT). To combine heterojunction cells with SWCT is Roth & Rau's and Meyer Burger's same approach in HERCULES to reach ultra-high efficiencies with industrially relevant processes. Findings from HERCULES activities contributed to the record powers achieved, and the presented results pave the way for the ultimate project goal, to manufacture >340 Wp modules in a pilot-line production. (Press release, PDF, 19.09.2014)