NanoPV is a joint project of 12 European research institutions and private companies. It receives funding from the European Commission under the 7th Framework program. The project aims at making a breakthrough step-change in photovoltaics by the removal of a set of bottlenecks which have been identified to block the application of nanostructures for high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells. The bottlenecks arise from the present lack of up-scalable processes that can meet the needs for nanomaterials in PV applications, and the lack of relevant equipment and industrial lines. In order to remove these bottlenecks, the main objectives of NanoPV are:
To develop technologies using nano-scale effects provided by nanomaterials to increase the efficiency to above 20% for wafer based and above 15 % for thin film silicon based solar cells at a processing cost for modules well below 1 €/watt.
To design and to fabricate low cost solar cells entirely from nanomaterials by using nanostructures. An efficiency of above 10 % at processing costs well below 1 €/watt is targeted with potential of further significant improvements in the future.
To develop up-scalable cost effective processes and equipment in order to implement both enhanced standard solar cells and solar cells based on nanomaterials as well as related modules to existing pilot and industrial lines.
To create new market opportunities for the industrial partners.
Nanotechnology is applied for both already existing conventional Si solar cells (wafer and thin-film based) and for advanced solar cells entirely based on nanostructures. The main scientific efforts are on understanding and exploitation of such nanomaterials such as (i) 0D quantum dots, nanocrystals and nanoparticles, (ii) 1D nanowires and nanorods, and (iii) 2D nanomaterials, i.e. ultrathin layers. A large number of specialised technologies is applied in the project. Therefore, in order to ensure successful completion, a comparatively large consortium of 9 complementary research partners and 3 industries has been assembled.
The partners are:
STIFTELSEN SINTEF (SINT), Norway
STICHTING ENERGIEONDERZOEK CENTRUM NEDERLAND (ECN), Netherlands
HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM BERLIN FÜR MATERIALIEN UND ENERGIE GMBH (HZB) Germany
UNIVERSITAT DE VALENCIA (UVEG) Spain
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN (TUM), Germany
INSTITUT FUER PHOTONISCHE TECHNOLOGIEN E.V. (IPHT), Germany
CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE (CNR), Italy
RUDER BOSKOVIC INSTITUTE (RBI), Croatia
CENTRAL LABORATORY OF SOLAR ENERGY& NEW ENERGY SOURCES OF THE BULGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (CL SENES), Bulgaria
Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology Ltd (OIPT), United Kingdom
SCHOTT Solar AG (SSP), Germany
INNOVATIVE MATERIALS PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES Ltd (IMPT), United Kingdom