link to homepage

Institute of Energy and Climate Research

Navigation and service


Opens new window

Project NextBase:

The NextBase project aims to demonstrate IBC-SHJ solar cells and modules with higher efficiencies than existing high-efficiency PV devices at competitive costs. IBC-SHJ solar cells take advantages of the IBC (high light absorption, decoupled front and rear optimization, alternative module integration) and SHJ (high open-circuit voltage, low thermal budget processes, low thermal coefficient) concepts and, therefore, very high conversion efficiency can be realized. The high conversion efficiency will be the key driver for cost reduction of IBC-SHJ based PV systems whose fabrication processes are rather complicated as compared to conventional Si solar cells. The high conversion efficiency can directly lead to the decrease of the levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE).

The first major ambition of NextBase is to increase cell efficiency up to 26% with materials and process innovations. In particular, a number of new designs, new wafers and materials, innovative deposition/patterning processes, high quality cells and modules that go beyond the state-of-the-art are introduced to achieve the targeted efficiency values. In addition, numerical simulations at device level and energy yield modeling at module level are carried out to support the evaluation of the potential of the innovations brought into the IBC-SHJ device. The second major ambition of NextBase is to make IBC-SHJ devices ready for mass-market introduction by the industrialization of the IBC-SHJ cell process integration as well as by the development of IBC-SHJ modules with module efficiency > 22%. For this purpose, novel interconnection technology, improved encapsulation techniques and novel light management on module level are also investigated.

The consortium involves key European industrial partners as well as academic partners. The wafer manufacturer Norwegian Crystals (NC) develops high quality n-type mono c-Si wafers adaptable mainly to the IBC-SHJ technology but also to other high performance approaches. The equipment manufacturer Meyer Burger (MB) works on the development of a new industrial manufacturing tool and low-cost processes for IBC-SHJ solar cells to enable competitive cost at the IBC-SHJ solar module level. This project also involves Enel Green Power Group (EGP), one of the largest PV module manufacturers in Europe, who investigates the reliability and lifetime of IBC-SHJ solar modules in field. DSM Advanced Surfaces B.V. investigates anti-reflection coatings to the front cover glass for PV.

Project partners:

1 (coord)Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHJÜLICH
2Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de MicrotechniqueCSEM
3Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum VZWIMEC
4Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialen und Energie GmbHHZB
5Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneEPFL
6Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare EnergiesystemeFraunhofer
7Technische Universiteit DelftTUD
8Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternativesCEA-INES
9Fyzikalni ustav AV CR, v. v. i.FZU
10Meyer Burger Research AGMBR
11Enel Green Power GroupEGP
12DSM Advanced Surfaces B.V.DSM
13Norwegian CrystalsNC
14Uniresearch B.V.UNR