Currently, the solar cell manufacturing capacity in the country is quite limited compared to the ambitious power plant installation target of 100 GW projected by the Government of India. The fledgling solar cell manufacturing industry imports a significant part of the raw material requirements and 100% of the technology.
The current activities of the silicon solar cell group of NCPRE include: (i) indigenize industry-leading cell architectures to provide a platform for material and process innovations for industrial and academic research, and (ii) work on innovative device concepts to provide technology leadership to the country. Under (i), we are working on development of silver/aluminum paste with Indian institutions and companies; the development of nickel/copper metallization process for replacing the costly silver front contact; and the development of PERC and IBC cell technologies with a target efficiency of 20% and 22% on 5×5 inch wafers. Under (ii) we are exploring carrier selective contact solar cells that have the potential for solution processing of several thin films used for cell fabrication. This can substantially reduce the cost. An efficiency of 18% is targeted.
The Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell group is headed by Prof. Anil Kottantharayil.