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Issue 11, 2011
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Silicon thin film solar cells on commercial tiles

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Nanostructured silicon single junction thin film solar cells were deposited on commercial red clay roof tiles with engobe surfaces and earthenware wall tiles with glazed surfaces, with a test area of 24 mm2. We studied the influence of the type of substrate tile, back contact, buffer layer and SiOx passivation layer on the optoelectronic performance of the solar cells. Despite the fact that typical micrometre-sized defects on the surfaces of the tiles and the porous nature of the ceramic substrates make deposition of homogeneous thin films on them quite challenging, we have been able to achieve a cell efficiency of 5% and a quantum efficiency of 80% on non-fully optimized cells on commercial tiles. The method is industrially employable utilizing pre-existing plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition technologies. The cost-effectiveness and industrial feasibility of the technique are discussed. Our study shows that photovoltaic tiles can combine energy generation with architectural aesthetics leading to significant implications for advancement in building integrated photovoltaics.

Graphical abstract: Silicon thin film solar cells on commercial tiles

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Article information

06 Aug 2011
19 Aug 2011
First published
29 Sep 2011

Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 4620-4632
Article type

Silicon thin film solar cells on commercial tiles

H. Águas, S. K. Ram, A. Araújo, D. Gaspar, A. Vicente, S. A. Filonovich, E. Fortunato, R. Martins and I. Ferreira, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 4620
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE02303A

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