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Editorial


Introduction to the video presentations of the 10th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics
(SiliconPV 2020)
 

Welcome to the video presentations of the top selected papers of SiliconPV 2020.


The year 2020 did not hold its promises of health and prosperity. The world and humanity have suffered greatly this year. After experiencing raging wildfires during the austral summer, I thought to myself we have only seen a glimpse of what global climate change has reserved for humanity. With an average temperature of just one degree above the pre-industrial age, the planet is experiencing climate-related events that are destructive and a lot more powerful than what we can control.  The current trajectory of the world temperature toward +4C by the end of the century is bringing a very important question. How many people could safely live on such a planet? One billion people or less? At the dawn of 2020, I was wondering how many more disasters would global climate change impose on us this year. At the same time, I was and still am very optimistic that the world is embracing renewable energy and that photovoltaics is becoming one of the preferred technologies to build new capacity for electricity generation. I am very enthusiastic to see new improvements in PV technologies, to see the science of PV progressing rapidly, to see the PV industry steadily approaching toward two critical thresholds: the theoretical limit of a single-junction silicon solar cell and the first Terawatt of cumulatively installed capacity, on track for around 2023. I was excited at the thought of chairing the first SiliconPV conference in Hangzhou, China. I had no idea that we would have to change our plans because of a global pandemic. The SiliconPV conference, in conjunction with the nPV and BifiPV workshops, scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, on March 30th to April 3rd, 2020, unfortunately had to be postponed and ultimately cancelled for this year.

The SiliconPV conference is the top scientific event where the R&D community, from students to experienced scientists, meet to discuss the latest advances in relation to crystalline Si-based PV technology.  Crystalline Silicon will remain the main technology of the PV-industry for the coming decades. Manufacturers are preparing themselves for the deployment of the first TW of cumulative capacity and, within the next few years, for the production of one TW or more every year. This year again, the scientific community continued to explore the limits of crystalline silicon PV technology. While approaching the single-junction theoretical efficiency limit for silicon, integrating passivating contacts becomes inevitable. The best commercially available silicon solar cell has already reached an efficiency about 85% of the theoretical limit and laboratory cells have reached 91% of this target. Modeling and characterization also become the most important tools of the research labs. There are still, of course, plenty of discussions about n-type versus p-type, or about HJ versus TOPCon, or about mono versus quasi-mono, or about the best way to mitigate LeTID, but it is clear that the entire PV community is preparing for the emergence of silicon-based tandem solar cells, which will open the gate to a new era of terrestrial solar PV technology.  

Although the conference did not happen this year, we had received and selected 156 abstracts for oral and poster presentations. After a blind peer-review process, 17 of these abstracts were ranked as the top papers, representing the best current research papers in crystalline Silicon PV technology. These excellent papers are now available to you. You can right now view the recorded presentations on the SiliconPV website, and they will be published soon in SOLMAT. I hope that you will enjoy watching these selected presentations. Do not hesitate to reach out and to send your feedback, comments or questions to the authors.

 

I am looking forward to seeing you at the next event of SiliconPV, which will be announced soon.

 

Dr Pierre J. Verlinden
Chairman of SiliconPV 2020




>>> see the video presentations here

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