Energy Sciences

Title :

National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education (NCPRE)

Area of research :

Energy Sciences

Focus area :

Photovoltaic Research

Principal Investigator :

Dr. J. Vasi, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai

Timeline Start Year :


Timeline End Year :


Contact info :



Dr. Chetan S. Solanki, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai

Total Budget (INR):



1. Education and Training: a. Two courses have been developed in Department of Energy Science and Engineering and proposal for 1 course in electrical engineering department is in approval stage. b. 2 courses have been created and are available on our website. 5 courses are in process and video lectures of 1000 Teachers Program which was conducted in Dec., 2011 is available on institute’s website. c. Lab tour is given to all the participants during the short term courses and orientation for the lab equipments is also given and 200 Laboratory kits have been dispatched to different colleges. d. 438 industry personnel trained, 1433 academic participants trained, and 37 participants have been trained in the Master training program. 2. Research: a. The base line process for high efficiency (>15%) with conventional industrial process steps (texturisation, junction, ARC, Al BSF and screen printed metallization) has been developed. b. Process has been optimized for ~16% achieved efficiency on 156 cm2 c-Si Solar cells and solar cells with electroplated copper front metallization are also demonstrated with efficiency of 16.9%. c. The improvement in cell efficiency (>16 %) on 156 cm2 c-Si wafer is underway and the following improvements are pursued: Bulk lifetime improvements using gettering process, texturization optimization for improved uniformity and screen printing process for higher resistivity emitters. d. For developing c-Si solar cells with over 20% efficiency, installation of BBr3 diffusion is underway; and baseline processes of 6 inch wafers have been started. 3. New materials and devices: a. Developed a process to get highly conducting transparent conductor based on poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) and to get platinum free and FTO free dye sensitized solar cell. b. Developed novel device architecture using p-type inorganic hole conductor for MAPbI2Cl based perovskite solar cells, approximate 5% efficiency with CuSCN and approximate 8% efficiency with NiO have been achieved and approximately 12% efficiency for planer architecture TiO2 based perovskite solar cell have been obtained. c. ALD grown Sb2S3 as absorber material for bulk heterojunction solar cells are developed and approximately 2% efficiency have been achieved. Also ALD grown TiS2 as a new absorber material is developed and promising results are obtained in initial stages. d. For new storage material (nanomaterial): Developed and characterized highly efficient and low cost electrode materials for secondary lithium-ion battery (LIB) applications and 90 % of the proposed work has been carried out with great success. e. A new process to synthesize micron sized LiFePO4 was developed and optimized for lithium ion battery application. f. A patent application has been filed for the synthesis and cell characterization process and a new process to synthesize LiMn2O4 was developed and optimized. Also a patent application has been filed for the synthesis process and new nano-sized electrode materials have been studied. Full cells in button cell format were fabricated using various cathode (commercial LiFePO4, in-house LiMn2O4) and anode (commercial flake graphite, MCMB, in-house Li4Ti5O12 and in-house MoO2) and characterized for cycling performance. g. Photo luminescent concentrators: Fluorescent ZnS:Mn (multicore-shell structure) nanoparticles absorbing in near-UV range and emitting ~600 nm synthesized and optimized by systematic parametric variation and maximizing PL intensity, nanoparticles successfully coated as uniform film on top of amorphous silicon cell; verified by 3D imaging, electrical (EQE and I-V) measurements ongoing along with optimization of film thickness for optimal performance of NPcoupled amorphous silicon cells, and in-depth optical (PL and UV-Vis) studies ongoing to better understand mechanism of fluorescence in prepared nanoparticles and role played by defects in the materials. h. Improvements in open circuit voltage and fill factor with incorporation of surface passivation layers (wide bandgap metal oxide semiconductors like Zirconia, Al2O3) via ALD have been obtained. 4. Systems and Modules: a. Prototype of 5kW inverter is made (testing is in progress). b. As a part of the All-India Survey of PV Modules, undertaken as a part of the module reliability area, team has assessed the long-term reliability of solar PV, and the life cycle assessment is under way. c. Foresight and Patent analytics are done to identify i). Sub technological modules, ii). Whitespace amongst the modules for further research and relevance and it was done for high efficiency based crystalline silicon solar cells. d. Identified the related patents and research option to develop low cost and relevant use of lead acid battery systems in large scale solar deployment. e. Pilot project on solar PV dissemination through gram panchayat in Chendamangalam, case study of solar PV pump installation in Rajasthan has been done and feasibility analysis of solar PV pumps for draw down agriculture in Dhimbhe region has been done. f. Pilot studies of competitiveness evaluation done on a focal firm and invertor segment and currently under way, in co-operation with the TIFAC study group. g. Designed and developed portable multimedia for solar education, designed solar charger for Akash tablet and designed video call umbrella. h. Design of high efficient BLDC based pump for pumping water from bore well is completed, fabrication is in progress and design of solar PV based induction motor pump for irrigation pump is completed and testing is in progress. i. The aerostat envelope of oblate spheroid has been fabricated and provision for integration of solar panel on the aerostat envelope has been completed. j. Development of high rate performance anode and cathode for Lithium ion battery applications is done. 5. Characterization, Simulation and Modeling: a. Material characterization tools purchased have been used for surface morphology investigations of the Si wafers after texturization, cross-sectional imaging of solar cells (thickness of front & back metallization, BSF and interface of Si-Al & Si-Ag), cross-sectional imaging of interface of different passivation layers (AlOx, SiNx and SiOx ) on Si solar cells and Al/Ag nano particles per unit area density imaging of plasmonics based solar cells have been done. b. The tools purchased for defect analysis have been used for: Short circuit current mapping of large area solar cells; Open circuit voltage mapping of large area solar cells; Contact resistance mapping of large area solar cells; Sheet resistance measurement after diffusion (p-n junction), Electroluminescence and Photoluminescence for defect and shunt imaging of large area silicon solar cells. c. The tools for solar cell characterization have been used for: Solar cell performance evaluation (Jsc, Voc, FF, Rs, Rsh and efficiency), Quantum efficiency measurement for solar cells at different spectral ranges/wavelengths and review of Jsc, Thickness profiling of metal deposition, Minority carrier lifetime measurement at various stages of cell fabrication and evaluation of passivation layers applied on solar cells and Localized Voc, Pseudo FF and minority carrier life time measurement. d. Procurement of environment chamber is under process and it can be used for testing of modules which holds temperature cycling tests, damp heat tests and humidity freeze tests and these test results will be correlated with the actual expected lifetime and performance of the modules in the field. e. Module characterization: AAA+ class solar simulator based module characterization (IV measurements of modules size up to 2m x 1.3m) have been installed, and it can simulate the solar spectrum from as low as 300 nm to 1100 nm; portable I-V tracer used in outdoor I-V measurements of modules, electroluminescence measurements for identification of the damaged cells and cracks in the modules (Indigenous method has been developed for EL imaging under light ambient), cell line checker help to identify the breakages in contacts of cells and strings in the module. f. All India survey of PV module degradation undertaken jointly with SEC (NISE). Field survey of 63 modules in 26 sites across 5 climatic zones is carried out and the Daystar Multi-IV Curve Tracer has started monitoring modules of 4 PV technologies (mono c-Si, multi c-Si, CIGS and a-Si). g. FLIR E60 camera is being used for IR imaging on modules and arrays and it will help in identifying the hot spots in the modules and junction boxes. h. Modified CCD camera based tool has been developed for PL imaging of defects generated during cell process and open circuit voltage decay based technique for minority carrier lifetime in diffused Si wafers is under process. i. Solar cell modeling and simulation softwares are being used to analysis the solar cell performance affected from various electrical and optical parameters of the material and also to get insight of loss and basic modeling work has been done for wire vibration during cutting and its effect on material loss. Also thermal modeling for wire temperature during the occurrence of a single spark has been done.

Organizations involved